I recently had an experience where I almost had to beg a business to sell me a product. An incredible experience that I want to share with you.

I recently moved to another state and was in the market to purchase a lawnmower since I had sold mine many years ago and I wanted now to cut my own grass for the exercise and pride of doing it myself. Plus my new next door neighbor had been loaning his to me and I was getting hesitant to keep asking to borrow it.

I did what most people do and searched the web for a dealer that carried a particular brand of mower, the same brand and model of mower I had been borrowing from my neighbor.

Well, I found a dealer about a mile from my home. Lucky me.

I hop in my 16-year-old pickup truck, the one I bought to haul materials and such while remodeling my current home. It can take a beating and still looks good, for an older truck.

I pull onto this dealers lot and see advertising on the building and fences for the many brands of lawnmowers, chainsaws, and mini-tractors they offer. In my mind, I hit “pay dirt”. The perfect place to buy the particular brand and model my neighbor recommended. I’m thinking this will be an easy purchase, in and out in a flash.

Walking in the first things I see are riding mowers, mini-tractors and a small display reserved for the smaller lawnmowers I wanted. This was the kind of place that catered to the professional gardener and landscaper. I figured this was the place that knew their stuff about mowing grass.

Looking around I didn’t see any of the particular brand my neighbor recommended and this particular business had advertised on their website they were a Certified Dealer for this brand.

Confused and lost I asked a salesman, who I learned later was the store manager, where are your (insert name brand here) lawnmowers, as I’m here to buy one. He informed me that they recently dropped that particular brand of mowers because their quality and return-rates had been horrible the last two years. I’m just standing there with my mouth open and not saying another word. I’m ready to whip out my money, excited, to buy THAT mower.

And guess what the store manager does? Stares at me for a few seconds and then walks off.

Wouldn’t ya think the manager, who is also one of the two salesmen working, would at least TRY to sell me something else?
I walked around the showroom and tried to make heads or tails of the other brands and decide IF I might consider another brand and/or model of lawnmower. I had a particular price point in mind so I focused on that area and models, not really knowing enough to make a decision on my own. There were several other brands, well-known brands I was very familiar with, but just didn’t know what I really needed or wanted now that the one I REALLY wanted wasn’t available there.

My first instinct was to just leave and go to another dealer to see if they had one. BUT the comment the manager had said, about the quality issues, struck a nerve with me.

After about fifteen minutes of aimlessly wandering around, I caught the attention of the store manager and had to almost apologize for wanting some answers on a potential purchase of a different brand of mower. Reluctantly the manager came over and started to answer questions I had on particular models.

It was like ‘pulling teeth’ at the dentist.

It was painful. Painful for me having to ask ‘buying’ questions. And painful for the store manager.

He knew I was there to BUY, even though it was originally for a brand he no longer carried. He knew I was ready to spend money NOW. He knew I was a buyer and not a tire-kicker.

But yet he made me almost beg him to SELL ME a damn mower.

Not once did he ask me what I liked and didn’t like about the brand and model of mower I originally wanted. Even now as I’m writing this I’m blown away with his lack of salesmanship.

I had to tell him WHY I liked the other mower. WHY I wanted it. WHAT I wished it had as an option, etc. Incredible.

After about ten minutes of ME questioning HIM about the differences in the various models on display I finally decided on one I was interested in.

The next issue was the particular model I liked was up on a fancy display and would take some effort and two people to get down to the floor. AND the manager was acting hesitant to remove it from the display. WOW.

TODAY. I decided to give the manager ONE MORE buying signal……..I told him that IF the mower was easy to start that I would buy it. NOW.

Only at that point did the manager get some help to lower it from the display.

Then I realized WHY he was hesitant to remove it from the display…….the mowers on the showroom floor don’t have gas in their tanks. I guess to reduce the gas odors indoors and potential fire liability issues.

The manager took it to the back of the shop and filled the tank with gas and brought it back to the front where I was waiting. One pull on the cord and it started right up. Easy to start. YES!

I told him “I’ll take it.”

THEN the manager becomes engaged in the sales process and starts explaining and showing me the added features of the mower. He was becoming a ‘salesman’ in his own way.

But the whole buying experience was just incredible. He took my joy of buying…meeting my needs and wants…..and turned it into something just short of frustrating.

WHY do salespeople do this?

Is it lack of sales training? Is it the factor of having the wrong individual in the sales position? Is the art of selling lost?

The entire sales process was handled incredibly wrong. As soon as the manager heard I was there to buy, today, a particular brand and they no longer carried, the NEXT words out of his mouth SHOULD have been : “we have so many other superior brands and models available here, but first let me ask you what you liked and didn’t like about the OTHER brand and model you were interested in.”

BAM!!!! That’s exactly how it should have been handled.

He had a BUYER in front of him, that TOLD him he was there to buy a mower right then.

The ‘buying signals’ could not have been louder or more significant.


ASK what your prospect is interested in, LISTEN, then SELL it to them.

But in this case, I had to do ALL the work. I had to ASK and do ALL the work of qualifying myself. And I had to close myself by telling him ‘‘I’ll take it”.

I’m still wound up from that experience. It kills me when I see such amateurish salesmanship. It almost made me want to go spend my money somewhere else. I wonder what the owner is like? I bet he would have been furious IF he knew I almost walked out and went somewhere else to buy.

Looks like this company needs some sales training.

Hmmmmmm, I wonder who could do it?

Just don’t make me beg.

I hope you picked up a useful tip or two on this blog post. If you’ve got any comments or additional suggestions I would love to hear from you. Just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

See ya on the next blog post.