PDA

View Full Version : What makes a good (or bad) sales person



Pages : [1] 2 3

Aussie Willy
06-25-2011, 12:49 AM
Just from my experience last night, I thought this would be interesting to discuss.

Okay currently look for a new sofa for my spare room. Not committing to buying anything yet but rather looking around to see what is out there and what the options are.

First place I went to dealt with a pushy woman who even though I made it clear to that I wasn't planning on buying still tried to push me to commit to something. In fact it was quite desperate.

Second place I went to the woman showed me the options, even showed me different fabrics and pricing but took the attitude that if I was really interested I would come back.

Now I would go back to the second one because she didn't try to sell me anything and also respected that I am just looking.

It happened years ago when I went to buy my car. The woman didn't treat me like an idiot (which many had before), told me when I was ready to buy to come and see her and I ended up being one very happy customer. And because I was treated so well pre-sale I got fantastic post service treatment too (with servicing and the like).

But is it really in a sales person's best interest to put the hard line on customers, thinking that is going to sell something?

BigB08822
06-25-2011, 12:55 AM
I agree. If I let the salesperson know that I am ONLY LOOKING then I expect a little help and I don't want them to push things on me. By all means, point out some things, let me know of any specials, etc but that is about it. I also don't expect them to stand there and waste their time with me, if other customers come in please go help them and try to get you a sale, if I have a question I will find you later or remember for next time.

I am really aggravated right now with insurance. I got an online quote from bluecross which apparently was sent out to this HUGE database of people. I have been getting phonecalls for 3 months now. It stopped for about a month but picked back up again this past couple of weeks. I get at least 3 phone calls a day. I can't just tell them to quit calling because it is coming from all sorts of different insurance companies. I have no idea what happened but filling out that online form for a quote was a huge mistake and I should let bluecross know that I will never get insured with them because of it.

Gazpacho
06-25-2011, 01:11 AM
But is it really in a sales person's best interest to put the hard line on customers, thinking that is going to sell something?It depends on the product.

Good salespeople looking for a long-term relationship foster trust and comfort. A home realtor, for instance, not only wants to sell you the home but also wants to sell your home if you decide to move. They also want to sell your neighbors' homes. They have to think long-term.

On the other extreme is a sidewalk vendor at a touristy location. In that case, a good salesperson is someone who makes the sale any way they can, including hard-handed and even deceitful tactics.

ETA: By good salesperson, I mean an effective salesperson, not the salesperson I'd personally want.

genevieve
06-25-2011, 01:33 AM
The only good salesperson is one who is completely invisible until I have questions, and then magically appears with all the right information, only to disappear into thin air once they've been answered. :P

Angelskates
06-25-2011, 01:47 AM
The only good salesperson is one who is completely invisible until I have questions, and then magically appears with all the right information, only to disappear into thin air once they've been answered. :P

ITA. Don't follow me around the store; I can see you waiting to pounce.

rjblue
06-25-2011, 01:58 AM
Following me around the store only chases me out of it. In retail sales, I don't mind being greeted and told of the specials. But other than that, I want them to leave me completely alone, unless I find them and ask for something.

Louis
06-25-2011, 02:07 AM
I try not to get too aggravated with "desperate" salespeople because many are, in fact, desperate -- i.e., they're not going to be able to put food on the table or make their house or car payment if they don't sell something. And in a lot of cases, like the mattress or the furniture example, economic factors are outside of their control -- they can't go out and drum up more business the way a realtor or financial advisor could. I can b*tch about salespeople with the best of them, but think about how you would feel if your bad days at work (or your FSU time at work :p) were unpaid.

I prefer to deal with companies that either use a non-commissioned salesforce or pay their salesforce a living wage plus commissions. It normally is a different experience.

If I have to deal with a commissioned salesperson, my #1 differentiator is how much do they listen v. how much do they talk. The good ones, no matter what field, will take the time to establish rapport and to analyze your needs before linking your needs to a product or service.

PRlady
06-25-2011, 02:15 AM
I actually prefer retail clothing stores staffed by relatively inexperienced young women. They stand there, they fold clothes, if you ask them something they'll look in the back to see if they have your size, but they don't chase you around like vultures. It would be too uncool, I guess.

Women my age in retail trail you like Lieutenant Columbo and I hate it. I know how to shop, I'll let you know when I'm buying something.

