Don't Point, Take!

posted: Friday, February 15, 2013

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As hard as it is to believe, there are salespeople or people in the customer service field that forget what field they are in. Sometimes the basics get lost in everything else, and it is those basics that can cost you a sale or a customer.

I was recently looking for a print cartridge for our printer and it proved to be more difficult than I thought. After looking around in the first store, I went to the counter and asked someone where the cartridges were. The salesperson pointed at the aisle they were in and then went back to whatever he was doing. This is customer service 101; if a customer asks a salesperson where a certain product is, then that salesperson needs to physically walk with the customer to the product.

Number one, it's just the right thing to do. Pointing to a general location is both unprofessional and unproductive. If you are a salesperson or in the business of customer service, then your job is to serve the customer, pointing does not do that. Whatever you are doing, unless it is working with another customer, can wait.

The second thing you lose by simply pointing is the opportunity to talk with the customer and a salesperson should never pass up an opportunity to converse with a customer. As you are walking back to where the product is, you can be engaged in a non-business conversation. It's possible that the customer could end up just buying what they came in for, but it is also possible that you could end up making a bigger sale. Let's stay with the example with the cartridge.

What if through conversation, you find out that the customer is opening up a new business and that the printer he has is not really conducive for their needs. It's very possible at that point that the salesperson could end up selling a printer or two instead of just one cartridge. That possibility is never known or never happens if you simply point to the back of the store.

If walking with a customer and assisting them in finding what they are looking for is too much work for you, then it might be time to find another line of work. The paperwork, the cleaning and the filing will be there when you get back; the customer won't be.

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