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Selling Furniture & Mattresses – A Lesson From Charlie Brown That You Must Understand!

The inspiration for this article came from Dan Kennedy’s “Ultra Advanced Sales & Persuasion Strategies” course that I recently bought. It explains why sometimes we don’t get the sale when we thought we had it. It’s our failure to understand this one gold key that can lead to missed sales that otherwise should have been made.

Have you seen the above pictured Peanuts cartoon? It starts with Lucy convincing Charlie Brown that she will not pull the ball away. Of course she pulls the ball away. And Lucy says, “Charlie Brown, your faith in human nature is an inspiration to all young people.” In the next cartoon Lucy is convincing Charlie Brown again that she won’t pull the ball away, and Charlie buys it and decides to kick the ball and Lucy you guessed it pulls the ball away again! Lucy now says to Charlie Brown, “What you have learned here today, Charlie Brown, will be of immeasurable value to you for many years to come.” The last cartoon is basically the same with Lucy once again pulling the ball away. It concludes with Lucy saying, “It’s so sad. Eventually everything in life just becomes routine.”

Customers Want To Believe- We are actually conditioned to believe. Look at all the religions in our country. They all have one thing in common and that is the need to believe. Look at all the fairy tales, fables, and stories that we teach our children, they teach us to have faith and to believe. Examine your own life, when are you happiest? When we believe and when that belief is verified through our personal experience. When are you saddest? We are saddest when our reality and our beliefs are in conflict.

Customers Want To Buy- We actually go to malls and shop with no predetermined item in mind. Look at the success of QVC if you doubt this. Did you ever hear George Carlin’s routine about people want more stuff? Actually many comedians have helped us laugh at ourselves with this very same theme. Why does it resonate with us? Could it be true that no matter what we have we always want more stuff. Bill Gove used to give a speech called “People Love To Buy”. It’s true that people love to buy, but it’s also true that people are afraid to buy.

The Gold Key- People want to believe and people are afraid to believe. What stands in the way of many of our sales is fear. We as salespeople sometimes underestimate the number of times that the ball has been pulled away from our prospective customer. So we don’t do everything in our power to convince them that this time we won’t pull the ball away. They want to believe and they want to buy.

How?- How did our customers come to this place where they are deeply fearful and negatively expectant of having the ball pulled away again? They have believed and they have been betrayed countless times before. Think about politics. It doesn’t matter if you are on the left or the right you have been promised things and they didn’t happen. You have been betrayed.

Did you ever buy a slicer dicer thingy? I have. It didn’t work. I was betrayed and some of you reading this were too! I could go on and on with examples but you get the message. Your customers have been betrayed too, some more than others.

Stay tuned for next week’s article where we will share specific strategies to help you sell more furniture and mattresses to your customer’s who have had the ball pulled away from them one too many times. In the same article we will share how to avoid the single biggest mistake salespeople make with their customers.

Action Step- What did I miss? Please share your wisdom with us! Your feedback is critical to this blog’s success. Please post your comments and questions. I answer them all.

Please email me any ideas for articles that you want me to write. Have you written an article on sales, goal setting, or time management? I’ll be glad to publish them in my ezine and on my website! Please email them to me at

Wishing You Success,


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Comments (5)

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  1. Don Robinson says:

    I “buy” it Pete! No doubt, quite a few of today’s mattress customers can relate to “unfulfilled” expectations based on a previous mattress sales pitch! I’m looking forward to learning more from your next article to overcome the “fearful” mindset!!

  2. Pete Primeau says:

    Thanks Don! That means a lot coming from you!

  3. Marina Klima says:

    Well, got some interesting point here. I think that consumers are so much on the guard about being betrayed or tricked by sales people. Even more than we think. To me it is always very important to know all I can know about the client. For example, I almost blew the sale recently. When my client hired me, she described previous designer that she fired because as she mentioned, the designer was trying to have her buy a $5,000 item not within the client’s budget. Here is my situation: the client loved the bar stools and wanted me to price them as a custom order. The bar stools were $1,200 each, which I told her. Big mistake! I was off guard because she said that she loved the bar stools. I should have asked her specifically budget per item for the bar stools included, not overall budget for the room. Then I would just not price the bar stools but rather find a substitute. She felt that I was taking away the “ball” and it reminded her about the other designer.

  4. […] you missed last week’s article go back and read it now, then come back. Here’s the link:…. The biggest mistake that all salespeople make is not understanding where they are starting from […]

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