I walked into a retail store last week, the salesperson wandered up, big smile, “How can I help you” he said. Good start, better than the usual “Can I help?” which has as a possible answer, “No thanks, just looking”.
I told him the product category I was looking for, and he then asked “how much do you want to spend?”
Perhaps a logical next question, but the wrong one.
Why should I trust someone I do not know, whose job it is to sell me as much as possible for as much as possible, with the boundaries of my budget?
Obviously, had I said $2000, he would have shown me items at $2100, just a touch over my budget, an easy step up of just 5%, and think of all that added functionality, instead of items at $1000 that may have suited my needs just as well.
What he should have done is ask questions about what job I needed done, which features I needed, and which ones would be just nice to have, did I have brand preferences, and what about the aesthetics?
Had he done all that, he may very well have sold me the $2100 unit, and would almost certainly sold me something, and I have been pleased with the result, but as it was, I thanked him and went down the road.
And we wonder why retail sales are so flat!
Oh it gets better – I gave it my best shot to purchase a polarising filter from a photographic store, and they would not accept the only credit card I had with me at the time, even though that card’s symbol is on their window. Their solution was to put it aside so I could come back later with a different card …
And to top it all off, the manager stated that the rate charged by the credit card company was too high, and the margins on filters are so low.
Again – yeah, right!!!
Sometimes I think every retail “sales assistant” should spend 2 weeks in a bazaar in Istanbul, Marrakech, or somewhere, where it is a personal affront to the “sales assistant” if a potential customer walks away.
They would take the shirt off you back in payment, not send you away for an alternative card.