So I was at the mall last night with my little boy running errands for the wife. I passed by one of the many kiosk stands selling all kinds of wares. This one was selling hand lotions and manicure kits. Now, I should preface this story by saying that I am a VERY good avoider of the kiosk. I got my straight-ahead, “don’t-even-bother-to-look-at-me” stare down pat! I almost never get asked. And if I really want to avoid being solicited, I just furl my brow as I walk. Then I look like an angry black man, and Lord knows people are afraid of angry black men. However, when you’re walking down the mall with a 5-year-old bouncing all over the place, the angry black man strategy kinda goes out the window.
So the woman at this kiosk gets eye contact with me after getting the attention of the little one. She calls me over. I say, “No thank you” and smile. She says, “I’m not selling you anything. I want to give you something free. Do you have a girlfriend?” I tell her, “No. I have a wife.” She replies, “Oh, good. Look at this.” <sigh.>
Trust me, I am getting to the point of this post.
She then proceeds to take my hand and start polishing my finger nail with her polisher. It actually looks pretty darn good. She then does my thumb. I’m thinking “Wow. This is pretty cool. My nail is totally smooth.” She continues to tell me that this kit normally sells for $80 but today is the last day of a 50% off sale (wow, I got there just in time! Tomorrow I’d miss the sale. What timing!) I use the classic “I gotta talk to my wife” defense, but Grace (that’s her name) doesn’t relent. She then decides that she’ll do something special for me. She’ll give me the student rate for only $29. In five minutes the $80 kit was now only $29. (See where I’m going with this).
I kindly tell Grace that I need to get to Sephora to return this make-up, but I’ll call my wife right after and let you know. Now, to be honest, I actually did kinda want to buy it. I figured since I was getting a refund for whatever my wife was returning, it could be applied to this. $29 seemed like a reasonable amount for a hand lotion (made with minerals from the Dead Sea no less) and an awesome nail buffer. Heck. What did I know.
After returning the Sephora merchandise, I call Tasra and tell her about the $29 deal. She laughs and says, “Thanks honey. But that’s okay.” Only slightly disappointed I return to Grace to give her the bad news. She smiles and says okay.
Now, regardless of how much I liked that nail buffer, I can guarantee you that I will never in a million years pay $80 for something that in less than 5 minutes was sold to me for only $29.
The moral of the story: if you sell yourself too cheap, you’ll establish a set perceived value for yourself that will be difficult to change.
Can you relate?