Do you ever find yourself in a buying situation where you are looking for some good advice on something but you feel better qualified than the person you are talking to? Think about it. You went to buy a TV and a sales assistant comes along, you ask them for information on a product and they say confidently “sure I know about this” and they then proceed to read you information off of the box of the product or the big labels they put on the display model. You stand there and think to yourself – what does this guy take me for?
Now take this siutation one level up and insted of buying, you are supplying.
Your the supplier of a product and your being told by your customer that they have been asked for a product that either doesn’t exist, can’t be found easily, or won’t look right. But instead of the person you work with realising that and telling their customer straight away, they let their customer go away thinking that anything can be done. You can see where this is heading.
I recently had the opportunity to work with somene who when it came to the crunch, didn’t give the impression that they were comfortable with the job they were doing. They’d just taken up a post in a big jeweliery firm having come from a relatively small one and found themselves in at the deep end. They turned to me in search of a set of stones that was needed for an existing jewellery piece and I did pretty well considering the range of sizes and shapes. But they had issues with depths of some of the stones and colours, even though once set, these issues would have largely been overcome. Because they were hung up on the absolute sizes (we’d told the customer it could be done), these stones had to match weights of the original set (an impossibility as they were tring to swap sapphires for emerad) they were not able to fulfil their order, a customer probably didn’t get the service they were looking for and they probably lost a client.
What frustrated me about this was that it didn’t need to turn out that way.
The right person, with the right qualifications, in the right place, could have managed a better outcome.
So what should they have done? Well with a bit more understanding of the stones would have been a good start. An understanding that you can put together a range of stones and that minor variotations may occur, but they’ll be evened out once set. If it was a problem handed to them by an over eager salesperson then a word with that person to clarify issues with the customer might have tightened the communitation loupe and given the customer more confidence in the buying process. If some experience was missing, then turn to the nearest expert to work out the solution and pass that on that solution to your customer.
if your staff know their product, they can achieve many goals.
They will be more confident in the sales process.
They will bring their customers round to a more realistic outcome.
They will get business done and make more money for the business.
If they don’t know the product, you’re letting money walk out the door.