The Art of Selling

"Do you want to buy a 1 gigabyte memory card for your camera for 10 dollars?".

The question was appealing. The cards normally cost a good bit more than that. So we wandered into the camera shop at Fisherman's Wharf to complete the transaction. A minion was dispatched to find the relevant component. Whilst I waited, conversation turned to the camera hanging around my neck.

"Do you have a wide angle adapter?". Why, yes I do.

"Can I see it?". A confusing request, he works in a photo shop for heaven's sake, he must have plenty of his own lenses to look at. "No need, I'm quite happy with it".  

"How much did you pay for your camera?". Now, this is sensitive information. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a massive bargain, but I was happy with what it cost.

"I can do you the same model for 250 dollars". This is irritating, that is around half what I paid and frankly an unbelievable price. And besides, I've already got one, and good though it is, I'm not sure why I'd need two. And where's that memory card?

Meanwhile, another salesman is working on Jon. Zoom lenses are being produced and snapped on and off camera bodies. Demonstration pictures are being taken and pored over. And more unbelievable prices are being bandied around. Finally a price is named that is so unbelievable that Jon decides to take the plunge.

"I'll take it". Stuff happens quickly. You don't need the box. You do need a lens filter (and an amazingly expensive one at that). Better yet, why don't you let me sell you an even more powerful lens and a converter. More money, but well worth it. We'll give you an even better price if you pay cash. Not got the cash? We have a machine over there just itching to eat your card and give you money to give us. Jon walked over to the machine. Then something snapped.

Without a word he turned and left the shop, I followed. Much clamour behind us about the bargains we have missed out on.

And I never did get my ten dollar memory card.

Later we shopped a little further down. A friendly and helpful assistant found things in the right sizes, kept them by the till for me and was friendly and polite all the way through. And she got a sale.