I have never trained or worked as a ‘true’ salesman. I have worked in roles where I gained commission based on a sale, and whilst there was a mentality to do what you can to close the sale quickly, it was never that aggressive hard sell kind of work.
So, not ever pushing people into a sale I always let them decide when the time was right, but if someone tells me they want to buy something, I know they are ready to pay and get something very soon.
In my daily role at Clove, if someone phones up and says they are wishing to buy the Samsung Galaxy S5, I begin taking that order for a Galaxy S5 as the customer is primed and ready. Even when a customer ask’s I wish to buy X but is Y better; even if I believe Y is better and present a reasoned argument, 9 times out of 10 they will opt for X because they have realistically made that decision already and I would need to point out some new fact that they were unaware of from their own research to sway their decision.
I have therefore the tendency to think most others in a sales oriented role would take a similar approach.
Recently I went in search of a new mattress. I was keen to actually try one out in store as you spend so much time on a mattress; for me the high street purchase was more important that completing online.
After spending some time deciding on which one to opt for based on testing them and price, I found a member of the team at Dreams (the bed store) to place my order through.
I happened to get the attention of the store manager who said it would be a few minutes before he could process the order as other members of his team were using the available PC’s as it was a busy bank holiday Monday, which meant special prices.
As I waited, he explained there was a £40 delivery charge, which whilst kind of expected was a little deer in my opinion, considering a mattress is not something we can all just pop in the boot of your car.
He went onto explain that if I ordered online it would be free. Naturally I asked, that if I can save myself £40 online, could he do anything on the cost.
After a bit of number bashing on his calculator he told me he could reduce it to £10. What? Why not match it? Why tell me I can get free delivery online?
The manager also proceeded to explain that with the delivery arranged by the store, they would deliver the mattress to the room of your choice, whilst with the online delivery they would leave it in your hallway. Slightly odd I thought. Most would like a mattress in a bedroom, why leave it in a hallway?!
For the sake of £10 though, I was in the store, I was ready to pay and save me the hassle of having to go home and order it. Thus I waited and waited a little longer until the wait was past about 10 minutes and still no computers were free to take orders as other customers were taking out finance agreements which take longer!
Not wishing to wait any longer and with the underlying thought of free delivery online I decied to leave.
I said the the manager I would go and order it online, I didn’t wish to wait any longer and truthfully I could have ordered it on my phone in store during the time I was waiting. The online ordering process was simple, I saved myself the £10 on delivery and it was with me just a week or so later.
You can probably guess the next bit can’t you….
They put it in the room of my choice. Without prompting the delivery guys asked which room and within seconds it was where I would have preferred it rather than in my hallway.
What frustrates me a little is that when I ordered online I did not see anything obvious that explained that the delivery drivers would not take it to the room of your choice, thus I wonder whether the store manager said this to try and get me to place the order with him there in store instead. But when I decided to leave because of the wait, absolutely no resistance was put up and he let me walk out of the store not ordering the item I wanted.
For Dreams it must be good to have all available computers taken with orders being processed, but to let customers leave the store, on the assumption they will order online is fairly bold. I would hate the thought on loosing out on the sale.
If I was that manager, I would have done all I could to ensure I could put that sale through, as I imagine he would have received a small bit of commission on the sale. I would have said why not have a lie down for a while (not many places you can say this) would you like to browse the other shops nearby and comeback in ten minutes. Take a number to call the paying customer back. Perhaps even begun taking some of the key details manually so he did not need to ask for these as he completed the computer order process.
If is had not mentioned about the free delivery online, I may never have left the store as I had genuinely not looked online.
As you have probably assumed he did none of this which surprises me. Whether you have hit your targets or not, surely letting a customer who is ready to buy walk out the store is a massive no! I was surprise to get no resistance at all. That said even as the paying customer where I wish for little sales hassle I expected him to try and make me stay.
Whatever the reasons, Dreams made a sale, primarily because I had invested time already and did not wish to go through the same process elsewhere. They then in turn surprised me with putting the mattress in the room of my choice as I did not expect this to happen so all ended well and I am happy.
What gets to the business oriented person in me is how a salesperson, in fact the store manager, the one who demonstrates to his team how to do business just let me walk out the door. If that was my business I would not like to think my staff would do such. In the fiercely competitive world of sales and offers we live in, letting sales slide like this is in my opinion poor.