Dwight is angered when he is left to partner with Jim. Dwight seeks coworkers willing to trade, but as Jim is the sole volunteer, the four pairs head out to the parking lot. Michael tosses a bag of laundry to Dwight who in turn throws it into his Trans Am. Michael dubs the sales calls The Amazing Race , prompting some confusion as he explains that there will be no winner, and that a prize will not be awarded for the largest sale. To supplement his statement, he assigns each pair a nickname based on previous contenders from Race.
Michael dubs Stanley and Ryan "the retired Marines ", Phyllis and Karen "mother and daughter", Jim and Dwight "the gay couple", and his own team "the firefighter heroes".
Before heading out, Michael snatches Phyllis's car keys from her hand and tosses them underneath her vehicle. Upon the team's departure, Angela invites Pam for coffee. Andy, riding shotgun in Michael's convertible, continually badmouths Dwight, using suggestive language in an attempt to sway Michael's opinion of the man. He becomes frustrated, however, as Michael casually deflects his suggestions. Andy questions Michael as to why Dwight does his laundry. Michael explains that Dwight's laundry duty is punishment for attempting to take Michael's job in a secret meeting with Jan.
At the sales call, Michael's attempt to sell the small-town personal feel of Dunder Mifflin is thwarted as Andy interrupts with tales of his privileged upbringing and boasting of the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
Afterward Andy apologizes for losing the sale, informing Michael that he really "screwed that up I really Schruted it". En route, Ryan asks Stanley if he can take the lead on the sales call, and Stanley happily accepts.
The pair meet with four African American men in the lobby of their business, one of whom knows Stanley; and, actually, Stanley then tells Ryan to make the pitch, while he does some crosswords. Flustered, Ryan is unable to mutter anything but "Hi. Before they depart, Jim reveals to the camera that he and Dwight used to frequently go on sales calls in the past, and produces an old picture of the young sales duo.
Dwight sits in the rear driver's-side seat of Jim's Subaru. Before entering the building, Dwight requests that Jim leave the keys to the car, to which Jim replies, "You still do that thing? At the sales call, the pair enact a tag-team sales routine, wherein Dwight borrows a phone and works his way through the call center of what he says is a competing paper company and is put on hold for several minutes while Jim dials Dunder Mifflin customer service and Kelly answers immediately and amicably. A sale is quickly made.
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Rather than immediately head out on their call, Phyllis drives Karen to a nearby beauty salon and purchases an outlandish beauty treatment she describes as "makeovers" for the pair, which results in their taking on hairstyles of a horrible, earlier era. At their sales call, a large sale is quickly procured.
Karen is impressed with Phyllis' savvy as it is revealed through a photograph on the client's desk that his wife subscribes to a similar beauty sensibility. Later, Phyllis mentions her happiness for Karen and Jim's relationship as she had worried he would never overcome his crush on Pam, inadvertently revealing its existence to Karen. At a coffee shop, Pam notices Angela's happy glow and inquires. Angela tells Pam a thinly-veiled story of her friend "Noelle", who missed a deadline to send in important documents to corporate in New York and the "gallant gentleman", "Kurt" who drove the documents all the way to New York and handed them in for her.
Pam glances knowingly at the camera. Angela, never very imaginative, uses her and Dwight's middle names to disguise their identity. You share personal stories and information with your stylist, you develop a real relationship. They return to the salon because of the human interactions, and the quality of service, they receive from that particular stylist. My own mother would drive 45 minutes to get her hair done when her stylist moved. Treat your associates as your version of stylists who can create that authentic, human connection.
This is when your associates represent the people behind your brand and share a piece of themselves and thus, your brand with customers. Establishing commonalities with customers through your sales staff gives your customers something to connect with. A shared value, perception or even voice can make your brand relatable and instill trust. Be personal: Encourage sales associates to share a bit about themselves, through the lens of your brand.
Be authentic: Consumers can sniff out inauthenticity in an instant. Customer-associate interactions should be authentic to both the brand and your staff. Be positive: Every interaction should be positive. I was shopping for a new snowboard at my local Christy Sports Ski and Snowboard shop.
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The associate helping me out was a snowboarder himself, and he gave me an objective overview of the different kinds of boards available. Then, he gave me his opinion through his own snowboarding experiences. I immediately trusted him because we established something in common, and I knew he was speaking authentically through his own experiences. I bought a snowboard from him that same day, even though I had originally planned to shop around.
Orientation is essentially welcoming and familiarizing customers to the space in your store. These types of interactions direct customers to what they need and also help them feel comfortable while shopping.
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In that case, orientation is more straightforward: Guide those individuals to get exactly where they want to go. You could also offer helpful information they might not have thought of. After that initial engagement, check in with that customer, with things like:. They often stand by the front doors to greet and say goodbye to customers.
The associate then tells them exactly where they need to go, and even communicates with the rest of the floor to send a staff member that way if the customer needs help. At the end of the day, it comes down to your intuition and noting social cues. Bear in mind that every person, and thus every customer, is different. At the end of the day, Guillot nods to the fact that the best sales associates are inherently good at interpersonal communications.
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However, you can give associates knowledge of sales greeting techniques to enhance their skills and provide a brand-authentic customer experience. However, retail staff training is an area that would benefit from more attention, especially in relation to employing these in-store tactics. But effective employee training is easier said than done. Guillot has found one effective training technique: role-playing. Guillot says to switch it up; role play with extroverted, introverted, suspicious and even rude customers to help your staff build the collective skillset and learn which responses are brand-appropriate.
One straightforward way to effectively greet and interact with customers is to put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be helped?
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Authentic, genuine interactions will almost always win over salesy practices. How do you greet retail customers? Let us know in the comments. Fantastic article — could be used in any area where customer contact is part of the job. Win-win: working on the job and ourselves. You must be logged in to post a comment.