Posts Tagged ‘luck’

The Budget Friendly Customer

October 11, 2011

Although there are jobs with commission–with customers who have admittedly deep-pockets–and other jobs which congratulate or reward employees with huge sales, there is an underlying truth which isn’t always discussed. You see, greeting customers is a random process, not as hard as winning the lottery, but roughly the same idea. You don’t know, when you walk up to a customer if they’re going to be rude, crude, and brusque–well sometimes you actually do. In any case, you also don’t know when you walk up to a customer if they’ll be money-bags or moth-balls–well sometimes you actually do.

So what’s the point? Even if you are a great salesperson, and you get a customer to spend their entire budget–let’s use¬†percentiles–so 100% of their available budget. If the customer has $1000 to spend, than you’ve made some good money. ¬†(Of course, if you make 3% commission on a $1000 sale, that’ s just $30, so you better get on with the selling!) Yet, if a customer only has a budget of $200, then you may or may not consider them cheap compared to the $1000 customer. If their budget is less than $100, then surely you’d be silently spitting upon them, right? This is the point, you can’t gauge the budget of a customer, you don’t know how much money they actually have to spend. So when you pat yourself on the back because you were able to make the customer spend $500, is that because of your skill or because it’s well within their budget?

I think it would make more sense if you consider a customer’s total budget, and how far into that budget you’re able to hit. because you can’t get a customer to spend $500 if they only have $200. If you get a customer with a budget of $1000 to spend $500, and you get a customer with $200 to spend the entire $200–which customer have you truly capitalized upon? Although I believe acknowledging sellers who hit high numbers, I also think we need to take into consideration if they just randomly hit the jackpot, or just ran into a customer who had a lot of money, and they just barely skimmed the edge of that budget.

I bring this up because of the power of money in retail. It makes the customers look at salespeople like they’re only worth as much as money is spent, but the same can be said about salespeople towards customers. In all reality, there is some respect to be found. There are some salespeople who find out how much their customers are able to spend, and help them work through that amount. This definitely takes a great deal of skill, because can you really help a customer find an outfit for less than $100? It’s ridiculously easy if they’re willing to spend $500. So just where does your skill really lay? Does it matter you can make huge sales? Or are you just ‘lucky’?

Magic Panties

February 27, 2010

I’m not involved in this, but I was just standing nearby–as usual–watching the story unfold. On the walkie-talkie, I hear a co-worker say a customer has some panties with no tags, she wants to return and find out how much they are worth.

The story, as I was told, is this:
The woman comes to the register and hands the cashier several pairs of underwear. She says she doesn’t want them.
The cashier checks the price of these unknown panties, and they are over two years old. The cashier tells her this, and says they’re worth a dollar.
The woman replies, “But I can’t keep these, I don’t want them. I didn’t wear them.”
The manager is also there asking why she waited so long, why she decided now that the doesn’t want them.
It turns out, she visited her psychic. Yes, her psychic. And her psychic told her those colors were bad luck for her, so she had to return them, she couldn’t keep them. Who could refuse an explanation like that, right?
But my manager is resolute, telling her the panties are worth one-dollar.
So the customer says, “But I’m Korean. I’m from Korea.”
And my manager told me, she wanted to reply, “Oh… Okay! In that cast, they’re worth fifty-cents.” We had to stop and laugh at that one. But my manager continues, “Really, who cares where you’re from or who you are? They’re two years old!” But she didn’t say any of this to the customer. She only told the woman there was nothing she could do.
The woman explained that she could only return her panties now, on her trip. In the end, the woman just takes her dollars, since she can’t keep the panties. They are bad-luck, you know. (I decide this will be my reason to return something, if I ever do have to return something, “My psychic said so.”)

Now, I’m just wondering, did she go to her psychic, pull out her panties and say, “Hey, I bought these. Do you like them?”