I have been wrong before, and I think it was on as Thursday. I wrote an article about how the hard sell is dead. It is not dead, it is alive and well. I would like to know how effective it is, maybe someone will fill me in.
Last week I attended the NAR annual convention in Orlando. I managed to make it to the exhibit hall a couple of times. The first time was Saturday morning on my way to a panel discussion.
It was early when I arrived and they were just getting started. As soon as I walked in the door one vendor put a plastic necklace around my neck and I was advised that if I wore it at all times during the rest of the event I could win a prize.
Vendors who sell products I am familiar with jumped out of their booths and accosted me in the aisle. By the time I got to the area where I was supposed to meet my fellow panelists I had collected a plastic necklace, a button to wear on my shirt, two pens and a business card on a magnet.
I pitched the magnetic business card almost as soon as I got it as they tend to mess up hotel key cards and some of the electronic devices I carry. The necklace went in my bag, and I kept the pens. I would have collected more but when I started walking down the middle of the aisle with my head down looking at my blackberry the vendors called out to me instead of putting things in my hands, and I pretended not to hear.
A couple of the vendors apparently thought that people who wear two pair of glasses have a hearing problem. They commented loudly as I walked by, “look that lady is wearing two pair of glasses”.
Some of the vendors tried to overcome my objections when they approached me and I said no thanks, but did not bother to listen to what those objections were. Then there was the guy in the booth all alone selling paper calendar organizers. He looked sad wedged in between two high tech booths. I almost stopped and talk to him but the people in the booth next to his started moving toward me so I went in another direction.
In September I attended Blog World. The exhibition hall was very different. There were many new products. No one jumped out and no one tried to sell me anything. I talked to many of the vendors and brought home some new ideas and information, and I bought a couple of products and a book.
I am not sure why the two exhibition halls were so different. All I can say is that my experience at the blog world expo was more comfortable and I actually tried some of the products. The vendors were in general less scary and more friendly. I collected business cards and have since connected with some of the business owners through twitter and linked-in.
I am in sales. 100% commissioned sales no less, so I understand sales pretty well, so please don’t tell me that the hard sell is what makes sales happen. I am not buying it, oh and my hearing is just fine, the glasses protect my eyes and help me see.