The Sales Patter of Walthamstow Market

You are especially chosen says the man on the phone. He tells me I have been doing some research and ‘Of all the people I could have phoned this morning, I have chosen you because you seem to be the right calibre of company we are looking for.’He says he has an amazing opportunity for me and we would be one of a few incredibly lucky companies who get the chance to take advantage of his offer.

His then quotes a price that has several zeros and forces me into a sharp intake of breath. But the man on the phone knows this will happen. Fortunately for me he can reduce this price for certain special customers. He will need to consult his boss but assures me that something can be done to make the price more acceptable. Seconds pass and £11,000 is wiped off the price of the offer. But guess what? He can’t hold the price for too long. In the background is the sound of consultation and discussion as the sales chart is being updated.

When I was a kid, I used to go to Walthamstow market with my grandparents. A man would pull up in a lorry and tell us…

‘You lucky people. Today is a special day and you are so lucky to be here. I have such a deal for you. You are going to be so glad that you happened to be here today.’

He would then produce something like a set of cutlery or a set of plates.

He then discussed pricing.

‘If you were to go to your local superstore these would cost you £250 at least. But I am not going to charge you that!. I’m not even going to charge you £150. Or £100 .. Or £75.. Or even £50… Who will give me £30 for this fine set of crockery. Once its gone its gone….’

What is interesting here is that in Walthamstow, everyone knows the score. You don’t really trust the market stall seller. You buy because the price gets to the point where it feels like a real bargain and you take a risk on the purchase.

So to the salesman offering business conference sales opportunities. I don’t trust you, I don’t believe your patter, I recognise that I am being manipulated and there is no way I am parting with any money for what you have to offer. You need to throw away the script and be honest when you pick up the phone. If you can’t do that then I suggest you get hold of a stock of saucepans and head to the market