+Scott Watson

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Can't Sell - Won't Sell

This morning I visited electrical retail store Currys to view their range of HD televisions. I had done my research on the quality of different TV's on the internet, reviewing the customer reviews as well as independent professional reviews. I had settles on a 42 inch screen Toshiba. And I was ready to buy!

Consider this. Three males 'sales professionals' are stood in a group within 15 feet of me. I am attempting to find the specific TV I am interested in. If they pay attention, they will be able to see that I am actually looking at the labels on each 42 inch Toshiba - to find the one I want. But no, a full 5 minutes in to my search, instead of a 'sales professional' approaching me to see how (not if) he could help me spend my money, I have to approach them. I decided to speak with the one person who separated himself from the other 2....as last nights match must have been so good that it was far more valuable continuing to discuss it rather than generating a sale.

I advised the sales professional (sorry, it sounds a little sarcastic - BECAUSE they just weren't professional) of the model I wanted and he took me to it. Now, here is where it goes from bad (sales presentation to even worse. I had with me details of prices of the TV set from Amazon and another internet based company. They were retailing at £529 including delivery. Currys were retailing the same TV at £569. Upon being advised of the price difference, the sales bloke (not very professional now, at least in my eyes), said 'Oh, well, they're nearly always cheaper', shrugged his shoulders and then continued 'Sorry I can't help you'. How ridiculous is that? What is a sales professional paid for? To generate sales by helping people want to buy. To help the company create a profit so it can trade. But isn't the time to really hone your skill and competence when there is a recession going on and the opportunities to sell are far fewer?

If the bloke had helped me understand some of the risks of buying off the internet such as returns policy and inconvenience of dealing with a faceless company I may have been open to paying the price difference. But this either wasn't his way of thinking or operating - or the football match really was amazing and he wanted to continue that dialogue with his pals.

The lesson to consider:

When the economy is healthy and strong, virtually anyone can 'take a customer order'. When the economy is struggling and people are taking better care of their budgets - that's when you need to be able to sell. Many sales people get great bonuses for exceeding their targets, but many of them are simply taking an order, not selling.

Beware of complacency, it could destroy your business. And look at Amazon.co.uk - their prices are really good and their returns policy is really easy!

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