It's absolutely ridiculous that the marketing departments of soooo many b2b companies are not developing online lead generation processes that produce sales ready leads; that they don't practice measurable marketing.
Historically, sales has always had a funnel. Marketing should have a funnel too. Brian Carroll has a great post about building a marketing funnel:
Most organizations don't have a marketing funnel; they have a sales funnel that looks more like a bucket with lots of holes in it where leads leak out. Marketing needs to create its own funnel to understand whether leads are sales ready or not.
The purpose of the marketing funnel is to bring leads into one spot and qualify them. By qualifying them, I mean that the leads are ready to talk to someone from a sales perspective. Then there is the hand-off process between marketing and sales. I find that connecting the marketing and sales funnel together is really a big challenge. You have to understand your sales process to know at what point the sales team views a lead as an opportunity and begins actively pursuing it.
Lead generation really is about building relationships. It's how can I help my sales team build relationships with the right people and the right companies. The marketing funnel creates sales-ready leads and nurtures the leads that aren't sales ready.
The bigger and better you make your marketing pipeline, ultimately the bigger and better you make your sales pipeline. In the end, this isn't about generating more leads; it's about generating actionable leads.
A company where the sales teams and marketing teams work together, should have a combined funnel. It should look something like this:
For those of you who do better with words, you should know exactly how many visitors to your website convert into leads; how many of these leads your salespeople convert into opportunities; how many of these opportunities your salespeople convert into clients. You should also be able see at a much more granular level... what marketing activities, campaigns and referring sources those customers originated from, as well as what marketing activities made them "sales ready". That's closed loop marketing.
If you're a b2b marketer and you're not trying to figure out closed loop marketing, I personally believe you should be fired. You should be fired today, if you're still asking for $ to build your brand while your sales team is primarily cold calling prospects. It's absolutely amazing that more CEOs don't demand a measurable ROI from their marketing teams. It's absolutely amazing to me that marketers don't demand that their organizations committ the time and resources to create compelling content and participate in the conversations happening in their marketplace on social networking sites.
Brand awareness should be a side effect of a great product, great marketing and great customer service.
However, your marketing activities should be measured based on leads generated, leads qualified and customers acquired. Not some fuzzy notion of brand awareness.
This is a guest article by Kelle Sparta of Sparta Success Systems.
Last week I received an email containing a link to Frank Kern's video on The Rubberneck Effect in marketing online. I watched the video and decided to try out the premise. So I immediately sent out a letter to my mailing list with the same subject line ("bad news...") that he had suggested. What I found was very interesting.
I found that my open rate did increase rather dramatically, in fact almost twice as many people opened the email as normally do (27.9% vs. my normal 13%-15%). And the percentage click through rate (the number of people who clicked on any given link) was about average for any mailing - which means about twice as many people as normal clicked through overall since twice as many opened it. But my opt-outs (people who asked to be removed from the mailing list) were more than double (0.7% as opposed to my normal 0.3%).
I also included access to a free 10-part audio training on my real estate training website (this was my real estate list that I sent this out to). I got a 32.6% click through rate and 55.8% of those who clicked through actually signed up for the auto responder program with the training. That's better than any other free item I've ever offered.
In looking back at my open rates, I realized that only one email I've sent out has come close to these statistics. Interestingly, it was the one I sent on Valentines Day this year with the subject line "You Are Loved". I can't compare click-through rates for you since I did this email as a pure deposit in the emotional bank account of my readers and didn't ask for any sales or even offer any links on the page. Interestingly, the opt-out rate was still only 0.3% which is average for a mailing for me. Although none of the people who opted out reported me as spam whereas 4 people reported me on the "bad news..." mailing.
So it would seem that telling someone they are loved is just as attractive as indicating there is bad news. But there's more to the story. The text of the Valentines email was:
"I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I love and appreciate you.
Happy Valentine's Day.
