The Agressive Salesmen

So we’ve finally received that payslip, done the math and decided to purchase a new gaming system just for the lulz – Lets leave my favouritism of PC gaming aside here and consider a new console – After some consideration of hardware and exclusives we’ve decided which one of this consoles generation we want to buy.

We rush over on a day off to the nearest gaming store, in this case GAME, because it actually is the only serious brick-and-mortar retail store out there with great deals on game systems, I won’t even throw in the remote possibility of GameStop…

We pick our console pack and head over to the counter to ask for it, or even ask for assistance in the shop-floor from an employee for some more information, so far so good. Now – and to start driving my point home – the annoying part comes when they try to push in talk-up’s of loyalty cards, insurances, accessories and reservations, this in my opinion is the absolutely the most annoying and rude thing anyone can do to me in a store, I despise it, and in the true sense of the word, I hate when any salesman does it. And while I do realize that it’s not really the employees fault, that they were instructed to do so and are reprehended by managers if they don’t, I just can’t shake the feeling that it truly bothers me.

Aggressive sale techniques is something I’ve grown to despise over the years, specially since I work in the retail area, every time a company demands of me that I must approach costumers in that way I shiver, and on the shop floor I dodge from doing it every chance I get, it’s something I hate when sales assistants do to me, so it’s only natural that I dislike doing unto others.

Currently, I’m working on a GAME store in the area of London, and GAME’s policy in this country – to my dismay – is to make agressive sales and approaches. The human resources department even made up what they (fittingly) call “The six killer questions”, and these are:
– Talk to them (costumers) about add’on’s [accessories; peripherals and insurance/extended warranty]
– Talk about reservations [reserve games prior to release]
– Talk about loyalty card [purchases = points = small money type of card]
– Talk about trade in’s [bring your old games for some “profit” for them (and GAME)]
– Talk about pre-owned games [buying used games instead of new]
– Talk about the website [the online possibilities of purchases and reservations]

These are the “questions” GAME made me memorize and imbue into my usual customer talk-up, and we have to introduce all of this during a supposedly casual conversation from the shop floor to the cashier/till, sometimes not even that, it’s ridiculous.
Don’t get me wrong, the loyalty card actually compensates in the long term if you buy games as frequently as once a month or make pre-reservations often, and there are advantages to the other offers if you pick your fights right, but most of these topics can’t find a way into a short conversation and seem natural, it would take a longer chat to do so without seeming forced into that customer, not to mention earning the costumers trust and emphasizing with them, the eventual idle talk, a small laugh at a given situation or similar opinion. The fact is, sometimes it works and you can fit these in in a natural conversation, but sometimes it doesn’t.

Just like if I’m browsing through some games or other goods, I don’t like to be interrupted by an annoying salesman asking me if “I’m alright” and if I need assistance. I realize this varies from person to person, but I like to be left alone and most people do to, if I need help I know you (the sales-man) are available, I know you are in the counter or in the shop floor, I just have to come to you, I have been provided with a mouth to speak when or if I need help, I don’t need you interrupting my casual browsing or even conversation with my partner/friend to find out if I need help, or rather, to find out if you can force a sale on me.

Even though we are living harsh times regarding the state of economy, it doesn’t justify this type of aggressiveness and push-in on sales, it never did. This form of selling technique has been around for a very long time, being specially “improved” over the last decades since the 70’s, and in my opinion that’s what it is, an old and outdated form of companies trying to make every buck they can out of you, masking this with the excuse that they are providing excellent costumer service by throwing people everything they have regarding promotions and offers, each one with it’s hidden costs and uselessness in some cases, I mean,  in all seriousness, who is going to buy an extended warranty and insurance for a console like Playstation 3 or X-Box? Under the pretext that you might spill liquids into it? That it might tip over and fall? That it might be stolen? Please… The odds of those things happening are proportionate to either people’s cautionary measures or their stupidity.


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