HSN Bans ‘Used-Car Salesmen,’ ‘Yellers’ and ‘Hijackers’ From Network

Here is how NOT to make friends and influence vendors at a home shopping network: accuse them of acting like “used-car salesmen” and to knock off the “hard selling” and “in-your-face delivery.”

HSN vendors were roundly offended last week when they got a nasty mass e-mail from the channel’s talent manager that laid down the law, and the “Dos” and “Don’ts,” of their appearances on-air.

The “Don’ts” include not to “hijack” shows, talk over the hosts, talk about price or yell.

We guess these guidelines came down from on-high, namely from HSN’s new owner, QVC.

We’re posting the entire document. It’s an eye-popper, it’s long but please read it. It has vendors fuming. So much so that HSN’s new top honcho exec sent out an apology.

But some insiders say the first missive doesn’t bode well for the future of HSN, with some predicting that QVC will eventually fold it.

Here’s the e-mail:

Hello Everyone

For those who don’t know me, my name is Gordie Daniels and I am the talent manager for HSN. I wanted to take some time and go over some housekeeping issues and also give you an overview of our new direction. Over the next several weeks, you’ll be receiving an email from James Bridgers in regards to setting up a tape review with me. Please respond to his email because we are doing an on air talent reset with all HSN guest.

Effective immediately, no hard selling, period. I want everyone to take the used car salesman, in your face delivery and throw it out if this pertains to you. Moving forward, your presentation style needs to be conversational, authentic, real and engaging.

The host will be asking questions so please make sure that you know your product. This is a 3-way conversation between you, the host and her at home. I want you to have a conversation, so you need to balance this 3-way dance. Don’t ignore the host and don’t ignore her at home because she is still important.

Below, I have included some do’s and don’ts, so please take the time and read them, process this information. If you have any questions, my contact details are below.

Thanks
Gordie

HSN Do’s and Don’t’s

• Do – Let the host lead the presentation. This is their house and you are the guest so follow their lead.

• Do – Have a conversation. The host will ask you questions, so you need to listen, respond and engage. Again, this is a 3-way dance so you need to find that balance. Don’t ignore your host because that’s rude and sets a bad tone but don’t ignore her at home because she’s buying. It’s all about a more natural and engaging presentation.

• Do – Be authentic, warm, inviting and relatable. Connect with her through storytelling.

• Do – Paint the picture so that she can see how this product fits into her life. Give her examples, things she can compare it to. Utilize sense memory to work for you. That’s memory supported by your 5 senses. With sense memory, make her smell, taste, touch, hear and see all the ways that this product is for her.

• Do – Get rid of the hard sell. Your job is to explain the features and benefits of the product. You need to be a good storyteller, and make that connection with her at home. Create interesting demos that showcases the product and all of the wonderful things that it can do. Keep it simple. Why do I need this? Why is this better than what I have?

• Do – Act and carry yourself in a professional manner on and off air.

• Do – Research your product. Look at the reviews and see what types of questions or issue that are being brought up. What would you want to know if you were buying this product?

• Do – Listen and respond. You have to listen in order to respond and you can’t respond if you’re not listening. You have to pay attention to the host because they are going to lead the presentation and ask questions. I’ve looked at a lot of shows and the common theme is that, you don’t listen. You’re so concerned with getting your points out, that you‘re not listening which hurts the presentation. If the host ask you a question, answer the question. I see a lot of people ignore the host questions because you have your own agenda. Follow the direction of the host.

• Do – Slow down. When you are speeding through the presentation, a lot of the information gets lost because you’re trying to squeeze 30 minutes’ worth of information into a 10-minute presentation. Edit your demos, features and benefits to fit the time that you have.

• Do – Have fun and smile. Give her a reason to watch.

————————————————————————————

• Don’t – Talk over the host. I want to make sure that we are all clear on this one. Do not, talk over the host. When you and the host are talking at the same time, it doesn’t sound good and information gets lost. Follow the host lead.

• Don’t – Try and hijack the show. You are the guest and that is your role. Please be respectful and follow the host lead.

• Don’t – Talk price, flex pay or shipping. This is the job of the host so stay in your lane. If you are receiving a directive to do any of the above from an another source, please let me know so I can address. If you decide to do any of the above, then you and I will be having a conversation. Non Negotiable

• Don’t – Call for shots, B-Roll or models. Again, this is the role of the host so let them do their job and lead the presentation.

• Don’t – Talk about specs or details about the product that hasn’t been approved. I’m hearing a lot about unapproved specs and other product information. Please stick to what is approved.

• Don’t – Make false claims. Again, this is a new direction and we need to build credibility. When you make false claims, it hurts the company, the brand and you as the talent.

• Don’t yell. Talk to her not at her. This is a huge problem because it takes focus off of the product and shifts the focus to you.

