“I just want to buy what you’re selling!”

Pillow Talk: Too Much and You Lose the Sale

A true story about how a “layup” collapsed for a salesperson and what you can do to avoid the same mistake.

She wanted a new bed; not just any bed, a King-Size, Tempur-Pedic. Urban Dictionary’s definition: “God’s own bed. It’s like laying down on a soft, warm cloud, that loves you very much.” You get what you pay for and these beds are no exception. She did her online research and checked her line of credit. Good to go. But when she arrived at the store to make her $3,000 purchase, something unusual happened.

As she recalls, “I told the salesman, ‘I’m here to purchase THAT bed. My line of credit is good with your store. Please ring me up, I’m in a hurry.’”

Instead of obliging her, the salesman rattled on about the pillows! “We have a special going on today, buy one get one free.”

She said, “Look, I appreciate you wanting to up-sell me on the pillows, I’m in sales too. But, seriously, I just want the bed,” and she reminded him that she was pressed for time.

There must have been a special incentive for employees selling pillows on this day. This salesman was determined to get her to change her mind. And she finally did. She bought from someone else.

“I’m just trying to buy what you’re selling!” This is an unfortunate rallying cry from customers confronted with unseasoned salespeople. In this case, this salesperson’s chronic pillow talk led to a missed $3,000 sale.

Three simple suggestions for advancing any sale:

  1. Listen to your prospects. If they tell you what they want, and you have it, sell it to them!

2. Don’t be a robot. If your sales process requires you to follow a script, but you see that it’s derailing your prospect, call an audible. Make the sale!

3. Be empathetic. If your prospect is pressed for time, speed things up, respect their time!

The salesperson who eventually sold the King-Size, Tempur-Pedic bed applied these principles, made a customer happy, and went home with a hefty commission check. The other guy? He’s still pushing pillows and wondering why business is so slow.


Hey there, I’m Michael, I’m a dad, writer, sales & marketing consultant, recruiter, life-long learner… oh and passionate Growler too. You can learn more about my services by visiting LinkedIn, and crawl into my stories right here on Medium.com.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, tap that heart button below. I value your attention, it means a lot to me and it helps others see the story.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.