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The Other Day at Best Buy…..

The Other Day at Best Buy…..Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather


microsoft surface 4I have been silent for quite a while.  I am not even going to try to think about how long it has been since I have posted a blog (let alone publishing a podcast).  I have not had writer’s block.  I have had plenty to say.  My body has not prevented me from working in a coherent way (as a matter of fact I have not felt this good for 3 years).

If anything, it is probably my personality.  I work very hard.  I am what you would call a self- starter.  Heck, you would have to be to be a consultant of any sort.  My problem has always been……I work very hard…..almost constantly and all the while  I will commit to more and more projects.  As I have more things to accomplish, I try harder to work on them…..on them all.  I think what happens is that when I face too many projects I mentally shut down and stop working on any of them.  Any mind when confronted with (too many) choices will decide not to choose at all.  I saw this point in action last weekend as I was shopping at my local Best Buy store.  I wanted to pick up a couple of USB to Ethernet adapters/USB hubs.  I cannot pass the opportunity to browse through the available hardware.   (In fact, I ended up getting a lot of pictures and content for the next Laptop Buying Guide.)

I was looking at the Microsoft Surface 4 pro.  There was a woman and her daughter looking at them too.  I always try to project a face that is willing to help answer questions from shoppers when I am in this sort of position.  Anyway, I mentioned to them that I just love my Surface.  When asked I told them I had a Surface 2 pro.  I also mentioned that I have not met a consultant yet that dislikes the Surface….yes even (begrudgingly) Apple fans.

A salesperson approached her and started to answer their questions.  He told them that the Surface is a wonderful alternative to a desktop or a laptop. He went on to say that even though the keyboard is funky, it is still overall a great device.  (Let me note here that available keyboards for the Surface are funky but if you buy a Microsoft keyboard made for the Surface, you have a superior keyboard….my opinion.)   She mentioned that all she will use it for is email, surf the web and Facebook.  Confronted with that buying signal he proceeded to tell them if they wanted to get any use out of the Surface at all they would have to buy the $1299 model.  “Any of the ‘lesser’ models would be useless to her”.  I thought to myself that it was not any of my business so I shopped on.

Later, with my (soon to be) purchases in hand I went back through the notebooks and tablets to take some pictures of their product.  The woman and her daughter was now in the laptops looking at a 17” Asus laptop.  She was asking her daughter why she would need something so “elaborate”.  She was beyond frustrated.  As she recognized me, she aimed her comments toward me.  I asked her why she needed to purchase a computer.  (I could not figure out why they were anywhere near these huge laptops.  Admittedly, Best Buy listed it at $398….not a bad price for what you would get but certainly, a universe away from what she wanted/needed.)

She told me and I asked her why she was no longer considering the Surface 3 I had shown her earlier.  She emphatically stated that she was not made of money and she could not afford to spend over a $1000 on anything.  I reminded her that I earlier mentioned she could get one for $499.  She said, “Show me then”, and I led her to the display model for that price.  I mentioned it had everything she needed but she would have to buy a keyboard to go with it for $149 and she said that would be great.  She asked why it was so much cheaper than the Best Buy person had shown her and I explained it was because if the CPU inside.  I went on to explain they both have Intel CPU’s but this one had an Atom CPU.  The other one was an Intel Core i5 chip.  She then asked, “What is the difference”?  “From your standpoint, there is no difference at all”, I said.  “From my standpoint I need the more expensive one because I need to add it to a domain network but you don’t have that requirement”, I further explained.

I left her as she was buying this model.  Another frightened citizen saved from the evil (and dumb) Geek Squad.  I figured I did enough damage for one day so I went through checkout.

Why do I bring this story up?  Two reasons.  First, to illustrate what I learned a long time ago when I was in the midst of a sales career.  “When confused at the choice stage, a consumer will always do nothing at all.  This point further supports what I was saying about why I was not producing any content since September.  Second, it further showed me that I have to get back to publishing my third annual Laptop Buying Guide.

Have a great Thanksgiving.  I will see you here again soon.

Gary Hunt


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