As my time in sales comes to a close (hopefully forever!), I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned here. Last week I wrote about how getting to know the Joneses will keep you from wanting to keep up with them.
Today I’m pulling a few examples from my daily interactions with customers that have shown me: It’s surprising how being smart with your money seems to put you in the minority.
Day in and day out, this is what I hear, see, and say. I really have learned a lot from talking to people, and applying common sense. The thing about working at a cell phone store is that it attracts a really wide demographic of customers, and so I feel like I’ve gotten a wide cross section of people to talk to. Sometimes what they say and how they think is really surprising to me.
People want to buy more even when they owe.
Cust: I’m angry that just because I’m behind on my bill I can’t upgrade to a new phone!
Me: Gosh, I’m sorry… I guess the thinking is that if you can afford to buy a new phone, you should pay the bill for services already rendered…
People think that old debts just go away on their own.
Cust: I can’t believe that just because I owe y’all money from an account I closed years ago, I can’t add new lines of service.
Me: I’m sorry… I guess the thinking is that if you still owe us money from last time, you should pay that before you start owing us again.
People think that if they don’t like the product or service they received, they shouldn’t have to pay for it, even once it’s been consumed/used/damaged.
Cust: I owe another carrier money but their service sucks so I’m not going to pay it.
Me: Yikes! That might negatively affect your credit score.
Cust: They can kiss my *expletive*.
They think a little bit of loyalty should go a long way.
Cust: I’ve been loyal to this company for over a year! I can’t believe I can’t get a new phone/service/whatever for free!
Me: (What I’m thinking) Sir, many of our customers have been with us for over 20 years and even they still have to pay for the things they buy. (What I say, hoping to force them to realize how foolish this is) Oh geez! I wish I could! If it were up to me, everything would be free for everybody!
Parents are afraid of their kids.
Cust: I’ve been driving all over the city looking for this. If I don’t come home with ___ phone in ___ exact color and size, my child is going to kill me!
Me: Umm, what.
People pay a lot for convenience.
Cust: I lost my phone and I need a new phone right this second. (It’s 8pm.)
Me: Well, the good news is that you have insurance. If you call them before 10pm, you’ll have a new phone delivered to you by 10am tomorrow morning. It only costs $99.
Cust: I can’t wait that long! I’ll just buy a new phone now. I don’t care that it’ll cost $650 +tax!
People want to do whatever “everyone else” is doing.
Me: Which color phone do you like?
Cust: Well, what does everyone else get? What do you have?
Me: Well I have the black one, but you’re the one that’s going to use it for two years, not me.
Cust: Well if you have the black, that’s what I’ll get, too.
And so I’ll leave you with these examples. I could go on and on. I know we’re all generally like-minded here in the PFblog community in that we try to be smart about our money, but sometimes the best way to learn is to get an outside perspective from those different from ourselves.
What are some of the most surprising money things you’ve heard people say?