Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Socratic Retail Method

July 11, 2010

Introduction
Mentor: Tell me, when you work in retail, where do your paychecks come from?
Pupil: Your employer?
Mentor: Yes, but where do they get the money to pay you?
Pupil: Hmm. They get money from money they make?
Mentor: Very good. How do they make this money?
Pupil: By selling the product they carry.
Mentor: What if they do not make money selling goods?
Pupil: Then they have no money to pay their employees. But if they make a lot of money, where does that go?
Mentor: Ah, you are getting ahead of yourself, my pupil. It is true, if they make more money, one thing they can do is hire more workers.
Pupil: Why?
Mentor: The more money they make generally means they need more help to produce–more people to unpack and replenish clothing, more salespeople to sell, and more cashiers to take the money.
Pupil: Oh, I see.
Mentor: Although each aspect is important, what part do you think is more critical? The replenishment, the salespeople, or the cashiers?

Cashiers
Pupil: The cashiers.
Mentor: Truly?
Pupil: No?
Mentor: What do cashiers do?
Pupil: They take money from the customers, and this money is used to pay the workers.
Mentor: What influence do cashiers have upon the customers?
Pupil: They take the money.
Mentor: Do they help customers find products or fill their needs? Do they help build the sales?
Pupil: No, I do not think so.
Mentor: Although there are very skilled cashiers who can add-on to sales, and generally, they do not directly interact with more than one customer at a time. They cannot multitask multiple customers at once.
Pupil: This is true. Do they not also offer discounts and coupons which also decrease the amount of money made?
Mentor: Very good, you have kept up with your studies. Cashiers have the duty and responsibility to lower the amount customers spend, thus lowering the total profits. This done multiple times, through many transactions can have an overwhelming effect on total profits–imagine if they gave 15% off all transactions. Cashiers have an important role at the end of the process, because without them, we could not complete transactions, but they are not most critical to the success of selling.

Stock
Pupil: What of the stock-people, they are the beginning of the story, without them the product cannot even be found.
Mentor: Yes, they are important. They unpack the clothing, preparing it for the floor. They replenish the clothing when it gets low. Without them, supplies run low. But how do they directly influence the customers?
Pupil: I do not know.
Mentor: Even with a fully stocked table, that does not directly entice a customer to buy anything. It is like a piece of art in a museum to look at, but you need someone there to guide you through the painting, to understand what you are looking at.

Salespeople
Pupil: So the salespeople are important?
Mentor: In retail, which people often receive commission as a part of their job: the salespeople, the stock-people or the cashiers?
Pupil: The salespeople.
Mentor: Why?
Pupil: Because they directly interact with the customers, helping them to find product they are interested in, building outfits and adding-on product before the customer gets to the cashier. And many salespeople are skilled at multitasking multiple customers at one time.
Mentor: Very good. Customers have already made a majority of their buying decisions before they even reach the cashiers. And with discounts, coupons, and other additions, which subtract from the total sale, cashiers have less impact on increasing sales compared to salespeople.
Pupil: And salespeople can ask stock-people to help find product that is missing on the sales floor.
Mentor: Yes.
Pupil: Do salespeople receive credit for these actions?
Mentor: In some businesses, they do receive commission. Or they receive acknowledgment for their sales above and beyond the normal. The salespeople work hard get to know customers, to add-on sales, to bring profits directly into the store so the cashiers, the stock people and other salespeople can be paid for their labor. They can directly influence a customer that is ‘just looking’ into someone who ‘spent more than they expected’. They directly help customers that don’t know what they are looking for. They help customers find the perfect gift for a loved one, and something extra for the customer, too. They bring additional value to each customer that makes a purchase.

Query 1
Pupil: But is there not businesses that only recognize cashiers for giving discounts to customers? They receive acknowledgment for lowering the store’s profits. Why don’t the salespeople get acknowledgment for building the sale which got the customer to the cashier?
Mentor: If you were a salesperson who worked hard, building up a sale, getting to know a customer and making sure they left happy, how would you feel if you were dismissed and forgotten, and a cashier is recognized for signing someone up for a credit card and giving them a discount off of your hard work?
Pupil: I would be saddened and demoralized. I would feel like my work isn’t worth anything. Why do cashiers get recognition for every credit card they get, but salespeople do not get recognized for every single sale they make? They are the ones helping fill people’s paychecks and keeping them employed!
Mentor: Calm yourself, my pupil.
Pupil: I am calm. It just doesn’t make sense. It is illogical.