Well, I got a large amount of emails back from this message. About half were positive and expressed appreciation in return or gave thanks for the message. The other half of the respondents were angry and/or skeptical asking how I could possibly claim to love someone I hadn't met. It was a controversial subject and clearly divided respondents into two very disparate camps.
In contrast, I received only three emails from the "bad news..." email. One had also gotten the link to Frank Kern's video the same day and was impressed with the speed of implementation that I showed and amused to see it arrive in her mailbox. Another emailed me to thank me for the article from the previous week and to tell me she had forwarded it to a friend who was in need of help in dealing with her fears. And a third came from Peter Caputa, a friend and fellow internet marketer, who said that he had felt a little betrayed when he saw the inside vs. the subject line. He felt I might end up with the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome if I wasn't careful about how often I used these messages. (And I agree with him.) But there were no angry messages from my actual customers.
So, I think I can conclude from this two things about open rates:
- Sensationalism certainly does increase open rates. The Rubberneck Effect as described by Frank Kern does work - after all, a 27.9% open rate with a 54.5% click through to watch the video certainly doesn't suck.
- Positive, emotionally charged comments that are out of the box also work though. "You Are Loved" returned a 25.2% open rate - not quite as good as "bad news..." but certainly not shabby in the overall mix of things. Whether the click-throughs will be equivalent with the positive message to those in the negative one, I can't say yet. I'll test that next.
And, sadly, I think I can also conclude that we are more open to hearing that something has gone wrong than we are that someone loves and appreciates us.
So, for now, I think I'll go back to my pattern of talking about the positives. Perhaps I'll start looking at the emotional content of my subject lines a little more to keep my readers intrigued more often. But, thankfully, I think I can leave the sensationalism behind in favor of a more positive approach. (Which is really what I wanted to do anyway.)
Kelle Sparta is The Business Shaman and Consciousness Consultant to corporations and small businesses. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a consulting and coaching company that provides tools, products, and training to empower business owners, managers and employees to create lives and businesses they can love. For more information, visit her website at http://www.kellesparta.com
LinkedIn is about to make a power move.
I've been using Facebook a lot more lately. It has some powerful features that enable me to initiate conversations with people. LinkedIn, by comparison is very sterile. However, LinkedIn is where business happens. I think too much play still happens on Facebook. Business happens on Facebook. But, I don't think 40+ serious business professionals (outside of the marketing world) will ever really adopt Facebook as a business networking tool, atleast until the kids just graduating college are 40+.
So, what's LinkedIn's power move? For a few years now, people have been building groups on LinkedIn about all kinds of topic. There was very little benefit to the members of the groups. Owners of the groups, could of course, send emails to the members. (Not many marketers caught on and I expect to see the controls tightened on the ability to download email addresses.)
I also expected for a long time that LinkedIn would launch functionality to enable the groups to interact via the site. The first thing they're launching is forums, which is an obvious idea, albeit nothing that new. What'll be revolutionary about it, I presume, is that when users post to different forums, their contacts will probably be notified via their feeds. LinkedIn Answers already does this, making it possible for people to tap the collective wisdom of their network and the wider linkedin network very quickly. (Answering questions is also a good promotional tool.) I bet their forums will be used more frequently and will draw in all kinds of conversations.
Here's the official announcement from LinkedIn (from an email):
First, thank you for managing your group on LinkedIn. We sincerely
appreciate the time and effort you devote to your members, and we know
they value it. Together you have made Groups one of the top features on
This Friday, we will be adding several much-requested features to your group:
- Discussion forums: Simple discussion spaces for you and your members. (You can turn discussions off in your management control panel if you like.)
- Enhanced roster: Searchable list of group members.
- Digest emails: Daily or weekly digests of new discussion topics which your members may choose to receive. (We will be turning digests on for all current group members soon, and prompting them to set to their own preference.)
- Group home page: A private space for your members on LinkedIn.
