Posts Tagged ‘Vendors’

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

May 20, 2018

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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