Top 5 Sales Fails: What NOT to say in a sales pitch

Savvy Boheme's debut in Canton Marketplace was a beautiful success.


The booth was attractively decorated, products were fully stocked, retail systems were in place, and the booth was heavily staffed (thanks to my very loving and supportive family and friends).  We were very well received by the public. There was just one teeny- tiny, minor detail that I had forgotten to prepare for...not really that big of an issue:  I am a terrible sales person.  And when I say terrible, I mean I couldn't sell a bucket of water to a bedouin.  I was the type of waitress that would say, "You don't want to order that much food- the portions are HUGE here...You should split the pasta dish among the five of you".  My sales-ignorance even carried over into my 18 years of nail care service: "You really don't need a pedicure every two weeks- once a month- even six weeks would be fine..." (meanwhile, I was giving the client a 10 dollar manicure that I should have charged 20 for...) So, when I began my sales pitch at Canton, I sensed there would be a problem.  It began when a girl was about to purchase a moisturizer from me and I told her to wait a few minutes, that we were about to do a drawing, and that she just might win the product for free....dumb, dumb, dumb...(I only knew that it was dumb because my Kindred Spirit-Marketing Consultant was jabbing me in the ribs...) With each jab to the ribs, scratch on the arm, shove toward a prospective buyer, and flat out introduction as the creator of the product to the passers-by from my mom, sister, mom-in-law, KS sister-in-law, and best friend, Stef, I had a crash course in "Sales 101".  Here are the highlights of what NOT to say during a sales pitch (ask me how I know that they are not effective):

  1. "Oh, is the use of my product why I have such pretty skin?  I've never had skin problems-I was just blessed, I guess."
  2. At the sales close time : "Yes, the moisturizer is $12.99 and the scrub is $, where are you from?..." (or any other conversation diversion from the close of the sale)-I did this A Lot, and it ended the sale before purchase EVERY time.
  3. "I LOVE moisturizers!  Have you tried the lotion from the guy across from me?  It's REALLY cool!"  : (  Yes, I did.
  4. " Our moisturizers are made with shea butter that comes from a tribe in Africa, called the Kasalugu Shea Butter Village, where the women harvest the nuts from the Karite tree, and convert the nut to oil by crushing and grinding the blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, jdvfjjfvfv kjcjsf...ZZZZzzzzzzzzz." T. M. I.  I got a kick in the calf from behind for that one.
  5. "Do you Really have to buy both the Shea lotion AND the Scrub?  Nah. You can make the scrub at home yourself...want my recipe?" (I was one line short of offering her my social security number and debit pin. )  SO Dumb, So Dumb, So Dumb.

And of course, there was the "don't buy my product now when you may get it for free in a bit" comment.  These were just a few of the techniques I used to bomb a sale.  And what may seem common sense to most of you was like revelation to me.  But thanks to God, I was (and am regularly) surrounded by an entourage of smart, shrewd, "savvy" business women who are not afraid to confront me with truth, and are deeply invested in the success of Savvy Boheme- mostly because they believe in the value of the product, and want others to share in its efficacy, but also because they believe in me and want the best for me. 

In the end, the products sold very well, I learned more than I ever imagined could be taught in a weekend, and I was surrounded by encouragement and loving people.  The weekend was a huge success!  Thanks so much to Tracy, Mom, Sue, Amber, and the very dedicated Stephanie, (as well as Aaron who spent Sunday "putting out the vibe"), each of who hung in there with me, with nothing to gain but an extra jewel in their heavenly crowns!

And thanks to all the Canton go-ers who purchased the Savvy Boheme you will know what true moisturization is...

NOTE: We will be back at Canton, April 1-3, but in a new, better location- booth 21, directly across from OMG! It's Bling! (my pushy cousin had it arranged- she's like the Mafia of Bling and told me it was a done deal. Fagetaboutit. Bada-Bling-Bada-Bang!)

Keri Lehmann
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