A key Think Like A Negotiator strategy is “Build Relationships First.” It seems like in retail they forget that most days. Oftentimes it feels like they are doing you a favor even being in the store to work vs being of service to you as a customer. While many customers can be rude and disrespectful, it should come from the store salespeople as rude, disrespectful or less than interested in helping you. That’s suppose to be their job, or maybe I’m confused?
While many purchases can be made online, I prefer to go into a store to try on certain things. Athletic shoes is something I prefer to try on and get some help with different features of different shoes. I went to my local mall last night and to the only store there that had a selection of running and other athletic shoes. I have knee problems and wanted to see if I could get a shoe that would allow me to jog a little and take the impact from my knees.
I went into the store at 6pm on New Years day. The mall was open until 9pm and there were a couple other people in the store. I was looking at shoes when a sales person came to the area I was standing walked right in front of me and put a shoe back then turned around and walked away without saying a word to me. I stood there a bit perplexed, did I not look like I needed some help? Do they not ask anymore? She went back to the back of the store and started folding clothing.
I walked over and asked for help she wasn’t thrilled but came over. I asked which shoes were running she sort of haphazardly pointed to a few. I asked if she knew of something specifically that would help more with impact, no help, she sort of mumbled something that I didn’t understand. I asked if a couple shoes were running, she said yes. I gave her my size she walked off to get them, came back with 1 pair, gave it to me and turned to walk away. I stopped her and asked for a couple other pair.
When she brought them back, she said the one I asked for was not available in my size. I asked if any other colors were in my size (do I really need to think of this myself?). She got me the only pair gave them to me and walked off. I opened the box, they were 2 right feet of the same shoe. Really? I guess she didn’t bother checking. I went up to the cash register and she was there folding clothes. I said there were 2 right shoes, she pretty much ignored me. Another sales person offered to help.
Not only did he find the left shoe, he offered some advice for some inserts that would help with the impact and said the first shoe I tried on was a great running shoe. I bought the first pair with the inserts from him. The other salesperson just walked off and said nothing.
This in my opinion is why retail is failing. We are made to feel like they are doing us a favor for being in their store. I couldn’t help thinking of all the people who would love to have a job that would be happy to be helpful. Now of course that one salesperson could be hung over from New Years Eve or having a bad day but suck it up butter cup, you are at work. You are there to do a job and provide a service. Do you anytime in my military career when I went through a divorce, had a miscarriage or was sick in some other way that wasn’t contagious that I gave my commander attitude and didn’t do my best? No! Not even close.
I am going to write to the company about this situation. If I don’t say something that will make it ok for her to treat others the same way. I for one am tired of walking into a retail establishment and being treated like I am bothering the employees by being there. It happens way too much and I’m sure this isn’t how the company wants their employees to treat their customers.
If you see something, say something. We need to stop tolerating bad service and demand people work in excellence or make room for those who will work in excellence.
Keep Thinking Like A Negotiator
To Your Success