We're confident that these new features will spur communication, promote collaboration, and make your group more valuable to you and your members. We hope you can come by LinkedIn on Friday morning to check out the new functionality and get a group discussion going by posting a welcome message.
What do you think of the new move? About time? Implications?
This a guest article written by Shannon Golladay of Paragon Wealth Management.
It is race day and you are about to run your first marathon. You have two choices... you can run the race and do something you've never done or you can back out and cheer on the sidelines.
If you decide to run, it will be difficult, and it will take time to get to the finish line, but your reward will be great.
If you decide to stay on the side lines and watch, you might have fun, but you'll be doing the same thing you've always done: just watching people get further ahead.
This situation is similar to ours at Paragon Wealth Management as it relates to marketing. For over 20 years we stayed on the sidelines. Our business grew gradually by referrals and it was successful, but it never really took off... until now.
We decided to do something different. Our services are unique compared to the typical money manager so we decided to do something completely unheard of in the investment industry: online marketing.
Most businesses in our industry build their businesses solely by referrals. They may do an ad in a magazine or newspaper here and there, but most grow by referrals. This method does work, but it isn't the best method.
I started working at Paragon last November 2007. I was hired to do public relations and to help us "run a marathon" to grow our business.
My background is in public relations. In school I learned the traditional ways to pitch the media with story ideas. I had used these methods for several years. They worked, but nothing like the new way of doing public relations.
The first thing my boss, Dave Young, did when I started my job was give me a book to read called, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" by David Meerman Scott. It is - by far - the best book I've ever read about public relations and marketing. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of marketing Paragon.
In the book I read about David Meerman Scott's blog and then I learned about Hubspot, an internet marketing company, which is outstanding.
We signed up for Hubspot and started implementing the ideas in David Meerman Scott's book. We started two blogs, Money Managers Live and a blog on our website. We also redesigned our website to make it easier for people to learn about us. We submitted press releases online with links in them. The list goes on and on.
The moral of the story is that we had great Personal Wealth Management Services, but not many people knew about them. We were sitting on the sidelines just watching the marketing marathon - doing the same thing each day.
We decided to start training for the marathon by making some changes and getting help from great resources. Now we are running the race as fast as we can.
So what's your story? What are you doing for marketing or public relations? Are you on the sidelines watching or are you running the race?
Shannon Golladay is the Public Relations/Marketing Director for Paragon Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor. Paragon takes a dynamic and proactive approach to investing and has over 20 years experience working with both good and bad markets that can be difficult and constantly changing. They are client centered and have a fiduciary responsibility. Shannon also writes and edits articles for Paragon's blogs Money Manager's Live
and Paragon's company blog.
A news release with some HubSpot milestones was just published.
My favorite part of the press release, from a quote from our fearless leader, Brian Halligan:
"During the month of July, our customers in production saw an average of 20% monthly growth in website traffic and 25% monthly growth in leads"
Since HubSpot is software as a service, we not only have a pulse on the growth of our own business, we can instantly measure the success of our clients, individually and collectively.
There's got to be some interesting and powerful implications there that are yet to be discovered.
I hope you laughed when you read the title of this post. I laughed when I wrote it. However, I'm also sad that so many people actually operate their business as if this post's title was true.
I had a conversation with Paul Chaney the other day. He's the Internet Marketing Director at Bizzuka, a web content management system.
He said to me, "My job is to generate quality sales leads via the web so our sales team has to do less cold calling. I've had to do cold calling in my career and I wouldn't wish that on anyone."
I agreed with him. That's a great way to describe the job. When I started my first business (an online event registration service), we basically got some brochures made and I started walking down Main Street in Worcester, MA. I walked into Davis Advertising in Worcester and got a meeting with Andy Davis. We discussed events and how he promoted them and I pitched him my vision. At the end of the meeting, I asked him what the likelihood of him hiring (or referring) my Company was? And he said, "Call me when you grow up."
I was in my mid twenties, but he just meant that my firm was too inexperienced and that he wouldn't trust me to interact with his clients. He meant, I was green.
