02 Oct 2018

In-Person Sales_0318

DanscoThe good about Riyadh living is that everything seem available and there is nothing that I personally miss doing here that I did in the past.   In this regard, the retail brands are all but available; for a consumer seeking to quench or to simply live by, Riyadh offers the needed world class brands across from the Americas, Europe and the Asia.  So, I walked into Birkenstock on the main street in central Riyadh only to be surprised with a meagre collection, but a plush environment and the worse part was the sales staff’s obliviousness to the product they were selling.  As a Shoe enthusiast, I have enjoyed meeting very impressive shoe salesmen and the joy of purchase, otherwise it no less than a dot com transaction.  Shoe personalities, like any other, would expect the salesmen to be taking on a consultative relationship, the sort needed for a tech savvy product.
This salesperson was taking it for granted without any regard to build trust with a customer, easing my shoe purchases and his chance to make a sale.  I have seen many a professionals who took to selling shoes just like any other product; a client who sold shoes making a decent income comparable to a technocrat, shoe only stores with knowledgeable shoe salesmen that advised their clients just like any business consultant and last but not the least, a lot of people who made money selling at retail – particularly in shoes, across from Payless stores thru the floors at Nordstrom, etc.
Contrast that to my experience now where I have to try on our own shoes after asking for my size and trying to figure out if they fit. The salesman would always never bother to check my shoe size, although different brands vary in their size fits depending upon narrow or wide feet and always also never kept from going into features and benefits on the sales floor about why a particular product was so well made or why it would fit a customer’s foot.  In appreciation of his time & the sales opportunity, I always ask the shoe salesmen to bring along a couple extra boxes of shoes; the requested pair, a similar pair but different style, color and a casual.  The salesmen always never could realize that this was saving his time making trips to the storeroom and the customer may end up buying two or three pairs of shoes whereas otherwise he would have bought just one.  No wonder so many customers end up not buying and shoe stores end up close to closing down.  Consequently, many a times, I comfort upset customers for the salesman’s behavior and their non-availability & non-willingness to answer questions.
And when I do have an exceptional experience, like the recent guy I met at the Evans store, it is not by chance, but by the training given to the employee.  Retailers of all sizes need to get back to basics and look at who they hire for the floor, how they are on-boarded and how retail sales training can be mutually beneficial.  But it turns out that the retail environment is but a sad tale, taken for granted business getting done any ways without any regard for customer satisfaction.   The era calls for ’Value added transaction’ and more so salespeople understanding emotional intelligence and off course like any service providers persuasion, presentation skills, energy, selling technique, teamwork and success – most importantly shoe etiquettes…???
Given the internet age of online shopping and technology, in-person sales can easily be ignored.  Do not overlook, however, the importance of personal contact.  You never know when or where you will meet your next customer, and it is important to make a good impression.  Everyone who is interested in sales must be confident in the art of in-person sales.  Although, a specialized sales force that connects with individual customers will have the highest cost.  The high cost, however, should not cause anyone to dismiss using in-person sales because it is an extremely effective sales technique.
READ presents a 12 module, one-day interactive, case study based “In-Person Sales” workshop where the participants will discover the specifics of what it means to become an effective salesperson, and steps to success.  They will learn how to connect with customers and move them through the sales process.