Query 2
Mentor: What happens when a cashier is processing a card or giving additional discounts that take a long time to process?
Pupil: Salespeople are asked to cashier? They must back-up the registers.
Mentor: Yes, and what happens to the customers that are ‘still looking’ or need help finding products?
Pupil: They are left ignored and forgotten? So the sales floor is left empty, while everyone is at the cash registers, customers are left with no one to help them…
Mentor: Yes, go on. What happens?
Pupil: So the remaining customers will buy less?
Mentor: And many may leave because they did not receive ‘customer service’, all the while this happens, all the additional manpower is taken to the cash registers for the sake of giving an additional discount.
Pupil: And the ripple of one discount means less money for the store… And by the time the line of buying customers is gone, there are no customers left in the store who need help, because they are not going to wait for a salesperson that isn’t there when they needed help.
Mentor: Yes. But if people are only given credit and recognition for giving discounts, and signing up credit cards, and no recognition is given for making sales, would not all the effort go towards the cashiers? And effort towards selling would diminish.
Pupil: Why would any business do this? They would be choking the life out of their own sales. It would be like Ouroboros, the dragon who swallows his own tail. A business like that cannot hope to be successful.
Mentor: What business would be successful?
Pupil: One that prioritizes selling. One that emphasizes and recognizes salespeople as critical and crucial to the life of the store. A business that knows and understands selling and the skill of adding to sales is more important than giving discounts.
Mentor: Very good. That is why we went through this exercise. Hopefully you understand a little more about selling now.

Mentor:
Pupil:
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Hello, Welcome! The 7-Point System

April 27, 2010

I have developed a 7-point system for greeting responses, when you’re a ‘Greeter’ and customers walk into the store.

7 – When they smile and say hello back.
[This is obviously the response of choice, because these people were raised as decent, respectable human beings, and most likely, their children will also be encouraged to say, “Hello!” *Waves*]

6 – When they give you a fake hello as if it strains them to take the time to say it.
[I guess this is fine, but it’s still like asking, “Why are you even saying hi if it’s such a drain on you?” I actually greet people because it’s what I’d want, and I don’t do it because I ‘have to’. I even do it when I’m not working sometimes, which is crazy. One of my co-workers did that at another store, when he was greeted, he replied, “Hey, how are you doing?” It totally sounded like he was hitting on the other person.]

5 – When they walk by, and then turn soon after to look at you.
[I don’t ever understand this, as if they’re making sure someone was saying hello? What do expect someone to say when you walk into a store, “Go home”? Maybe these people are just seeing who you were, because they might want to ask you for help later–which I hate, when people ignore you, then ask you for help later. Learn some manners people, you get help when you deserve help. I’m far more helpful, knowledgeable, and intelligent when I’m helping a customer that’s not rude. If you’re rude, it suddenly becomes my first week and I don’t know anything. “Sorry.”]

4 – When they full-on ignore you, which is a middle score since, sometimes you just aren’t heard, sometimes they do it on purpose.
[I can’t say much for this, but it’s far better than any other response, except than the genuine response of hello.]

3 – They stare at you and say nothing.
[Wow, some people have such nerve, they can actually just stare at you when you say hello. And then they walk away. Who teaches them these things? I can also assure you, their children will also stare at you and walk away, and those people’s children will do exactly the same one day. I always say, these people, their parents need some lessons on manners and social etiquette. Spank them with a wet noodle, as my old teacher used to say.]

2 – They look you up and down judging you, and still say nothing.
[Wow but times one-thousand. Seriously, how people get the idea this is right to do blows my mind. In public, if anyone does this to me, I will respond with a, “Yes?” And depending on my mood, I get more interactive. Some comments include criticizing their outfit, how they look, and their right to look at people like that. Of course, when I’m at work, I just avoid them, hoping they need help, because they won’t find it from one of the most knowledgeable and helpful salespeople–because they offended him.]