One beauty-goods vendor was so steamed here is how she responded:

Gordie,

We have not met but I must tell in the 25 years in business I never received nor even seen a note as condescending and disrespectful as this. We take our partnership with HSN very seriously and are always open to critique and input. Everyone on this distribution list works tirelessly to get right that said partnership works both ways and this note to all of us does not represent the professionalism I would expect from my partner. We can discuss further whether this style is the right fit for XXXX.

HSN President Mike Fitzharris tried to smooth things over with an e-mail apology to vendors last Friday.

Yesterday, you received an email that should never have been sent. I am reaching out to let you know that we’ve taken action. It is not reflective of who we are, or our relationship with you, and we apologize.

As you know from our conversations, we will be taking steps over the coming weeks and months to refine and hone our on-air presentations. But this is collaborative work among you, our valued guests and vendors, and our hosts, TV and merchandising teams. We’ve always seen our work together as a partnership to deliver the best information to our customers and give her the important facts she needs to make a buying decision. That will never change.

Of course, this is not the kind of message I would want to send in a mass e-mail, but I wanted to communicate with you as quickly as possible. Please know that the lines of communication are open and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Best, Mike

Yes, best indeedy.

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24 Responses to “HSN Bans ‘Used-Car Salesmen,’ ‘Yellers’ and ‘Hijackers’ From Network”

  1. Kimberly Thibodeaux Says:

    **Clears Thoat** Jackie from Slinky……and not to call out Diane Gilman (who I hope is doing well) she ALWAYS is telling the camera people what to do!

  2. Alison Says:

    Somebody needs to tell Susan Graver to shut the Fc$k up, and tell those QVC hosts that not everybody is in love with Isaac Mizrihi or his line….talk about hero worship

  3. Catluvr500 Says:

    Guess that’s going to put a damper on Joy Manano!

  4. Kristen G Says:

    I didn’t realize that I was only a “her at home!”

  5. Barbara Says:

    That was so insulting! QVC Gordie needs to take some courses in management. There are ways to discuss new directions without deliberately antagonizing your vendors. And how dare Gordie criticize any HSN vendor about talking over the hosts? How about Susan Graver on QVC? All she does is talk over the hosts constantly. How about Renee Goldstein’s vulgar comments on the models’ figures? Clean up your own house before knocking HSN, Gordie.

  6. ADELINE Says:

    WOW I AGREE WITH HIM

  7. Linda Says:

    QVC has some of the worst “vendors”. MANgonHO and that awful Slinky woman are the most obnoxious of any channel along with Graver.

  8. Kristin Says:

    The same could also apply to some of the QVC hosts (talking over people, yelling, interrupting..)

  9. Abigail Says:

    They need to forward this to Evine, Kendy is worse than Shannon begging folks to as she says buy ‘mulitples’ you might need them before the end of the year nonsense.

    And stop saying ‘and change’ the most annoying line all of them spew, as if actually take folks spare change.

  10. Aria Says:

    I do agree that some vendors are obnoxious, but a mass email is not the proper way to handle. I do wonder if Joy Magano was ever told to lessen her pushiness and yelling. [Seriously, it is just a hanger].

    Susan Graver on QVC is always talking (and talking) over the hosts. I also believe Renee Goldstein’s comments concerning the models and hosts’ derrières are inappropriate. I applaud show host Leah Williams who said “No” (in a nice way) when Renee asked her to show her derrière.

    In addition to vendors, QVC show host Shawn Killinger constantly interrupts and makes nonsensical comments. I honestly cannot watch Isaac Mizrahi’s shows with her as host.

  11. Maloyo Says:

    This was very condescending and if I were an HSN vendor, I’d be very insulted. IMO, these days they’re not too over the top at HSN, The tenor of the sales pitch on HSN is more in your face than on QVC (which is why years ago I switched) but it is no where near what it was in the old “count down clock” or “x minutes to sell out” days.

    BTW, I don’t feel like I am in anybody’s “home” when I watch. I mainly buy clothes & beauty from TV shopping and the biggest reason for clothing is because they model it on real, different-sized models. Both channels do a decent job at this.

    The previous article here said that QVC’s sales increased 3% in the 1st quarter of 2018 while HSN’s fell 9%. Probably why they need a change although turning HSN into QVC-lite won’t help,

    On another note, interesting that as soon as the merger was complete, QVC snatched Vince Camuto completely from HSN. I also noticed that KitchenAid is now available on both HSN & QVC. It will be really interesting if this happen with any proprietary vendors. Gonna be a bumpy ride!

    • Lisa Says:

      When I saw Vince Camuto on the Q I was really mad about it…one of HSN’s premiere lines! I don’t know why it upset me, maybe because I thought QVS was cherry picking and it didn’t seem fair to me. I watch all three channels and like them all for different reasons…it will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

  12. Gloria Antinoro Says:

    I agree that HSN hosts are not as refined as QVC hosts. They should close mouths and take some constructive criticism!

