A couple of weeks ago I rented a tuxedo jacket for one of my holiday speeches. I must admit, a tailcoat paired with a Hawaiian shirt is an interesting look. But I digress.
After trying on the jacket I told the woman working at the store that it was perfect. She insisted that it wasn't and that she needed to hem the sleeves. I responded that I was in a hurry and since it was really just a costume for a speech it didn't matter. She told me that it did matter and if I didn't adjust the sleeve length it wouldn't look right when I raised my arm.
She was clearly an expert so I agreed to wait for her to hem the sleeves. I'm glad I did. I even thanked her for the great service and for being an expert.
Compare that to another recent shopping excursion. The salesperson let me into the dressing room and when I came out she was nowhere in sight. I eventually found her on the other side of the store talking to another employee.
Since I wanted an expert opinion I went up to her and asked what she thought of this shirt. She replied, "Any of our shirts will look good."
She was clearly a clerk, not an expert, so I left without making a purchase. I didn't say anything because she was too busy chatting with her colleague.
There's a huge difference in performance between an expert and a clerk.
1. Experts take the time to know their customers before matching them with products. Clerks don't.
2. Experts recommend products and service specifically for their customers. Clerks show products.
3. Experts share opinions with their customers to help them make the best possible purchase. Clerks give their personal opinion for no reason.
4. Experts help customers buy additional products that will enhance what they are buying or will enhance the customer's life. Clerks do add-ons because they're told to.
5. Experts have no problem telling a customer not to buy something if it isn't the right product for them. Clerks probably wouldn't know if it isn't the right product.
6. Experts proudly sell. Clerks are afraid of being a salesperson.
7. Experts ask questions. Clerks only answer them.
8. Experts create sales. Clerks make them.
9. Experts are an asset to the company. Clerks are on the payroll.
10. Experts have my admiration. Clerks have my appreciation.
So let me ask, are you an expert, clerk, or somewhere in-between?
Doug and Brian