1 – They wave you away like you’re bothering them.
[Yes, this is also an option in the world of social interaction. They give you the “Don’t bother me, I’m not interested, I’m just looking” wave. You come into someone’s place of business, you make clear you don’t want help. I’m quite sure you become someone who says no one was willing to help you either, right? Manners are a two-way road, people. You are a customer, you aren’t God, you aren’t even commander-in-chief. Actually, you’re just a human being in a world of human beings who consciously make decisions to choose how respectable they are with one-another. Can you imagine a world where everyone decided to be respectable to each other? Don’t laugh, it is a dream of mine.]

Either way, it would be fun to hear co-workers say, “Ooh, I just got a 1-point greeting! Sad face!” Yes, it is a sad face, you stamp it on the entire world. The End.

Hello, Welcome! The 7-Point System

I have developed a 7-point system for greeting responses, when you’re a

‘greeter’ and customers walk into the store.

7 – When they smile and say hello back.
[This is obviously the response of choice, because these people were raised as

decent, respectable human beings, and most likely, their children will also be

encouraged to say, “Hello!” *Waves*]

6 – When they give you a fake hello as if it strains them to take the time to

say it.
[I guess this is fine, but it’s still like asking, “Why are you even saying hi

if it’s such a drain on you?” I actually greet people because it’s what I’d

want, and I don’t do it because I ‘have to’. I even do it when I’m not working

sometimes, which is crazy. One of my co-workers did that at another store,

when he was greeted, he replied, “Hey, how are you doing?” It totally sounded

like he was hitting on the other person.]

5 – When they walk by, and then turn soon after to look at you.
[I don’t ever understand this, as if they’re making sure someone was saying

hello? What do expect someone to say when you walk into a store, “Go home”? Maybe these people are just seeing who you were, because they might want to ask you for help later–which I hate, when people ignore you, then ask you for help later. Learn some manners people, you get help when you deserve help. I’m far more helpful, knowledgeable, and intelligent when I’m helping a customer that’s not rude. If you’re rude, it suddenly becomes my first week and I don’t know anything. “Sorry.”]

4 – When they full-on ignore you, which is a middle score since, sometimes you

just aren’t heard, sometimes they do it on purpose. [I can’t say much for

this, but it’s far better than any other response, except than the genuine

response of hello.]

3 – They stare at you and say nothing. [Wow, some people have such nerve, they

can actually just stare at you when you say hello. And then they walk away.

Who teaches them these things? I can also assure you, their children will also

stare at you and walk away, and those people’s children will do exactly the

same one day. I always say, these people, their parents need some lessons on

manners and social etiquette. Spank them with a wet noodle, as my old teacher used to say.]

2 – They look you up and down judging you, and still say nothing. [Wow but times one-thousand. Seriously, how people get the idea this is right to do blows my mind. In public, if anyone does this to me, I will respond with a, “Yes?” And depending on my mood, I get more interactive. Some comments include

criticizing their outfit, how they look, and their right to look at people like that. Of course, when I’m at work, I just avoid them, hoping they need help, because they won’t find it from one of the most knowlegeable and helpful

salespeople–because they offended him.]

1 – They wave you away like you’re bothering them. [Yes, this is also an

option in the world of social interaction. They give you the “Don’t bother me,

I’m not interested, I’m just looking” wave. You come into someone’s place of

business, you make clear you don’t want help. I’m quite sure you become

someone who says no one was willing to help you either, right? Manners are a

two-way road, people. You are a customer, you aren’t God, you aren’t even

commander-in-chief. Actually, you’re just a human being in a world of human

beings who consciously make decisions to choose how respectable they are with

one-another. Can you imagine a world where everyone decided to be respectable

to each other? Don’t laugh, it is a dream of mine.]

Either way, it would be fun to hear co-workers say, “Oooh, I just got a 1-

point greeting! Sad face!” Yes, it is a sad face, you stamp it on the entire

world. The End.