Revolution In The Aisles

from the how-to-sell-at-a-big-electronics-store dept

An interesting article looking at the problems facing many of the big electronics retailers. Most have very poorly trained staff, who simply push the highest margin items, rather than really help the customers. At the same time customers are looking for places to go to get real information about the products available - and these electronics retailers are missing a huge opportunity (and annoyng customers) by not having a trained staff to deal with these issues. My own experiences have shown that electronics store employees often give wrong information to customers. My strategy when I go into those stores is to do my research ahead of time or bring along someone who knows more about whatever I need to buy than I do. Then, I avoid all the sales people, get what I want, and get out of there. Update: With the Red Herring's redesign, this article seems to have gone away completely.

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  • identicon
    The Captain, 7 Nov 2001 @ 7:35am

    Its all about money

    How does anybody expect a kid being paid minimum wage, often with ORDERS from on high to sell a certain product over another (by either commission, contests or threats) to actually be able (on their own time, because none of these retailers will spend a significant amount of money to TRAIN them) to keep up with ALL the technical data on ALL these various products? I no longer expect OR believe anything they tell me in those stores...and I don't blame the saleskids for it.

    I *do* however, blame ANY salesperson that is overly aggressive and argues with me about MY decision to buy a product by trying to sell me another or whatever latest fad warranty/deal they have...its MY money, my decision...If this happens, they get one warning...then rude comments and NOT my cash.

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    • identicon
      sb, 7 Nov 2001 @ 7:47am

      Re: Its all about money

      Most have very poorly trained staff, who simply push the highest margin items, rather than really help the customers


      Uhh, how exactly is this a problem for the retailers ? Sounds like a great way to make a ton of money!

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      • icon
        Mike (profile), 7 Nov 2001 @ 9:02am

        Re: Its all about money

        No, not really. It's actually a great way to make a little money. For these stores to survive they need happy customers who return often. The article (if you read it) points out that that is not happening, because people don't trust the sales people. If you help them find what they want and make them into happy customers, then they return and buy stuff from you all the time and trust your opinion. If you just force them to buy something they don't want once, they don't come back. That's a way to lose a potential long term customer. I'm glad I don't shop at a store you run...

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  • identicon
    Ed, 7 Nov 2001 @ 11:34am

    Problem is Endemic to Mass Market Electronics

    It seems to me that the problem with big electronics retailers extends beyond just the salesmen, since the nature of their business doesn't lend itself to having knowledgeable, highly-trained salespeople. Consider the antithesis, a local high-end stereo shop, probably run by knowledgeable enthusiasts. They sell a relatively limited selection of products that they can get familiar with, and often the guy who owns the store is involved not only in selling the stuff to the customers but deciding what to carry. In a big chain, deciding what to carry and what models to push is probably decided by back-room deals on a scale exceeded only in the grocery industry. So even if a salesperson at Circuit City had a lot of specialized training, as well as familiarity and enthusiasm for the products, what's he going to do when next year the company decides to carry a line of stuff that happens to be crap? (Which might have been the same brand that was just fine last year.)

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  • identicon
    Barney Gumble, 7 Nov 2001 @ 12:14pm

    Big Box Retailers

    I agree, I never listen to the advice from the in-store staff. While the prices are good, the selection is actually quite limited--you buy what they have now, and three months from now the inventory will be completely turned over and you will never see your product again.

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  • identicon
    u2604ab, 7 Nov 2001 @ 1:04pm

    Bentonville, AK

    I blame this all on Sam Walton and his insidious retail strategies. Bargain basement prices that no-one can beat combined with braindead-drone salespeople are the formula for an enterprize that strips the soul from small and medium town american retail.

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  • identicon
    hifi sam, 7 Nov 2001 @ 6:04pm

    clerks vs. salespeople- there is a difference!!

    The specialty retailer with the knowledgble staff gets hurt by the customer who comes in, gets all the information from the trained salesperson and then goes to the big box store to buy....and they always buy the "Extended warranty" because you now it's going to break! People want the good stuff, but are not willing to pay for it...but end up paying by being dissatisfied with the service they receive.

    I sold hifi and had my brains sucked out many times...had one customer work me to buy the whole system, then he went to the big box store and bought it. Price difference $20.00!!!!!!!! When he called me looking for help in setting the system up, I politely told him to call the clerk he bought it from or I would help him at $20.00 an hour with a $50.00 minimum. He ended up returning the system, and came down and bought it from me. I got the system up and running at his house in 30 minutes. Only time I heard from him again was when he wanted to buy more items.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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