Clever marketing helps, but no amount of fancy custom retail displays can take the place of a trained and knowledgeable sales person. In fact, while a well placed and well designed set of custom retail displays may successfully draw your customers in, but an unkind or distracted sales person can lose a sale every time.
As you accompanied your husband and your 85 year old father into one of the largest furniture and electronic stores in the country, the massive clear plastic hanging hanging signs directed you toward the electronics area that you were looking for. As you got closer, the cleanly designed custom glass door signage indicated that you were in exactly the right spot.
So anxious for this purchase, your father had his credit card out and ready to buy even before you found the exact model of the tablet that he was looking for. Once it was located, your father was anxious to make the buy! unfortunately, as the three of you stood looking over the desired purchase, not a single sales person came to over help.
It was not that there was not someone to help. In fact, a group of six store workers stood watching and comparing something on their phones and their sales tablets. Whether they were watching the latest Sunday afternoon touchdown by their favorite quarterback or they were comparing sales numbers from the weekend, the one thing they were not doing was paying attention to the 85 year old customer waiting to make his purchase.
Although the acrylic display stands beautifully displayed the product that your father wanted to buy, not a single one of the employees came to offer any assistance.
New, Shiny Marketing Materials Rely Still on Sales Staff
In frustration, you approached the group of workers. Finally, the female in the crowd turned, recognized you, and asked if she could help you with something. You pointed to your father and husband standing nearly 20 feet away and returned in that direction. When you indicated what your father wanted to purchase, the young woman explained that she could not sell any thing. She was just available to answer software questions. Incredulously, you asked if any one in the still talking group of workers could make a sell. The young woman nodded and went to get a sales person.
Putting on his best show, the salesperson asked how he could help and asked your father several questions. With not a clue that the 85 year old customer standing in front of him had purchased the very first release of the product he now held in his hand, the salesperson pushed an extended warranty and proceeded to write up the sale. When the purchase was complete and the sensor code on the back of the box had been deactivated, the overly confident salesperson seemed to be patting himself on the back for such a quick sale when he handed you the paperwork for a customer survey that he wanted you to fill out.
In fact, as he talked about him getting a bonus and being mentioned in the morning sales meeting, you realized that appearances were everything to this young man, but reality was not. The appearance that he had so deftly handled the sale did not erase the reality that you had to search out help, not once, but twice. And while the custom retail displays like the indoor sign stands were perfectly placed to direct you to a product, that sign did not help you attract the attention of the salespeople who were looking at their phones instead of paying attention to the arrival of customers in their area.
Even the best custom retail displays cannot make up for the fact that at a sales staff is inattentive. The best business owners know that it is a combination of great marketing materials and even better employees that create success. Given that shoppers make 82% of their purchase decisions in the store, it is important to have an employee to watch for customers who need help. Consumers see an average of 3,000 ads and promotional messages every day, but you need to make sure that they see an available sales person when they need one.