I continued cold calling for a long time and continued struggling to get the Company off of the ground. About a year into it, we got a bunch of good breaks, learned how to network and get referrals, planned and promoted a bunch of our own events so we had some successes under our belts and later learned how to sell a lot more effectively, cold calling or not. (I'm still learning and more of my story is in the about Peter Caputa section of this website.)
Looking back, though, I was, as Andy basically said, "very green" in business. I was very naive.
I thought it was about my idea. Our idea was great. It still is. There's a handful of companies around the country that watched what we were doing, as I blogged about it, and took our "lessons learned" into account when designing their business.
However, ideas don't generate revenue. Solving problems does. People buy because they have a need, they have the budget, they're convinced your solution will help them solve their problems and the timing is right for them to take advantage of what you're offering. They buy for a compelling reason which most likely helps them avoid some recurring pain. Not because you have a smart idea or great product that YOU think will help solve their problem.
The trick is that most engineers and entrepreneurs (I'm both unfortunately) are very poor at asking questions and discovering problems. Most entrepreneurs skip to the presentation, like I did when talking to Andy a few years ago. Most are way too eager to present their product or solution. Most entrepreneurs don't listen, don't ask questions and don't lead their prospects into coming to the conclusion that "this product will help me solve my problem". They don't understand the unique challenges of each prospect. (Yes, they are unique, atleast to the prospect.) They don't frame the solution using the words the prospect used to describe the problem. They don't help their prospects buy. They pitch and hope the pitch resonates with their prospect.
In short, most entrepreneurs suck at sales.
I'm a firm believer that every salesperson must always be a student of
sales. They must always be learning and improving their craft. The
senior and top performing sales person at HubSpot, Heidi Carslon, said to me the other day,
"A savvy sales person is going to be constantly evaluating and evolving their strategy." Agreed. I believe that any salesperson who hasn't
directly sold a Million dollars worth of business in their sales career
to atleast a few hundred different customers, needs to get their sales
skills assessed and their sales weaknesses fixed. Any
entrepreneur without this experience should be doing this yesterday. I
wish I knew that the option was available to me in my first year of my
business, instead of my third.
Despite typical entrepreneurial sales weaknesses, some get by and are still wildly successful. But, that's usually only because they are awesome at marketing and have a perfectly timed awesome product. (You're probably not lucky enough to be one of them: Google, Youtube, Microsoft, Starbucks, Dell, etc).
The problem with most startups is that most entrepreneurs stink at marketing too.
Most successful entrepreneurs understand that they need to constantly be improving their marketing processes too.
I would never suggest that marketing can fix sales issues OR that good marketing will ever replace the need for strong salespeople, especially in a complex B2B sale. But, based on my experience on the other side now, where I have more leads than I can handle at HubSpot, I know that I don't have to be as good... I don't have to work as hard to generate opportunities; I don't have to cold call; I don't have to travel to see people; I don't have to write custom proposals; I don't have to spend money on brochures; I sometimes don't even have to present my product... in order to make lots of sales.
That's because there is demand that has been generated for the product I sell. That's because marketing was built into the business plan from the beginning. The founders were smart enough to develop online lead generation and sales processes as they developed the product. It's also because I have a bunch of successful clients who refer me business. But, mostly it's because marketing is charged with delivering an ROI, as well as tasked with constantly improving that ROI. They do measurable marketing. They do Closed Loop Marketing.
I talked to 3 people today who have a decent sized sales team who spend their entire day cold calling. Yes. Cold Calling. All day. They don't have a marketing team that generates interest or leads. They all get a lot of business through referrals, so their products and services are good. They've just ignored the internet's ability to help them cost effectively deliver warm leads to their sales team.
I can't imagine why anyone would continue operating like this. Can you?
