Please, just try to SELL me!!!

Twice in the last couple of weeks, I've worked home improvement stores in paint departments. Totally different stores, one is a national big box, the other a local franchisee of a chain. Both times I was helped by a friendly and knowledgeable twenty-something female associates who answered all my questions, overcame my objections and offered guidance colors, paint type, tools and estimates of coverage needs. Great!
Then, they both totally let me off the hook by not steering me towards closing the sale. One did suggest I might purchase a small sample size in a few colors, but didn't ask if I wanted her to do that. Each time I was satisfied with the features and benefits part of the interaction and felt confident in the associate and the product, but they both let me walk! When my questions were all answered and I was certain they had nothing more to offer, I said "OK, thanks" and they each let me leave the department with no further effort.
Having recently retired from four decades in sales and having coached a few sales seminars in my years, I really wanted to say something... anything to get them to nudge me along. But, I know that I can't. It made me a little sad.

Maybe I should start a freelance salesmanship consulting biz, LOL!

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Probably pays better.....
(Yes, from personal experience, the hardest thing in training a salesperson is the "closing the sale". So many of us do not want to come across as pushy or aggressive -- think used car salesman -- but there are ways to close the sale without aggressiveness. It just doesn't come naturally to many of us, and has to be learned. "So, which color can I get you a sample of today?" )
@ceasesmith wrote:

"So, which color can I get you a sample of today?" )

Yup, it can be just that easy..
I could be wrong but I think the associates in home improvement stores may be trained in product features but not so much in benefits and not at all in sales techniques.
They probably don't care whether you buy or not. These hourly employees don't make a dime off the sale. They would rather get back to finishing that cigarette you interrupted, than try and remember how to work the register, which they haven't had to do in three days.
I went in the paint department a few days ago and was assisted by an expert that was so amazing I wished I was doing a shop. It broke my heart to see him hit all the marks/ go above and beyond knowing I wasn't reporting on it. I didn't even buy the paint that day because I had to confirm color with my spouse.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2019 04:53AM by wwin.
I do a series of shops for a retail group where they are supposed to greet, upsell and close the sale. I do 3 per day and I can't tell you how many times that I have not received any of those three items. Yet I do the report and not that and 30 days later when I am able to go back to that store it is the same thing. They almost never try to close the sale.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
Many lifetimes ago, I was supposed to persuade and convince certain people that doing the [particular thing] was worth doing. If the [particular thing] was no worse than one of my rough drafts of a mystery shop narrative, they had not beaten me up too badly (verbally), or they seemed capable of understanding, I tried very hard. If the [particular thing] was atrocious, they had been supreme assshats, jerks, or just plain nuts, I did not make such a strong effort. All this leads to a wee wonderment: can/does the employee truly believe in the product or service? How willing are they to pursue a sale/close the deal? Is there any incentive for them to bother with closing the sale?

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2019 12:37AM by Shop-et-al.
@Aquiest wrote:

They probably don't care whether you buy or not. These hourly employees don't make a dime off the sale. They would rather get back to finishing that cigarette you interrupted, than try and remember how to work the register, which they haven't had to do in three days.

Put another way, management does not care enough to pay the employees enough to care. One doesn't need to be on commission. Plenty of good people are paid hourly, but they are paid enough both to care about their employers and their customers.
How much is "enough to care"? If you take a job, you should do it to the best of your ability. Doesn't pay enough for you to "care"? Don't take it. Same as with mystery shopping.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Yes, But there is something else: Erosion over time. How many people begin a job intending to do well, move up, move sideways, or otherwise make the most of it? And, how many people are dragged down, pushed down, pulled down, put down, disheartened, de-motivated, or otherwise derailed by the hostility, the neglect. the politics, or the whatever that torpedoes their boat?

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
I kinda agree, but I'm on both sides of the counter. I get probably a 65-35 good guy to a-hole ratio where I work. I don't get a commission, don't get any bonus points or golden stars or even mystery shopped, but I still try to do my job to the best of my ability. My satisfaction comes from doing a good job, no matter what side of the counter I"m on. If I knew I was being graded, being mystery shopped or bonused for a job well done, I would be be going above and beyond, because I've been there, too.

@Shop-et-al wrote:

Yes, But there is something else: Erosion over time. How many people begin a job intending to do well, move up, move sideways, or otherwise make the most of it? And, how many people are dragged down, pushed down, pulled down, put down, disheartened, de-motivated, or otherwise derailed by the hostility, the neglect. the politics, or the whatever that torpedoes their boat?

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
Not me. I dislike being shopped, watched, graded, etc. It feels ishy and sometimes creepy. I get flustered and/or freeze up. Knowing this about myself, I always hope that I as a shopper am not doing this to any other sensitive souls. (Elaine Aron describes us well.) This may be why I have found my way to merchandising. I greatly prefer merch. In that world, I am myself. I do one-offs, multiples, and recurring tasks. I enjoy variety and occasionally have the wee thrill of doing something better. This week, I shortened my time on-site by making three small changes. Go me.I would rather do this than spend mandatory minimum amounts of time in some locations.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
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