Futrell/Valvasori, ABC’s of Relationship Selling through Service, 4th
ROLE PLAY – The Life, Times and Career of the Professional Salesperson +
Planning Your Sales Call and Presentation
Chapters 1 & 7
Friday before last was your first day on the job. Last week you completed your ini-
tial one-week training course. Your boss now wants you to make several sales
calls this week before you attend a four-week sales training program beginning
next week. She feels this will help you relate better to the class materials.
You talked with Chris Hammond, owner of Travel Xpress, for about five minutes
last week when he was called into the district sales office. You mentioned to
your boss that you would like to call on Chris. She said: "Go for it!" The
following are some of the main things you learned from talking to Chris.
Travel Xpress—A Small Business________________________
Travel Xpress (TX) is a personalized travel agency located in your town. TX has
been in business 15 years. Chris bought the agency from the original owner
about six years ago. He worked at the agency as a part-time (college student)
employee since its beginning. He makes all business decisions for the company.
TX has one full-time and one part-time employee. The full-time employee is
going to have a child and will shortly become a part-time worker. Chris has had
trouble getting good part-time help. Right now the part-timer is a 17-year-old
student. Most part-timers stay about three months because the job demands
customer service skills and a detailed orientation.
Business has been growing for Chris’ company. Sales doubled in the last two
years and they are expected to increase another 20 percent this year.
Four years ago, Chris purchased a Futrell 300 photocopier. It cost $675. At
that time sales were quite modest at the time. Although the Futrell copier works
well for incidental copying, it is a bit slow (six copies per minute). In addition, the
Futrell can only print single copies—so Chris or the employee has to stand by the
machine to make multiples. Since TX has begun group sales, it is often necessary
to issue multiple itineraries. In addition, Chris now provides multiple-page
information sheets to customers and to attendees at travel seminars. He has
begun to send out multiple-page work to Kinko's. However there is a $50
processing fee on each Kinko's job (pick-up/delivery and order handling). Chris
estimates he makes about 5,000 copies a month.
Chris has called DataMax, the Futrell dealer, several times about upgrading his
machine. DataMax encouraged Chris to deal with a telemarketer who specializes
in small businesses. The telemarketing representative talked with Chris for
about 10 minutes. The representative sent Chris a bid on another Futrell
machine. However, the bid did not mention the toner cost or copy speed.
The representative stressed that the machine was lightweight and easy to
use. The bid price is $595. Chris likes this price! Chris asked the representative
how long he could expect the copier to last and was told about five years.
Chris is concerned with the copy quality and durability. Last year, Chris had to
send the copier out for repairs three times. One time the copier shut off and
would not restart. The auto shut-off mode had short-circuited. That repair took
three days and cost TX about $400. On another occasion, a customer got
upset with Chris's full-time employee because the copy the customer was given
was too light to read. The customer threw a fit, screaming at the full-time
employee and telling the other customers on site that TX was a "rinky-dink,
small-time operation." Shortly thereafter, the full-time employee indicated that
she would go part-time after the birth of her child.
Three weeks before, the copier jammed late one evening. Chris decided to fix it.
After opening the copier case with a screwdriver, Chris failed to dislodge the
jammed paper. Chris was unable to reassemble the copier. Paul, owner of Office
Machine Repair, told Chris that it would cost more to fix the Futrell 300 than the
machine was worth.
So Chris is stuck with a dead, four-year-old copy machine. Chris wants to buy
another machine but is skeptical about all copiers.
Preparation for the Sales Call________________________
Excited, yet nervous, about making your first sales call, you wonder how to
prepare for meeting Chris. Your boss suggested you find the answer to these
1. How many copies does Chris make a year? Chris told you he makes about
60,000 copies a year.
2. How many years does Chris think he will keep the copier? You guess about
3. What are the costs associated with the copier you will recommend and the
Futrell copier? A bottle of Futrell copier's toner lasts for 1,600 copies and
costs $100.95. Your machine's toner costs $14.50 and produces 1,500
4. How you will move Chris through the five mental steps in buying? Plan a
basic outline. (Attention-Interest-Desire-Conviction-Purchase) See page 187.
You also created a table showing how your Minolta copier compares with the
Futrell copier on six items. Your biggest challenge is to overcome the initial
price objection. Also, you feel, maybe wrongly, that Chris will not want to know
about all the items in your comparative analysis. However, you need to be
prepared to discuss all items Chris may consider in his buying decision.
Your sales manager said that getting a small business owner to part with $ 1,000 is
sometimes harder than getting a purchasing agent of a large corporation to
pay $100,000 for equipment. Small business owners seldom look past actual
price, whereas buyers for large businesses will.
Price $2,295 $595
Mfn. Rec. Mo/vol 500 to 2,500 copies Up to 500 copies
Configuration Desktop, stationary Desktop, moving
Toner Dry, dual component Dry, mono-component
Optics Lens and mirror Fiber optics
First copy 5.9 see 15 sec
Multi-copy 13cpm Single sheet
Warm-up 30 sec None
Paper feed Single tray User feeds single sheets
Paper capacity 250 sheets Single sheets
Maximum original size 8'/2" X 14" 8'/2" X 11"
Copy toner yield 1 ,500 copies 1,600 copies
Toner price $14.50 $100.95
Imaging cartridge (drum) $365 for 21,500 copies Included in toner price
Comments Can produce up to one set Maintenance-free — user
of 50 copies; imaging unit replaces PC cartridges,
contains organic drum, no warm-up lime,
cleaning blade, remote portable, desktop unit with
meter reading. pop-up carrying handle.
Dimensions (H x W x D) 14”x 25” x 21 14.25” x 15.5” x .25”
Weight 70lbs 17lbs
Power Requirements 120v,11a 115v, 6a