Monday, February 1, 2010

Sale strategy that makes little sense

When looking for work-out-inspiration in China... one need to look elsewhere than the gyms.

When Saturday came I felt it was about time to make a change: enough with the slack days, brownies on Tuesdays and cocktails on Wednesdays –I needed to join a gym again. Although I am normally cliché enough to wait until Mondays with these things (“to start my new life” –pfffft!) this time I was original enough to head to the gym straight away.

-Hi, I said to the bored looking reception girl. Can I buy a 6 months membership please?


I repeated the same thing in Chinese.


I waited.

-So you want to buy 1 year? She finally asked.

-No, 6 months.

-6 months is 1500 yuan, one year is 1800 yuan.

-Well then I buy 1 year.

I picked up my credit card and passport, and grabbed a pen, ready to fill in my details. But the girl didn’t move.

-Tomorrow! She suddenly said. Come back tomorrow!

-What? No, I want to buy it now.

-Not possible. Give me your phone number, we will call you and you can come back tomorrow!

-Can’t I just buy it now? One year -1800 yuan?

-If you bring 2 friends it is 1800 yuan/year. But we will call you tomorrow.

I reluctantly scribbled down my phone number and went home. No calories lost that day, no.

Sunday came, and I waited patiently for my phone call.

Around 5pm I received a text message:

“Hello, this is XXXX! Will you come and walk out today? If so, call me first. You can buy a membership. Pay cash.”

THIS is what I had to wait for 1 (+) day?!!!

I get the idea with a bored reception girl not wanting to sell me a membership, the sale’s guy was probably not there, and fair enough, he probably works on commission and needs to take care of all sales. But a b***y text message, asking me when I’m coming to “walk out.” Nah, got to do better than that to sell me a card!


Brad Farless said...

That really sounds ridiculous. I think their business model needs some adjustment. If it had been me, I would have told the girl I changed my mind and I'd go to another gym that wouldn't hassle me.

Brad Farless said...

Hm. I think I might've just commented under my wife's Blogger account. That was me, talking about how I'd have gone elsewhere if the girl had hassled me.

Jonna Wibelius said...

very ridiculous indeed!!! Today I went in, without calling or waiting for a text message, and I was offered a 1 year membership for 1800 on the spot. I bought it and got an additional 1000 rmb in beauty treatments?! haha! This gym is so funny. They obviously dont have a common sale strategy!

Pete In Syracuse said...

Or maybe it's the bored reception girl's bf calling you.

Brad Farless said...

That's just strange. It wasn't the same girl again right? Maybe she was new and didn't know what to do. But, even if that were the case, they shouldn't have left her there alone if she didn't know how to manage all of the business affairs she might encounter.

I'm glad to hear you wound up with a good deal though. Speaking of exercise, it's night time now... cooled down a lot and breezy, so it's time for me to jog!

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

They're a little confused about capitalism and open competition for business?