Call Us: (612) 964-4541

Know Your Potatoes

The S.M.A.R.T.E. Group likes to tell this story that reinforces our way of thinking and doing business!



The two farm wagons stood in a public market. Both were loaded with potatoes in bags. A customer stopped before the first wagon.

“How much are your potatoes today?” she asked the farmer’s wife.

“Two-fifty a bag” the wife replied.

“Oh my!” protested the woman, “that is pretty high. I only paid two dollars for the last bag I bought.”

“Tators have gone up” was the only comment the farmer’s wife had to add.

So the customer went to the next wagon and asked the same question. But Ma Brown “knew her potatoes”. Instead of treating her customer with indifference, she replied “These are California white potatoes, they are the best potatoes grown. We only raise the kind with the small eyes so that there will be no waste when peeling. Then we sort them by size. In each bag you will find large and medium size potatoes. The large size is for cooking and the medium size for baking. The baking size cooks up quick which means a big savings in energy. Then we wash all the potatoes clean before we sack them up to help you conserve water. I’m asking three dollars a bag for them, Madam. Shall I put a bag in your car or deliver them?”

Ma Brown sold two bags of potatoes to that customer at a higher price than her competitor had asked, in spite of the fact that the customer had refused to buy at the first wagon because she thought the price was too high.

We like to tell this story to demonstrate that a customer’s perception of price depends entirely on their individual frame of reference. When you can impact or change that perception, the sale is a reality.

You already know how to open doors and close the sale, so it makes sense that the more you know about what you are selling—regardless of what it is—the better able you will be to overcome price objections.

Customers will think you are reasonably priced if you know the fine points of what you are selling as well as Ma Brown knew the good points about her potatoes!

The “Retailing 101 GuideBook”©

Providing manufacturers the power to access buyers and close sales. A specific step-by-step roadmap for selling major retailers in all classes of trade. Buy Now! $50 book only Special Offer $199 - The book + 2 hours of phone consultation.