November 17, 2007

When Sharing Met Selling

Years ago, I had a buddy who managed men's furnishings in our local Nordstrom. He was kind enough to bring me in twice a year to work the men's sales. My wardrobe still enjoys the residual rewards of that employee discount.

We were taught that while a guest was trying on a suit it was helpful to gather a few shiort and tie combinations to show him the different looks that could be achieved with his selection. We fanned these out on a console table in the dressing/tailoring area and simply mentioned them as possibilities should he purchase the suit.

Inevitably many of these possibilities were purchased and as a result daily sales increased.

I was reminded of the benefit of this approach earlier this week reading an article in the November issue of Fast Company magazine talking about the "geniuses" who roam the increasingly popular Apple Computer stores. The money quote:

"When employees become sharers of information,
instead of sellers of products, customers respond."


All I can add is ... without a doubt.

1 comment:

Dave C said...

I had to walk out of an Apple store this week. I put down my keyboard and Mighty Mouse and walked out. I was attempting to purchase an iPod also, as a gift. Though it seemed to me that the red shirts (I guess they are 'sharers') out numbered the customers 2:1, I wasn't able to purchase the iPod reasonably quickly. I waited in the special line - the only line from which you could buy an iPod - at the special counter. The sales person was working with the one customer in front of me to help them figure out which iPod they wanted. After about 5 or 6 minutes they picked an iPod and then the sales guy couldn't get his wireless credit card swipe device to work. Five or so minutes later, I just set things down and walked away. Even though he was fulfilling the 'sharing' part of his job, he wasn't fulling the basic part of his job. He could have easily asked another red shirt for help and at the very least acknowledged I was standing in line. Did Apple win? Yes, in the end they did because I ordered an iPod online later in the day. My point - even if you have 'geniuses,' you need common sales sense.