Today, since I was early (what’s new?) for a business meeting at a restaurant, I stopped in at a music store to ogle their electric drums. I have an inferior set which I eventually gave away, so I thought I would have a butcher’s hook (look) at nice new sets.

The sales assistant asked me if he could assist me, and I asked him what the difference was between two beautiful sets which differed in price by $2,000. He immediately informed me that there was “very little difference” and that they “about the same” and that I would receive a further $100 discount. In fact, there were numerous differences, vellums were different, the control box was different… a quick look online would have revealed just how little this salesman either knew or was ready to reveal, and there was obviously a $2,000 difference in value between the sets.

In effect, the salesman robbed his employer of at least $2,000 in one sentence. He didn’t have to offer me the buyer incentive discount at that stage, and he made no attempt to sell me, find out what my needs or interests were, or what I was ready to pay, and he didn’t even try to get my email address or phone number for the store database (although they probably don’t even have one.)

This is typical of most in-store salespeople I encounter. On the other end of the spectrum, you find those lunatic, high-pressure young salesmen at some lube centers who are obviously on some form of commission structure. They should be thrown in boom and mizzen (prison), since they prey primarily on people who obviously know little about car engines, like me.

If you employ in-store salespeople, I suggest you send in a few mystery shoppers and find out what damage is being done to your business when you’re not around. The average salesman is like a top – if left alone, he will eventually run out of momentum, falter, and fall over. So ongoing sales training is a must for ALL salespeople, followed up by monitoring by camera and mystery shoppers. If you would like to know more about how you can boost your in-store sales, as well as the sales of your other salespeople, contact me and let’s talk.

Robin Elliott