Needed: a different approach to sales

I’m going to go off topic to get back on topic.  I’m a Victory Motorcycle owner, and one of my Victory friends sent me a link to a Victory Motorcycle presentation about the new Victory Police Motorcycles.  Harley-Davidson is the biggest police motorcycle distributor in the United States (although some organizations, such as the California Highway Patrol, use BMW bikes).  As I watched the video about the Victory bikes, the Victory representative “sold” the bike by consistently insulting Harley motorcycles.

This bothers me for two reasons.  First, I have no issue comparing different features of describing statistical differences (we have a 106 cc engine, Harleys have a 103 cc).  But there’s no reason to put down another bike to sell your own.  Second, I’ve found that most Harley riders are committed to the brand.  Most of them aren’t going to be convinced by insulting comments about Harleys (and in fact, will likely be surprised by such comments, as H-D is an American icon)–and instead of any chance of gaining a sale, you’re going to guarantee a loss of a sale.

Back to technology…I just read an article on AllThingsD where the CEO of Lenovo (making computers from what used to be the IBM line) stated that “Apple can’t dominate the tablet market forever.”  My advice to the CEO?  Take mouth, close firmly.  Instead of throwing stones at a competitor (who is roundly kicking your behind in just about every market), make a better product than Apple, and then compete that way.  I have no problem with you talking about the difference of your device than Apple’s device–but to say, “We’re going to be one of the strongest of the players in this area [sic],” without any device with which to back up those words–is foolishness.  And many times, that foolishness comes back to bite people in the hind quarters.

In May of 2011, Eric Cador, head of HP in Europe, told people that the upcoming TouchPad would become “Number One Plus” over the iPad.  How does that look as of August 2011?  If I were HP, Eric Cador would be looking for a new job (and as HP is ditching the PC market as well as the WebOS market, maybe he is).

Yes, I like iPads, and right now I think they are our best bet for 1-to-1 implementation in schools.  I also like variety of good products from competitors, as different companies tackle problems differently–and when good solutions are found, innovation occurs throughout the industry.  I didn’t want the TouchPad to fail, nor do I want Android to fail.  But I do want competitors to deal with facts rather than “blowing smoke” and insulting their competitors (this goes for Apple, too, although they are entitled to a few jokes about the TouchPad).

The next time I’m buying anything–car, motorcycle, computer, tablet–and the sales person leaves facts and hits “insult” mode, I’m walking away.



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