my latest sales experience…

I have a sales experience to share with you. No, I was not the person selling. I was the customer/client. Sometimes it’s in these situations I learn the best sales tidbits. I watch/listen/and take mental notes. This was an experience on how to position the cost of service to a client.

background to the story:

We have a family rate plan with AT&T for our mobile phones. Recently the plans changed to make it way more affordable to add iPhones for my husband and son, so we did. I also have my Mom’s cell phone on our family plan. She has a flip phone and uses it about 5 minutes a month. It’s strictly for emergencies.

With our new plan, it became a no brainer for us and our smart phones. However, because my Mom’s phone is NOT a smart phone, she is getting penalized. Her monthly phone bill is $30/mo as opposed to the $10/mo it was before. It’s kinda ridiculous considering how she uses her phone. And we’re stuck in a 10 month contract with her.

at the at&t store:

So today I happened to be in their store getting my new iPhone activated (my old one dived into a clean toilet at 7:30pm during a wedding reception on Saturday). I asked the customer service rep what we could do about these additional charges for my Mom. I want some options. How many of our clients ask us the same thing?

To speed this story up, the first thing she did was to not give me any options to remove the phone, but instead to make sure that I understood what a good deal I was getting for the collective four phones. She whipped out her calculator to review what the old existing plan would of cost and compared it to what we are now paying. I should be thrilled that ACTUALLY, we are paying $20 less per month on this new plan for all four phones.

I smiled. Someone’s trained her well.

You see she “marketed” to me what my monthly investment is and how I am, at this very moment, saving money. Of course, I’m thinking I’m still out an additional $20/mo ($240 a year) for my Mom’s un-smart phone, a rate that should not have increased.

How do you respond to your clients when they begin to pick apart your cost in each little category. Do you reply by focusing on the larger picture to show them the benefits that they are receiving and the value of everything they are investing with you?

When you start to focus on too much on the cost of the minutia (the price of each stem of flower or extra page in your wedding album) you lose vision of the overall investment. Besides, if someone wants to go ala carte, then it’s ALWAYS more expensive than a package deal.

how did it end?

My options were: I leave it the way it is. I can donate $98 to the AT&T church to get out of my Mom’s contract. Switch to a AT&T GoPhone Prepaid Cell phone service. Or leave them entirely and go with another carrier.

I left. I had my new phone to sync.

ps. I miss you guys.

happy selling!