Kitchen Buyers Beware!
Tricks of the trade used by
by Tom McKernan
You will find, where a couple is involved, that the kitchen salesperson will be very keen to involve both parties; that is until they discover who has the ultimate power of decision. The salesperson will be less enthusiastic if only one party of a couple seems to be involved in the purchase.
A kitchen involves major expenditure and all salespeople know of the tensions that can be involved in the household. One party might want the kitchen; the other might prefer to see the cash spent on a new car or boat. The salesperson will want to ensure that they do not waste time on a lost cause. More to the point though they need to identify any tensions between them, which will either scupper the deal or can be exploited to advantage. Much as a child will play one parent against another, an astute salesperson will know how to identify who has the buying power of the two, how that power might be exercised and how to plan the best course of action.
As a general rule the following principles apply:
Usually the woman will take the lead in the enquiries with the man hanging back, uncomfortable about being in the showroom and maybe absent altogether. The woman on the other hand will be engaging actively with the salesperson and quite possibly looking for an ally to help convince her husband that buying a new kitchen is a great and exciting idea. All the ingredients of an emotionally charged sales opportunity are in place for the salesperson.
Equally profitable for the salesperson is the situation where the man, having somehow been persuaded that the new kitchen is necessary, takes charge of the process to the exclusion of the woman (who will often be in the background rolling her eyes). This is an ego driven process, which has equally good opportunities to exploit. The astute salesperson will work out whether the man only thinks he is in charge when in fact the real power is behind him. Ego driven decisions are as costly to the customer as emotionally driven ones.
If you have ever had to put on a united front for the sake of the children when they ran between the two of you to get what they wanted, remember how you did it. If there are tensions between you, work them out before you start dealing with the salespeople. If tensions arise during the process, take them home to deal with. At all times remember that the salesperson is just like one of your children in one very important respect: they want something from you and will work out how to play one off against the other.