So, off we went to the bridal shop. It was a big fancy place with lots of comfy couches and big mirrors. We were greeted at the front desk and our appointment was confirmed. Our sales lady seemed nice enough. She first asked if we had looked at any dresses before. No, this was the first time. But then the next question she asked was, “What is your budget?” Now, while that is certainly a good way to determine if you have a potential buyer, it seemed a little off-putting to hear that so soon in the process.
Since she was satisfied with our response, she continued by asking what the bride liked. The bride had a few ideas of what she wanted to try but she didn’t know all the technical jargon that the sales lady was throwing out. The sales lady ended up just pulling out dresses and asking if the bride liked them.
After a dozen or so choices were made, off they went to the dressing room. The bridesmaids and I went to sit on the comfy sofas. The bride soon came out with the first dress. We all oohed and aahed. The sales lady put the bride up on the platform in front of the mirror and fluffed out the train. As we were looking we commented on what we did and did not like about this dress. The sales lady said very little unless we questioned her directly.
More dresses were tried on. The sales lady offered a couple of suggestions, but never communicated with any of us. We were looking at the last dress before she even bothered to ask where the wedding was going to be. At one point she actually sat down on one of the sofas at the other end of the room and completely ignored the bridal party. She didn’t even get up when the bride came in and one of the bridesmaids had to fluff out the train.
It was as if she didn’t even care. Or more likely she was only doing this for the commission. In the end, the bride couldn’t decide between two very different styles. She told the sales lady she would have to think about it. Rather than asking how she could help in making that decision, she said, “If you purchase your dress and all your bridesmaid’s dresses right now I will give you a 15% discount.”
Well, that was a red flag to me. Why do they have to use pressure tactics like that to make sales? If they were selling the value and service then they wouldn’t have to.
Needless to say, we did not purchase a dress yesterday.
So, what mistakes did this sales person make?
- Mistake #1 – Being too quick on pre-qualifying
- Mistake #2 – Using industry jargon that the customer doesn’t understand
- Mistake #3 – Not making a connection to the potential customer
- Mistake #4 – Ignoring the customer
- Mistake #5 – Ignoring the customer’s friends
- Mistake #6 – Not helping the customer through the decision making process
- Mistake #7 – Not caring
Don’t make these mistakes when you talk to your customers.
So, what negative experiences have you had at a store?