Yesterday for the first time in years, I went shopping for shoes (Hey, I’m a guy.)
I walked into a national department store chain because I heard their shoes were on sale. I was immediately greeted by an experienced sales associate who knew his products. I wound up purchasing a pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes and a pair of shoe trees.
Here’s what the salesman didn’t do:
- He didn’t give me his card
- He didn’t tell me his name
- He didn’t ask for my name or try to capture my contact information for future use by his chain
- He didn’t thank me for my business
- He didn’t ask me to come back
- He didn’t ask me to refer my friends
He was very pleasant and very professional. He met my need, period.
This is a perfect example of a transactional philosophy.
The only emotion I felt when I left was relief that my need had been met.
The bottom line is that, after that transaction, I have zero loyalty to that chain. To get me back, they’ll have to entice me with a really good sale.
I have no reason to refer my friends and co-workers to them.
With sales as tough to come by as they are for this and other chains, how much expense would it be for management to instruct its associates to do the following:
- Smile while greeting the customer and introducing yourself
- Hand me a business card
- As you ring up my sale, thank me for my business
- Ask me if this is my first purchase in his department. If it is, mention the other types of shoes you have available (dress, comfort, sandals, etc.)
- Attempt to capture my contact information in some simple fashion
- Thank me for my purchase
- Encourage me to come back and to send my friends to see you
- If you captured my contact information, you can send me a thank you note with another business card.
For decades my father bought his business suit from the same sales associate because the two of them had established a professional relationship. It can be done.
In a tough economy, it’s time to do things differently.