I bought a cheap bike today. It was about $200. I am sure it’s not the greatest bike in the world, but it is new and clean, it has two wheels, a seat and gets me where I am going, which was the whole reason I wanted one in the first place.
To be honest, I don’t know much about the differences between a cheap bike, an average one or an expensive one, other than well… price really. I even checked around online looking for average prices, which were anywhere from $100 to $1000, so I assumed I could find something somewhere in the middle that was good enough.
The problem though was that I had NO IDEA, and still don’t about what exactly a good bike is. I was hoping to find someone to tell me.
So, I decided to go to an actual “bike store” where I expected to find a knowledgeable bicycle salesman who could tell me all about them and sell one to me. That’s why people go to bike stores usually. They are looking to buy a bike and get information about them.
They have a need, (they want a bike) and the bike store has the solution (BIKES!)
Well, so one would think.
The first store we walked in to was this huge, popular specialty bike store with a large selection of high priced models, lots of accessories, what seemed like 3 service desks with lots of tools and people standing around talking about, you guessed it, bikes.
We walked around for a while, checked out some models, noticed some prices, high and low and waited for someone to come and sell one to me.
But they didn’t.
You see I wanted to be sold. I wanted a full service sales experience. I wanted a knowledgeable professional to talk to me and ask me what kind of bike I was looking for and suggest to me the best one.
Oh and I didn’t just need a bike, mind you. I needed a lock too, some reflectors to make it legal, and who knows… maybe there is a whole lot of other related stuff I needed, that I still don’t know if I needed, but since there was nobody around to tell me I needed it, I still don’t have them.
I most definitely would have needed a service agreement, because since I don’t know anything about bikes, if it broke, I would need someone to fix it and I certainly would have been willing to pay for that too.
But I didn’t get that either.
Unfortunately, nobody at the “bike store” thought to ask me if I needed help, and as a result, failed to sell me a bike, at their bike store. So… I walked around the corner to the Wall Mart and bought a cheap one for $200. As I mentioned, it’s an OK bike. At least I think it is…
I couldn’t tell you for sure though, because there was nobody around to tell me so.
I guess I’ll have to go to a bike store and find out. Oh wait…
To summarize, I am always surprised when I hear people describe how hard sales is. To me sales isn’t really so hard as long as sometimes, you are just willing to be there to take a customer’s money.
Sean Earley is an American designer, entrepreneur, blogger, and online marketer currently living in Wiesbaden Germany with his wife and daughter. His current primary focus is interaction design, user experience and user Interface (UI) design for mobile applications and social networking platforms.
When he is not designing amazing products, he is busy writing, playing guitar and dreaming up new online ventures.