Sunday, December 16, 2007

Retailers and Selling this Season

When shopping the other night, I (Andrea) was pleasantly surprised at the assertive nature of most of the associates in the stores I was entering; specifically: Origins, Aveda, Saks, Moonstruck Chocolate (a Portland Oregon specialty), Something Silver, The Fossil Cartel, Sharper Image, Swarovski and L'Occitane.

bebe's attention to customers was noticeably absent. We don't judge a company on one shop however, and in fact have had previous good experiences (from our retail service across America tour) at bebe. The associate was hurrying me out of the store (without my purchase that was still laying on her counter) - no "go for no" behaviors there.

So, almost all stores had people who were proactively greeting, asking if they could help (normally we don't recommend such an approach but for the "purpose-driven" shopping season this works) and overall communication WAS happening! People were actually selling! In retail stores! And "going for no!" ... at least in the beginning.

Still retail store teams lacking in getting "no's" from customers in the closing phase of the interaction (asking for the sale) and in the moment where they ideally should adding on to the sale; suggesting additional products etc.

But still I was intrigued by the increase in assertiveness across the board. Could it be that some of the "fear" of failure... rejection... upsetting customers has been temporarily lifted since after all it is Christmas and people are in fact, shopping and buying. I wonder...

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