I've helped many people change their DNS settings when they move hosting companies. It's not hard. Yet, the acronym "DNS" scares people. Many people automatically shut off their "I'm going to try and understand this" caps when they hear a term like "DNS". It's really a simple concept, though.
And here's a perfectly simple explanation. Taken from an email from Mike Volpe, a marketing guy:
If you move to a new website, there is a one time DNS change. This is unavoidable. DNS stands foir "Domain Name Server" and it is the part of the internet that matches up the domain (like hubspot.com) with the address of the computer where the website actually lives (like 192.255.032.876). It is sort of like telling people your new address if you move, but it is actually easier and more centralized.
Perfectly stated. You have no excuse now. If someone says "DNS" you should know what they mean.
Since I started blogging on the HubSpot business blogging platform on my own URL, I haven't claimed this blog on Technorati. Technorati Profile.
If you haven't claimed your blog, you should go do it.
Looks like there's some new capabilities over there I'm going to
explore a bit more.
I'm preparing a post about ways to promote your blog in your sleep.
I'm testing a facebook application that lets people say which blogs they like.
If you like mine, please go over to this page on facebook and become a fan of my blog.
I recommend you do the same thing for your blog too.
I'm getting a lot more serious about using plaxo pulse too. Join me over there too.
I've been too focussed on LinkedIn. On my short list to investigate further are Twitter, StumbleUpon, BlitzTime, Plurck, Mybloglog, Google Reader, FriendFeed, and maybe Inquisix. There's also a lot of different ways to promote a feed on Facebook that I haven't fully explored yet either.
Connect with me on the services above if you use them.
Let me know if you think I should be covering other sites/services. Share any tips you have too.
I've been pondering this a lately. A lot of web designers suck at web design. Many suck at marketing. The majority of web designers suck at business. And pretty much all web designers suck at sales, where sales is a virtuous skill defined as the process of figuring out what's important to their clients and then recommending a solution that helps them solve their problems and achieve their goals.
If you run a small business or manage marketing for a mid sized or large business, especially B2B businesses, and you're talking to a website designer... the most important thing to you is usually figuring out how to improve lead generation for your sales team through your website.
Paul Roetzer has published a few questions you should ask any website designer you're planning on hiring:
Q1: What's your Website Grade, Mr Designer?
Q2: How will our Website be optimized for search engines?
Q3: What Website analytics will we have access to?
Q4: Will we have the ability to change our own content?
Q5: How will our website generate leads?
Paul has some good tips in his article. You should read it if you're doing a site redesign. I'd also recommend educating yourself about the website redesign process and developing an internet marketing strategy first. Way too many people relaunch their website and then expect to figure out how to generate business from it. It really needs to be done the other way around, unless you prefer to waste time and money redoing things.
You learned how to drive before you bought your own car, right?
I asked Shari Sultana, an Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant, to write a quick article about why her clients choose to hire her, or someone like her. I have quite a few clients that could generate more leads if they had more time to committ to their content creation, link building, social media activity, etc. Some of them should consider hiring her.
If you're a small business owner you already know that time is a precious commodity. Most, if not all, small business owners wear many hats. They are the CEO, the sales department, the marketing department, the customer service department, the purchasing department and the accounting department. But doing all of these jobs leaves little to no time for building the business and increasing the profits.
Spending all your time working in your business leaves no time left to work on your business. Even if you do have a little extra time to work on your business most small business owners are either too tired or have personal commitments to attend to. Wouldn't it be great if you could just buy yourself more time? But wait, you can!
Ever heard the term "Virtual Assistant"? Virtual Assistants (or VAs) are an industry of small business owners whose business is to provide administrative and/or marketing support to other small business owners, all via the internet. Internet Marketing Virtual Assistants specialize in providing internet marketing support to small business owners who lack the time or skill to do their own internet marketing. Small business owners who hire the services of an internet marketing virtual assistant have the time to work on building their business and increasing their profits. Their VA does everything from helping with on page SEO, link building, press releases, article submissions, blogging, setting up and maintaining their social networking profiles, maintaining their websites, tracking their web analytics, and setting up their PPC campaigns.
