The Dreaded Last Minute Sales Pitch

I had a terrible experience at Banana Republic last week. I went in to buy a new pair of pants, real quick, I know my size, I know the “cut”, etc.

Head down, careful not to make eye contact with any employee, I headed to the rack. Of course, I wasn’t able to find my size, and the color and style was perfect for the jacket I had. I had to ask for help.

What a mistake. I found an associate to give me a hand who began helpful enough, calling someone to look in the “back” for my size, but the experience quickly went downhill. After the usual up-sale pitch, “what no shoes to go with your new pants”, she continued, asking how I was going to pay. I knew where the conversation was headed when she continued to “let me know” that they have a Banana Republic credit card that will save me a certain percentage on my first purchase, it’s good at certain stores, blah, blah, blah. She just would not let up, as if I was a fool for not applying. “You just apply, get the discount and then cancel the card!”

Huh? Yeah, right.

These last minute sales pitches seem to be happening more and more as retail execs are looking to squeeze out every little penny than can from their customers. The real downside is that it forever harms your product, the experience, and makes wanting to spend money even harder. Why would I want to go back and deal with that?

When times are tough looking at your employees to save you, getting them to sell more and sell better, is harmful. Hounding your customers is not going to save you. Why not make your product better. If sales suck, why not place focus where it should be.

The dreaded last minute sales pitch, you always know when it’s coming.

3 comments on “The Dreaded Last Minute Sales Pitch

  1. -

    All too true. I’ve all but given up on retail shopping because of it – the first (and worst) culprit in my experience was probably Best Buy, but the trend seems to have spread as retailers focus on short-term revenue from credit card deals and (initially) increased consumer spending.

    I can only hope that long term it’s not an effective strategy, otherwise the trend will likely never go away…

  2. - Post author

    I totally agree… it does seemed to have spread and companies are oddly enough running away from models like Zappos, who heavily stress customer service.

    I really hope it is not effective long term either; I just don’t see how it could be.

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