Monday, April 25, 2011

A Goofy way to sell

Does this ever happen to you?

Someone wants you to buy their product. Or join their movement. Or whatever. You politely let them know that you aren't really interested. And then the following happens:

-They ask "why" and then try to overcome your objections
-They present facts that "prove" that you should be buying or doing what they want
-They feel your reticence is simply a result of your ignorance
-They act visibly unhappy with you, as though you were responsible for their emotional well-being

How well does this approach work? Well, suppose that a successful company like Disney decided to try it. You are at a travel agency planning your next family vacation, and someone dressed like Goofy comes up to you and has the following conversation:

Goofy: Ah, hy-uk, hi folks! Are you nice people planning a vacation?
You: Er ... yes
Goofy: Well, I've got a great idea. How about joining me at Disneyland?
You: We weren't really planning to go to California.
Goofy: Well, shucks, that's OK. You could go to Disney World in Florida. This is a nice time to go to Florida, isn't it?
You: But Disney is so expensive. To be honest, we just want to spend a long weekend visiting Aunt Matilda downstate.
Goofy: You know, lots of people say that. But they don't realize how much fun it is to go to Disney.
You: I don't really like the crowds and the lines. We just like to go off and spend time together as a family.
Goofy: You could go at off-peak hours and the lines aren't as bad. And Disney is a great place to be together as a family.
You: Look, we're really not interested.
Goofy: (hangs his dog head down and throws his arms down)

Now, quick question. If this was your experience every time you contacted Disney, how likely would you be to call Disney? And how often would you vacation there? If this was how Apple treated you inside their stores, how badly would you want that new iPod? Is this approach more effective than simply having a great product or service that people *want* to purchase?

So why is it that just about every contractor, retail store, and political party still treats me this way? Obviously they still feel it's an effective way to sell to people. As for me, I think it's pretty Goofy.

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