The holiday season has come and gone again and it was time for my least favorite thing to do – go shopping. If you really know what you want, online shopping takes the pain away.
I would rather get a cavity filled than deal with the joy of shopping. Let’s take a peak at a customer’s frustration of shopping and then what to do from the employer’s point of view.
Let’s go to one of the remaining local department stores, or better yet, one of the only large electronic retailers who is still in business. Imagine we want to buy a sound bar, computer or even a 65-inch flat screen TV. We now need a special degree in electronics or computer science just to know that the salesperson is not making up things, assuming you can find one.
Typically, the salesperson or store employee will read the feature card that describes equipment and has the price of the electronic component you want to purchase.
Obviously, no help to me. What would be really helpful is an engaging salesperson that can ask thought-provoking questions that will make us want to buy from them.
For example, if I wanted to buy a computer or laptop for my home, a great salesperson is not going to read me information on RAM memory, graphic card stats or gigabytes, but they might ask: “Do you have any kids? If you do, are they on a PC or Mac at school?” If the answer is Mac, maybe you should think along those lines. If the salesperson acts like a doctor or electronic consultant and asks questions rather than point and disappear, that would entice me to buy and shop at the store again.
Buying something as simple as a smart speaker or a portable Bluetooth speaker can be confusing as well. Which one are you going to buy, how much will you spend, etc.? It can be baffling and could be a simple decision if the salesperson were trained on the basics.
When a consumer is not educated, they will assume that all things are somewhat equal and buy based on price or a single feature the product might offer. A well-trained salesperson or someone with any training at all could raise the average sale per-square-foot in the store if customers bought what they want or needed.
Now, the employer should:
• Forget whether employees are full time or part time. Ask yourself if this is the person you want to represent your business. Customers don’t know or care whether the person taking care of them is full or part time. They just want to be taken care of and to enjoy the shopping experience.
• Train all the people all the time. The more training, the more sales they generate and the more profitable you are. Do not just train people on how to use the cash register. Train them as if they were going to stay with you forever.
• We all know how difficult it is to find and hire good people. They are not as plentiful as they were before. Part-time people can replace full-time people if they are more reliable or have a better attitude. Attitude is everything.
Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers, “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.