It’s Saturday today, which means that it is both my favorite and least favorite day all rolled into one.  I enjoy it, because at the end of the day I get my weekend, and I can relax with my wife for two days.  I hate it, because everyone else started their weekend today, which means we will be busier.  Being busy is good for business, but it also brings out the hordes of draggers.  In order to prepare for the day, I figured I would go ahead and catalogue the lessons I have learned from working in retail, and share my “wisdom” with those of us that share the same burden.

People aren’t snow flakes, but man they wish they were –

Every question we get from customers tends to cluster.  One day we will get questions on docking an iPhone 5.  One day we will get questions on wireless speakers.  One day we will get questions on radio reception.  For a store that sees about 100 people a day, you would expect to see some kind of variety in the questions, but nope.  I would say at least 60% of the questions in a day will be on the same thing.  I have no idea how that happens, but it does.

Boys always get left in the toy store –

When I was a kid, shopping with my mom.  I obviously had no interest in her clothing selections.  I would always want to run to the toy store or the bookstore, and when I got older I would go to Gamestop.  See the thing about that is that I was 16 or less.  I get literal 40-70 year old men left in my store when their wives are shopping.  They don’t want to look at anything.  They are afraid to go into our theater show, because they might miss their dog whistle.  They won’t spend any money because their wife has their wallet.  When their wife comes back, they drop everything they are doing, and fall into step behind her.  Just like a kid.  Stop embarrassing my gender.

People want to think small obstacles are insurmountable –

You are interested in a product I sell.  You come into my store because you have questions on MY specific product.  This tells me you acknowledge my expertise on the product.  I find out what you want, I make a recommendation to you based on that expertise, telling you all of the reasons it will be perfect for you.  You then proceed on a 5 minute lecture on why that product won’t work for you, based on information you have already given me.  It is my job to know, and as long as you thought I was going to agree with you, you were ok with it.  Thus I determine, you didn’t really want either the product or the solution, you wanted to feel good about NOT having it, because then it would be someone’s fault.

People can’t handle new information if it contradicts what they want to hear –

I get at least one person a day.  “Is this the Apple store?”.  “No, It’s 5 doors down to the left”.  “Oh, they must have moved it”.  No they didn’t. We have been in the same place for 7 years.  All that happened is last time you came in the other entrance, and it was right in front of you.  This time you walked to the same relative spot, and couldn’t figure out what changed.  We also get people walking from the left of our store, as where something is, find out they missed it, and keep on walking to the right.  Dude, if you weren’t going to change direction, why did you ask?

So while I could write a whole book on lessons I have learned in retail, I will let it go here for today.  My brothers and sisters of the name tag, get out there and kick butt today.