Everest sent a mailshot to where I live, with a flimsy small brochure and a two page cover letter. And it was at the bottom of the second page which left me a bit…well unimpressed to say the least. The letter makes a point to tell the potential customer that they are valid for ‘at least’ a 35% discount if they were to buy. It goes on to say that there is no hard sell, but then straight away goes on to confirm that this 35% discount applies if you buy immediately, so straight away pressure on the customer. At the bottom of the letter, plenty of fine print. Read on and i found that to qualify for this discount (which is probably added on anyway!) the customer has to place an order of over two grand, is dependent on the product you pick (which probably means the products with the highest profit margins!), have to buy immediately, which most customers don’t want to do, and the discount can’t be used with any other offers.
Oh and you’ve got to pay through their finance system, so diddling the customer with high interest payments.
So it got me thinking, for all the effort they make to say that ‘hard sell’ isn’t used, any customer who spent just a few minutes working out how they would qualify for this discount, would realize that it is in fact, a ‘hard sell’, not a directly vocal hard sell, but one which would bind the customer in the home to make a buying decision, one which they probably would not have liked to make in that manner.
The company I work for has always worked on the premise that we give the customer the keenest price in the first place, no fake discounts by adding then taking away money, just the best price, in writing, definitely no hard sell, then the balls in the customer’s court. Honesty being the best policy in my opinion!