I was shopping in an electronics store early this week. I needed some new equipment for the business. I am not techy and needed some guidance. The first store I went into I went to the area for this item; I strolled around the store for five to ten minutes, Nobody was there. It was only after I searched for another few minutes that I found someone to help, but not really.
The sales solution specialist could not provide a solution for me. He said it is up to you. You can look at the details of each option on their website: www.icannothelp.com
Hmmm? Solutions specialist? I never felt more like I did not get any help at all.
So. I left the store and traveled to the second shopping center. This store advertises how they make it easy for the customer to buy. The tagline is when you buy from us we take care of you every step of the way. A little more expensive, but if I could get the help I needed, I would gladly have paid more for it.
I went into the store and traveled to the area where the electronics were located. This time I had no problem getting the sales persons attention. He was waiting for me with commission breath. He started talking and was wound up like an eight-day clock. He told me how the best option was the most expensive and about all the other added features I could not live without.
Several times I tried to interrupt him to tell him why I needed it. He cut me off and continued to tell me what I needed and why. I am not sure; he may have been new and did not know he should ask questions first. Alternatively, he may have lacked emotional intelligence that is crucial to selling. At any rate, I felt like I had been verbally assaulted and my needs ignored. I thanked him for his help and traveled to the next store on my list.
Whoever said the third time is the charm is right! The third store I went to a woman approached me when I entered the electronics area. She smiled at me and offered her hand. She said her name was Tracy and asked mine. She then asked what brought me in today? She offered to help, as said she knows from her own experience how difficult my purchase can be.
She must have seen the relief on my face, as she said if you do need help I am right here for you. I said don't leave! You are just what I have been looking for! She began to ask me questions about my purchase. She asked me what kind of business I had, what I was using the item for, how often and how much I was willing to spend. She offered insight I did not know about different options. She explained the value I would get from each one. She spoke to me in layman's terms and asked for confirmation that I understood.
She had me saying things like, "that's an excellent question, I had not thought of that." In the end, I found what I needed that day. I asked if I could give a customer review for her to the store. She thanked me and said yes, she said that is the biggest compliment she could get. She said goodbye, and she hoped to see me the next time I needed something from their store. I assured her she would indeed.
The first lesson in this story is not everyone who enters a store does not want help. I needed it and had to search for someone. This person wasn't able to help me. Educate and offer value.
The second lesson in this story is; be a vacuum, not a blower. Exercise mental discipline and ask questions before giving answers. Gain customer perspective by asking the why, what, when, where and how before making a recommendation.
The third lesson in this story is to give the customer a choice if they want help or not. Ask their name and tell them yours. No one likes a stalker, but plenty of people come into stores looking for help. The ability to ask questions and get advice is the number one reason customers buy from stores instead of purchasing online. Offer support and let them decide if they need it or not.
If you want to define value: be a vacuum, not a blower, educate, and know the product well enough to offer insights the customer could not get themselves. Ask questions that help identify the best choice and smile, it costs nothing and will make everyone's day a little brighter.
Be Great and Prosper- Nan
If you are looking for luck, it can be found at the intersection of hard work and perseverance.