VAs are independent contractors which means no employee taxes, benefits or overhead for the small business owners who hire them. VAs also work on an as needed basis which means no long term commitment is necessary. Virtual Assistants can be the answer to many time strapped business owners. In business, time is money. Leveraging the services of a virtual assistant could be the answer to your business success.
Sales training expert and client, Tony Cole, sent me a note today. He pointed to Seth Godin's article about how technology, while sometimes making us more efficient, also gives us excuses to be less personal when serving our clients.
Tony asked, "Why doesn't Seth have comments? How can I leave a comment on Seth's blog?"
It's a valid question. I don't really read Seth Godin's blog (more on that later). If I had to gander why he doesn't have comments set up, it's because he's tired of moderating comments or deleting spam comments. Or it could be because he wants people to link to him and comment on his post in a post on their own blog. Or it could be for another reason. I don't know. Seth has commented on my blog a few other times. So, maybe he'll share.
Personally, I think comments make a blog much more personal by enabling interaction with readers, whether they're prospects, clients, partners or whoever.
However, I'm not Seth. As I posited here, Seth probably has a challenge having personal relationships with the 100s of thousands of fans he has. I have challenges having personal relationships with my 70 or so clients, 700 blog subscribers and 3,000 email subscribers. I can't imagine the deluge of conversation invitations that Seth receives.
And this is why I don't read Seth's blog. I might actually get to meet Seth next month, which'd be cool. He's speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit and I'll be attending with the marketing conference equivalent of a backstage access. But, in normal life, most of us won't meet bloggers that have 100s of thousands of subscribers. Just like my wife has little chance of meeting Joshua Allen when she goes to the "So You Think You Can Dance" concert in Boston. And I probably won't ever meet Warren Buffet. In the same vein, I will most likely never have a meaningful business or personal relationship with any of these people.
The blogosphere isn't that different. The bloggers that have huge followings aren't going to interact with you in a meaningful way, unless you're very persistent and have something that they know they need. Or you agree to be their intern or something pretty silly like that.
So to answer Tony's question, if you really want to leave a comment for Seth, write a post and link to his post. However, I'd recommend initiating blog conversations with people who might be more receptive to mutually beneficial relationships.
Seth has great stuff to say. But, so do a few other thousand bloggers that write about similar stuff.
It's not really Seth's fault that he can't interact with everyone. I never really met Britney Spears either.
Brook Group is a client of mine. (Advice from Kara Brook.) They are also a great partner and we have a bunch of mutual clients. One of them is HaloPets. I've been advising Kara all along about how to help her clients generate more traffic, leads and sales from their online marketing.
We were talking about the Halo Pets Organic Pet Food blog the other day. Specifically, we were talking about the style of writing, as well as how to use the blog strategically to increase traffic from search engines.
A blog is a great SEO tool. Many people blog and just stuff their keywords in it. That doesn't quite do it, although as Rick Barnes mentions, traffic to a blog from SEO should justify the time spent on blogging. A successful blogger also engages with their audience. They spend as much time reading other blogs, leaving comments on other blogs, linking to other blogs, etc. This helps them grow their own readership faster, generate more comments from others on their own blog and get more links pointing to their site. All of these activities will help drive direct traffic, as well as increase the amount of traffic from search engines (because of the new inbound links).
Humans have this strange interest in connecting with humans through common interests. Yeah. I know. It's not that strange. I'm being sarcastic. But, most new business bloggers don't realize that blogging is about a conversation.
Not every blogger is great at this. It takes a knack for storytelling, relating and listening that few souls have. One of those souls who has it, is one of my best friends, Amy Breton. I've blogged about her before. But, I also connected Amy and Kara and Kara recruited her to write for the HaloPets blog. Amy has a great knack for storytelling and an amazing knack for connecting to animals and humans, alike.
