So, you come in the back door, say hi, and have your coffee. You put your smile on, check the new merchandise, check the new pricing, and you’re ready and out on the floor. No, you’re probably not; there are still some things to do.
You know from your own experience that your customers are pressed for time. They need to pick up or deliver the kids somewhere, stop at the bank, answer some emails, pick up dinner, return a couple calls, get on the computer to pay some bills, do everything but shop at your store! They are stopping at the fast-food outlet for the kids, they need to go pick up the dress for the party their daughter’s going to, drop off the laundry, clean up the house before the guests arrive, get the photos finished, do everything except shop at your store. It’s hectic out there for everybody.
Now imagine what they feel like when you get interrupted by a phone call, and delay them further by searching for a pencil and paper to take a message. Imagine how they feel when you need to get the manager because the printer is out of paper and you don’t know how to change it. Imagine how they feel when you can’t find the new package of order forms to write something up. Imagine how they feel when you say, “Just a minute, please,” and disappear for a few minutes looking for the right-size box to package their purchase. Can you imagine? You are robbing them of a precious thing…their time!
Customers want a solid value these days and that includes what they believe is their right to fast, courteous, and efficient service. Why do you think you’ve lost customers to the Internet? Do you really believe it’s only price? It isn’t. In fact, research shows the main reason customers shop online is CONVENIENCE. Respect their time! If you take time to fumble around looking for something to write with, to look in the back-room for something you should have stocked in the morning, to slow them down by having to ask someone to help you out of a frozen position on the POS computer, it angers your client.
So, next time you think that putting on a smile a minute or so before the doors open is enough to get you ready to serve your clients, think again. Prepare yourself. Remember: “Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.”
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at iastraining.com.