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#2293820 06/23/14 10:59 AM
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Greetings,
It occurred to me that there are some classic techniques used to sell pianos that are not in the training manuals. If we can do this without naming names, I would be curious what the cumulative years we represent here have encountered. Here's one of my favorites:

Friend X was a musical prodigy, leading a pop idol's orchestra on a world tour as musical director when he was 15, spent many years in same capacity with two of the most major stars here in Nashville. He was an amazing talent, but there were early years he needed side work.

He found it with a large dealer in Florida, back in the 1950's. With his talent, he could sell pianos! This place had a rebuilding shop and an ace touch-up artist. If he couldn't quite get the customer to pony up $299 for that spinet, he would, when their back was turned, scratch the side with his car key, and then exclaim, "Wait a minute, this is a dent and scratch, and I can take another $40 off, AND, we will repair this like new".

He said it worked on about 70% of the fence-sitters! It is sort of a kamikaze pitch, but the customers were happy, the store was happy.
Any others?
Regards,

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I wonder if the fake scratch approach was more successful than simply knocking another $40 off the spinet: "I think I can get my manager to let me give this to you for $259. How does that sound?"

I wouldn't be surprised though if the fake scratch worked better than just a free $40 off.


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I am reminded of all the lovely acoustically prime showrooms dealers have their pianos in and the line..."listen to how this little piano will boom its sound throughout your home like as if it was a bigger grand".


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We were in the market for a new piano at the church where I was leading the music a few years ago. We went to a well known "piano store." The pianists in the church and I were walking around playing the different pianos. We asked about one nice Yamaha in particular, and if there were any wiggle room on the posted price. The salesman said, "Oh, yes! That's the retail price on that tag. We have a special discount for churches." That discount knocked about $4000 off of the price. It made it seem like we were getting a great deal, whether we were or not.


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Dealers listing themselves as a "private seller" on Craigslist.


Marty in Minnesota

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I deal with a number of clubs, including one that I belong to. At my club, we get a number of free meals throughout the year. At the fancier clubs, the members are supposed to spend a minimum on meals through the year, or else they are charged that amount anyway. I tell people at those clubs that they ought to just increase the dues by the amount that they are supposed to pay for meals, and give them that amount of free meals when they eat there. It works out to the same amount, but it sounds like you are getting something for free. But they do not want to do this.

Needless to say, my club does a lot better than those other clubs.


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BDB #2293860 06/23/14 12:36 PM
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Sitting in the showroom on a quiet afternoon, a customer comes in. "Just Looking" he says. "Can I open the lid ?" he says. Sure, say I.

In a few seconds he YELLS "Hey" into the piano. I jump in my seat. He leaves, no further words.

A few days later, this is repeated by a different customer, and I tell my boss aboutit, and he starts laughing very hard.

The competitor down the street would tell people that his pianos were much more resonant than ours. he proved it by raising the lid, STEPPING ON THE SUSTAIN PEDAL, and yelling into the piano. He told the customer to test ours by yelling, (he did not say to step on the sustain pedal) .

Very clever, indeed.

Last edited by Dan Casdorph; 06/23/14 12:39 PM.

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I love it. Had a little old lady call me wondering why her 15 year old piano sounded so bad. "They told me it would never have to be tuned and that it was guaranteed for life."


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May have worked years ago but nowadays why even bother. The Chinese firms are all over the place buying up older low end American made pianos like crazy, so the days of people coming into stores trying to get 75% off for a chipped key are long gone.

Smart dealers will just drayage 40 foot overseas containers, fill them to the brim and make the pick up call when the check arrives. Last year freighting used pianos to the port of Jacksonville accounted for maybe 20 % of our business and this year it's well over 50 % so far

It may take a few years but sooner or later that used market will no longer exist except for maybe a few hoarders with lots of cores.



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