Why Directly Sell Something To Someone Whom You Know Already Has It

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, August 04, 2008 at 04:00 AM with 0 comments

Whether you are in a big city or a small town, someone is trying to sell you something. And in many cases, it is something you already own. Marketers don’t mind this as much as it is reinforcing the sale. That is fine for broadcast media and billboards, but pointless and annoying when it is a direct sale, and the seller knows you have it, and they can’t sell you more of it.

My specific example of this is Washington Mutual Bank, which goes by WaMu now. I have been a very happy customer of theirs primarily because I have formed personal relationships with the management and staff at my local branch. Yes, you heard that right – a personal relationship with a bank! It never has happened to me before, and I hope it continues, but I digress. As a result of this personal relationship, I have remained a happy customer and have continued to do business with them.

Knowing the staff, I am spared sales pitches for services I already have. When I visit the branch for a transaction, an alert is presented to the staff to sell me on something, and in most all cases something I already have. They ignore the messages as they know me, and know our business relationship. Unfortunately I don’t have that luxury with WaMu’s online banking. Recently they began presenting a Web page right after I log in, selling me something. Most of the time they are selling me on a service I already have with them. There is no visible way to opt out of seeing these, not to mention the link to ignore it and move on is much, much smaller than the link to accept this needless pitch.

Annoyed by this, I sent a message to the bank via online banking, simply asking them why they are selling me on online bill pay when I already use it. I then got what I assume is an automated response instructing me how to enroll in online bill pay. Wrong! I then replied, asking if a human being read my original query. They then replied they were sorry they didn’t understand my question and to call them. Wrong again!

As WaMu is a large corporation, and I am a happy customer who tried to communicate with them, I am sharing this issue with the world. I am sure someone at their corporate headquarters has a Google Alert on the bank’s name and – hopefully – will read this. If so, awesome. If not, too bad for them. Unfortunately this is yet another example of a poor relationship model.

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