Can I Welcome You to the Kirby Family?

On December 26, 2008 a Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman came to my door, offering to give a “free demo” of their latest product — the Kirby Sentria.

Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Demo Invitation (December 26, 2008)Having experienced such an event literally six months prior (without purchasing the vacuum) I was a bit hesitant. However, considering I teach marketing courses, I agreed to let him in so long as I could video tape his presentation for educational purposes. We set a time and I “set the stage” in my house.

His entire presentation was over an hour-long and the video of his presentation is a considerably shortened version of his lengthy sales pitch. The salesman went to great lengths to demonstrate the difference between his vacuum and mine.

His main argument was that, due to the way by which most traditional vacuums are designed and the ineffective way by which they function, I would eventually spend more on new carpet and replacement vacuums than I would if I bought the machine from him that day.

Kirby’s vacuums are expensive — $2595 was the retail price I was given, as much as my first car! So, the salesmen are trained in very “old school” sales tactics to convince prospective buyers that the product’s benefits outweigh the exorbitant cost.

Overall, I was impressed with the salesman’s presentation, despite my decision to (again) not purchase the product. He was informative, friendly and professional. He successfully demonstrated the value of the machine, but there was no way, despite his cleverly crafted pitch, that I would ever spend that much on a vacuum.

In closing, I just have one question: “Can I welcome you to the Kirby family?”

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