  13. Stephanie Epstein Says:

    What annoys me most on all of these home shopping channels is the constant laughing and giggling of the hosts over nothing. Also the female hosts are practically exposed on top as if they are selling sex and not the products. For these 2 reasons I stopped watching and am no longer a customer of any of them. Instead I shop at Amazon and eBay.

  14. Queen Celeste Says:

    Yikes! What a way to alienate the vendors. Could this Gordie be any more heavy-handed? And the “Her at home,” oh, brother. As if there are no men watching. Everyone has different styles and personalities–that’s how many of them got where they are in business. How deadly dull it would be if the guests all blandly and robotically presented their wares. I like Adrienne, Diane, Joan, and all being themselves, even if that means an occasional “Can we get a close up here?!” That makes it fun! And when it’s fun, we little ladies at home watch.

  15. Ashley Says:

    As an HSN employee, I was shocked to find out this happened — from Google, of all places. How did you get a hold of these e-mails? I’m not at all insinuating anything. I’m genuinely curious because it took me some refining my search to find this post, and it’s more detailed than any of the first links that pop up.

    I love working here, but missives like this are concerning…

    Anyway, thank you for investigating this.

  16. Jerri Says:

    I see the yelling, etc as more of a host problem than a vendor one. Keep your hosts in check and the vendors will follow. Sure, there are a few who could read a whole encyclopedia of manners and etiquette, but largely, it’s the hosts who need reigning in.

    And “her at home”…..what an insult. This man must have gone to the college of insulting behavior, and majored in dumbing-down insults!

    Thank you Linda for letting us in in this mess. I just saw this today……not missing home shopping one little bit!!!!

  17. Barb Says:

    There are a lot of vendors & hosts I do not like on both HSN & QVC.
    The Slinky lady is the absolute worst. I do not watch Joy. Shawn Killinger is horrible. She should shut up about Jagger and her fertility problems as well as the story of her life. Isaac never brings anything new. I’m sick of sweaters and lace…enough. I used to really like Susan Graver, but her clothes are cheaply made and cost too much. And why has the sizing changed? I used to wear an XL. I now wear a 2X with the same measurements that an XL used to be. I really hope there are some productive changes made.

  18. Her at Home Says:

    Kudos to the QVC staff if they have to put up with Gordie Daniels every day! I have never seen such a childish, ignorant display of management before. Not only does he desperately need an editor to fix his grammar, but he needs a communication and attitude adjustment as well. If he even graduated business school, it ‘s obvious he was at the bottom of his class. Signed, “Her at Home”

  19. Author of HSN’s ‘Used-Car Salesman’ Email Sues Over Firing | Homeshoppingista's Blog By Linda Moss Says:

    […] https://homeshoppingista.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/hsn-bans-used-car-salesmen-yellers-and-hijackers-f… […]

  20. Cyndi Says:

    Well, he definitely wasn’t tactful but he’s right. Some of the vendors, sadly, do act like used car salesmen. There’s nothing fun about watching rude vendors OR hosts. Like it or not, we do invite them into our homes so they could act professional and courteous. I certainly would put up with a pharmacist , or any salesperson , that acted like Joy! I wish other networks received this email as well but some are going backwards it seems.

  21. Lucy Says:

    Well, he definitely wasn’t tactful but he’s right. Some of the vendors, sadly, do act like used car salesmen. There’s nothing fun about watching rude vendors OR hosts. Like it or not, we do invite them into our homes so they could act professional and courteous. I certainly would put up with a pharmacist , or any salesperson , that acted like Joy! I wish other networks received this email as well but some are going backwards it seems.

  22. Heather Gasol Says:

    I agree about HSN. Shannon Smith is so pushy & talks over everyone. When a customer calls in they cut them off so quickly. They are so rude. Helen Keaney talks about her boyfriend all the time & is constantly butting in & saying we only have 100 left you better hurry up & order. I’ve looked the next day & the product is still there. They lie. Hsn is very unprofessional. They’re clicky. They love Adam Freeman, Amy Morrison & Colleen Lopez. They are a** kissers. They have low-class products & unprofessional customer reps. That’s why I will never shop there again. This merge makes me sick. QVC is so professional. QVC has high-class products. Great professional hosts. I think this is a bad idea. Now HSN is going to bring QVC down.

  23. nigel Says:

    Can anyone say Rick Doemier from QVC? He yells enough for everybody on both networks! And don’t let it be Todays Special Value and he’s hosting I can’t watch when he is hosting it. I thought several vendors were going to haul off and hit him. There was a time he wasn’t on air for awhile maybe he was talked too, but he’s back with a vengeance, very annoying host. QVC has several host who talk over the vendors. David actually has convos with the vendors.

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