In this land of so called economic slowdown, I think one of the main culprits may be the apathy of retail salespeople.
My wife and I want to purchase a compact sized washer and dryer for our cottage. We’d love to put in a full sized set, but there isn’t the space. You’d think that we were lepers or something. We’re willing to spend whatever it takes to get the best we can find which is probably about $2000 but we can’t find anyone who is deserving to take our money.
We have been to 4 stores so far, 5 if you count the store that was a minute or two from closing time and the sales lady said to my wife “We’re closed.” When asked if she could answer a quick question the sales lady said, “What about?” “Compact washers and dryers.” “No” she said and SHOOED my wife out the door. Whenever we mention that we need a compact set, the look of abject disappointment from every sales rep is palpable. Not one of them has questioned us about why, about our requirements, the reasoning behind our motivation or anything at all.
We have been the recipients of the half-hearted, “They’re over there.” Or when led to the machines on display, “Here they are, I guess they work okay.” No product knowledge, no evidence of anything resembling a pulse from any sales person.
We feel like we’ve been shutdown by these salespeople but I’ll be damned if I’m going to reward some lazy ass slob with the commission on $2000. I can’t be the only person in the world who feels this.
So, if you are in the retail business and you catch yourself or one of your sales staff treating customers with the kind of apathy we’ve been treated to, slap yourself (or because I’m not condoning violence, figuratively speaking, your staff) and stop complaining about how bad business is. If you can’t shake yourself or your staff out of this funk, there is a remedy in the name of Steve Clark of New School Selling. He writes: “During the economic boom of the nineties, business was easy and few salespeople were really “put to the test.” Because the nineties were one of the most prosperous decades in our history most salespeople that have less than ten years experience have never experienced selling in a recession.”
You have a great opportunity ahead of you, go ahead and grasp it simply by showing you care.