Here's a video that the Boston Globe recently produced about Amy and her husband owning the oldest living rabbit, Guinness approved.
I'm thinking about launching a free job job board that my clients and partners can use to post gigs on my site. The volume seems to come and go. This week, there seems to be a lot of people looking to hire...
Goodfellas for a construction project sales person.
Wakefly for a .NET developer.
Assembla for an online direct marketer. (This one looks tantalizing to me.)
HubSpot is always looking for developers, salespeople and strong internet marketers to join the team. (Contact me if you're interested. I'll give you the inside track.)
If you'd use the board, let me know. I'd only want legit opps to be
posted, but it'd also be a good way to help clients generate some
links back to their site. I'd probably make it easy for clients to post
jobs to other blogs too.
Tony and Jeni at Anthony Cole Sales Training Group have shared some funny sales stories.
I'm racking my brain for a good one to share as a salesguy.
I have a crazy one to share as a buyer.
When my wife and I bought our house, we needed to buy a mattress for our spare room. Since the most use it would get would be when family is visiting on the weekend, we didn't want to spend a lot on it. We also didn't want one that was going to disintegrate in a year. But, price was certainly the most important factor.
So, we went to Mattress Giant. Here's the conversation as I can recall it:
Me: Could you point us to your cheapest mattresses?
Salesguy: We have a mattress over here that is $550. Try this one. [Amy lays down.]
Amy: This isn't bad.
Other Salesguy with other customers to Our Salesguy [from a few feet away]: Are you selling that one? Do we have more than one of those left in stock?
Our Salesguy to other Salesguy: I think this is the last one.
Salesguy to us: Do you guys want this one? This is the last one. I can give you a good deal on it. Probably knock $50 off of it.
Me: This is the cheapest mattress you have?
Salesguy: No. We have cheaper ones.
Me: Could you point us to the least expensive one?
Salesguy: It's over there. [He points and walks away.] [We go over and lay down. Amy and I agree that it's fine.]
Me: [Had to go interrupt him from doodling on his computer twenty feet away.] How much is the cheapest one?
Salesguy: It's $300, but I don't know why you'd buy that one. The $500 one is going to last a lot longer. The cheap one isn't going to hold up.
Me: I'm looking for a mattress for a spare room. It'll rarely be used.
Salesguy: Well, I guess if you don't care about the people sleeping on it, it's fine. [I give him ridiculous look. Can't believe I'm actually still talking to him.]
Me: Can you give us a minute to talk about it?
Amy: Are you sure the cheap one is ok? [My wife is falling for this asshole's sales moves.]
Me [to Amy]: It's fine. This guy just doesn't make as much commission if he sells this one. So, he wants us to buy the more expensive one. They wouldn't have it in the store if it wasn't going to last.
Salesguy: [Walks back over interrupting our conversation.] You know you can go on craigslist if you want to find a cheap mattress?
Me: I don't want a used mattress. I want a cheap one. We'll take the $300 one. Can you write us up?
Salesguy: Sure. [Walks over to his computer.] [I presume I have to follow him and do.] [Amy and I sit down.] You want the $550 one right?
Me: No. We want the $300 one.
Me: When can we have this delivered? [My parents are visiting the following weekend.]
Salesguy: I have to look that up. But, we do deliveries every day. Do you guys want to add the stainguard cover? It's an extra $120.
Salesguy: Do you need a base for the bed?
[There was one other add on thing he tried to upsell us.]
Salesguy: Are you sure you don't want the slightly more expensive better one?
Me: Yes, I'm sure [insert his first name].
To top it all off, the guy checked off that we didn't need a base for the bed. The guys that delivered it, had to go back and get us one.
And for the record, the mattress is just fine. When Peter was born and Amy was nursing him in our bed, I slept in it a few times. And my parents, Amy's parents and my sisters and brother in laws have slept in it. They get good night sleeps. They know we care about them.
Do you have a funny sales story?