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12-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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Need sales people to sell cameras

Went in to Norman's camera to look at the Sony A7. They hadn't stocked Pentax in a long time and didn't figure on them being there. Much to my amazement they had 4 models on the shelf! Now we are getting somewhere!


Hung out at the shop for a bit to see what interest there was for the Pentax line, and after the 5th customer was immediately shown the Cannon line of DSLR models and never offered the Pentax or even Nikon as a real alternative I decided to inquire about the Pentax models.
After going through two sales people it became obvious they were not trained in using the Pentax cameras, but were very familiar with the Cannon and Sony A7.


To say the least, I was disappointed.


To sell product, you have to know more than the customer!

12-03-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Ashton Kutcher knows more than you guys? Lol!

An advertising exec once told me that cute pets, innocent little babies, or a stunning pleasant beautiful woman are all it takes to sell anything!

Take for example that talking dog Duke in the Bush's baked beans commercials...

Now what would a dog really know about baked beans? Lol

Last edited by DavidSKAF3; 12-03-2013 at 06:07 PM.
12-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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Was this Norman's Camera in Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids? How exciting they had Pentax there. How disappointing that they aren't knowledgeable (yet) or interested in helping promote the brand.
12-03-2013, 08:02 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Grab a Pentax and show em how it's done!! Nothing better than showing up the hired help!!

12-03-2013, 11:07 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pichur Quote
To sell product, you have to know more than the customer!
You just need to give the illusion of knowing what you're talking about, you don't actually have to know anything. Pick up a few key phrases and enough technical terms and you'll do fine with 90% of customers. A lot of the better salesmen are able to make stuff up on the spot and get away with it.
12-04-2013, 03:50 AM   #6
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The first job I had after graduation was selling cars and trucks. To successfully sell trucks at that time it was essential that we knew more than the guy looking at them. They could sniff out a BS salesperson like a Setter sniffs out a bird, and would find someone else to buy a truck from. That was how I learned and expect to this day a salesperson know more than me. They are the expert, no?


Could be there was more enthusiasm for Cannon, but that would come from management and employee influence. Perhaps Cannon has a commission program? Or the store does and Cannon is easily recognized by the customer, thus easier to sell, much like Schwinn in its prime years. When other brand of bikes where without a doubt better from a technological perspective, that is, lighter, better shifting, better construction, etc. people bought Schwinn because of brand recognition.


I don't know the answer, but can see Pentax has an up hill battle to fight. Can't wait to get a new one. FF if affordable.


Location: Grand Rapids.
12-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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I love Norman Camera, it's great to find a place that will still stock film and photo paper at a reasonable price. On some things their selection actually beats Huron Camera, who are my gold standard. Sadly Norman's doesn't do used photo equipment, so I usually end up shopping elsewhere (KEH).

QuoteOriginally posted by pichur Quote
Could be there was more enthusiasm for Cannon, but that would come from management and employee influence. Perhaps Cannon has a commission program? Or the store does and Cannon is easily recognized by the customer, thus easier to sell, much like Schwinn in its prime years. When other brand of bikes where without a doubt better from a technological perspective, that is, lighter, better shifting, better construction, etc. people bought Schwinn because of brand recognition.
I think it's the brand recognition. The real advantage to Canon/Nikon is high-end upgrade potential, but soccer moms aren't the kind of customer that's going to drop $1500 on a new first-party lens. For what they're spending the weather sealing of a Pentax would be the best feature. IBIS isn't really an advantage here unfortunately - all 18-55mm kit lenses come with image stabilization nowadays, and they aren't the type of customer to buy more than a nifty fifty anyway.
12-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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Having salespeople in a camera store (even Samys of Los Angeles!) selling Pentax over say a Canon/Nikon/Sony is similar to trying to find a car dealership in southern California to sell me a minivan.

1. They typically don't stock them (dozens of suv's, cars and trucks. in a lot of 300 vehicles there are maybe 3 minivans, and they were cargovans)
2. Salespeople will sell what will give them a profit (commission). (Case in point - back when I was purchasing a minivan - SUVs, hybrids and high end cars were selling, along with some of the base models).
3. The 'store' will push what will make more money for the store. They won't stock what they believe won't sell, or is not in their best interest due to #2 (i.e. minivans can sell, but there's more profit in the SUV).
4. Return customers - Pentax has put themselves in a not so good spot in the consumer side. Hard to compete with Sony/Nikon/Canon which have new models at least every year, hundreds of lenses (repeat customers), side businesses (video-Sony / printers - Canon ) - in both consumer and pro markets. Pentax... ??? Primarily cameras, and Ricoh on the industrial copier side.

Pentax is a bit of a niche - at least in the US. Its strange to see a drug store in Canada (London Drugs) that carries Pentax gear - yet in markets like Los Angeles (+15 million people) the only stores that carry 'anything' Pentax are - Samys (will order - nothing in stock - lenses or cameras), Frys (only a 50-200mm WR in the store), and Target (only carries the WG.

They don't really need WR lenses cameras down here much anyways - so it probably doesn't help for a selling feature.

01-06-2014, 09:32 AM   #9
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When I went in to Henry's and bought my *ist, because I already had some good Pentax glass, I ended up going back to the camera store a few days later. I showed the guy how to use the camera. I brought him images to replace the crappy images they had in their sample photo book, and I continued to keep in touch and educate him until I moved out of town.

Sometimes you just have to take these things on yourself. I don't know how many Pentax's I helped the guy sell or how much commission he earned from them, But he always came over to see me when I entered the store with a big smile on his face.
01-07-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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I worked at Norman Camera for 8 years....they are sometimes slow to change and of course there is the expense of carrying an entire new line of cameras. Now they just have the K-3
01-08-2014, 03:47 AM   #11
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+ Pentax needs 3rd party Lenses to sell cameras !

+ Pentax needs 3rd party Lenses to sell cameras !

No Pentax K mount option for the last Full-Frame Sigma prime Lens ?
Sigma announces all-new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM 'Art' lens: Digital Photography Review

then No Kenkos... No Tamrons... No Tokinas... No Voigtlanders... now No Sigmas !

isn't the horizon somewhat dark for the awaited Pentax Full-Frame camera ?


01-08-2014, 07:06 AM   #12
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I think as a sales person, you just really want to give the customer information that will let them get into the best camera -- for them. For most folks, the lack of full frame or, the presence of a 600mm f4 lens in the line up is just not important, while weather sealing, faster frames per second, better view finder could very well be.

To get a repeat customer, there just needs to be honesty about the strengths and weaknesses of various systems and let them decide.
01-08-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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I have never purchased a camera from a sales person. It's amazing with all the info available online today some people still have no idea what a camera looks like.
01-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by geo444 Quote
+ Pentax needs 3rd party Lenses to sell cameras !

No Pentax K mount option for the last Full-Frame Sigma prime Lens ?
Sigma announces all-new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM 'Art' lens: Digital Photography Review

then No Kenkos... No Tamrons... No Tokinas... No Voigtlanders... now No Sigmas !

isn't the horizon somewhat dark for the awaited Pentax Full-Frame camera ?


Sigma still supports Pentax, it's just that Pentax is not Sigma's first priority.
01-09-2014, 06:31 AM   #15
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+ Pentax needs 3rd party Lenses to sell cameras !

QuoteOriginally posted by ElJamoquio Quote
Sigma still supports Pentax, it's just that Pentax is not Sigma's first priority.

You think Sigma will launch the Pentax K mount version later ?...


Ok... wait & see...


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