The peerless exception is Nordstrom. Retail heaven (except for the prices.) Their sales force is so well-trained they know how to help without being intrusive. There's an older lady in one Nordstrom who knows me by now, even though I'm only in her department a few times a year and only buy on sale, thus cutting her commission. Her courtesy is exquisite and her advice excellent. I don't even know her name and she gets my sales award.

Garden Kitty
06-25-2011, 02:16 AM
I think a good salesperson is one who can read the customer well and figure out what a customer wants (or what the customer responds to). Some people will do best with a low pressure sales person, but I have neighbors who want attention when they're making a big purchase and feel ignored if they're not greeted immediately upon entering a store.

Some people want to feel like they've gotten a great deal and enjoy going back and forth on price, and others would skip the purchase completely if they had to do that.

vesperholly
06-25-2011, 02:19 AM
I feel for salespeople, because they're probably getting a huge push from their bosses/corporate to open credit card accounts, push whatever promotion is on and generally sell, sell, sell. The only retail jobs I worked were non-commission (Target, Pier 1) and they loooved to push their stuff. Not to mention "make sure you greet every customer" which is something I personally hate as a shopper. Those poor ladies at Ulta who offer two free issues of InStyle (and I can attest that they ask every. single. time.), does anyone ever take them up on the offer?

Aceon6
06-25-2011, 12:59 PM
Regardless of the situation, the most effective sales people are exceptional people readers. They do what they need to do to make the customer feel comfortable and to establish some rapport right away. Then, they use their reading skills to decide how much hovering to do. The worst ones are the ones who either don't listen or who can't process what's being said. If I say "I am looking for X" and they point me to Y, out I go. Same if I tell them I'm just looking and that I will find them if I need help. Any sign of hovering, out I go.

Karina1974
06-25-2011, 01:53 PM
.

First place I went to dealt with a pushy woman who even though I made it clear to that I wasn't planning on buying still tried to push me to commit to something. In fact it was quite desperate.

Bad salesperson.


Second place I went to the woman showed me the options, even showed me different fabrics and pricing but took the attitude that if I was really interested I would come back.

Good salesperson.


But is it really in a sales person's best interest to put the hard line on customers, thinking that is going to sell something?

I think it should be customary to let the buyer do the choosing. Put the options out there, but if you are dealing with a customer who walks in already knowing what they want, than the hard sell is a bad idea.

When I was making changes to my Time Warner service, I made the phone call already knowing what I wanted (to get rid of my Digital and Standard, keep the RR and $9.00/month Basic cable), and would've strangled the customer service rep through the phone if it was physically possible, because he kept going on and on about all these deals and discounts that I was supposedly qualified for. We went around and around about 4 times before he finally shut up about them.

vesperholly
06-25-2011, 11:10 PM
When I was making changes to my Time Warner service, I made the phone call already knowing what I wanted (to get rid of my Digital and Standard, keep the RR and $9.00/month Basic cable), and would've strangled the customer service rep through the phone if it was physically possible, because he kept going on and on about all these deals and discounts that I was supposedly qualified for. We went around and around about 4 times before he finally shut up about them.

Really? I canceled my Time Warner cable (but kept internet) in January and it couldn't have been easier. The rep took maybe 15 seconds to ask if I wanted to retain channels 1-22 (no), and that was that. Truly YMMV!

Reuven
06-25-2011, 11:47 PM
Years ago, I worked in now defunct catalogue retail store. I was in the the department that sold cameras and electronics. A couple came in and started asking questions about a rather expensive telescope we carried. They wanted to give it to their 13 y.o. son as a present. Now, I have been an amateur astronomer for years, so I knew this was going to end up gathering dust after a couple of nights of use. Why? because after talking with the couple for about 20 minutes, I realised the kid knew nothing about star-gazing. He had a few books, and I was certain he was going to be very disappointed that what he saw in the eyepiece (if he could interpret it) didn’t look like the picture in that astronomy book he had.
So. I steered them toward a very nice pair of binoculars that had a tripod mount on it and suggested the lad join an astronomy club, and to learn how to stargaze. That couple came back later, to tell me the boy loooved the binocs and was having a splendid time with them, and now they wanted to get themselves a nice camera.
So now we had loyal customers who would end up spending much more than they would have with the telescope.

KatieC
06-25-2011, 11:55 PM
And luckily you didn't have a manager truly ticked at you for losing that sale!