The last entry (Meeting Two – Pre-service) discussed the fact that many PGA pros that I have known that are in charge of golf shop staffs are put off by any serious discussion of salesmanship as possibly being perceived by members or guests as ‘hard sell’ and put off accordingly. I recently googled retail salesmanship in preparation for writing about a staff meeting that would discuss in-shop salesmanship and came across an article called “7 Truths of Retail Selling” written by Chip Averwater. I thought I would use these truths as themes for our meeting as could the Leader at your meeting.
Truth 4. Nothing sells like a personal relationship.
When possible, customers - certainly members - should be welcomed to the shop by name and in the same manner they would be welcomed to your home.
“Customers rationalize their buying decisions on many factors - price, brand, service, warranty, etc. –
True, once an appropriate product is identified and properly explained the salesperson should ask if it’s correct and what else needs to be done to facilitate the sale. Many customers need that focus and
Obviously none of this can properly happen from behind the counter.
Truth 6. A return policy is a tool, not a rule.
“The purpose of a return policy is to encourage sales, not to limit when and how a customer can return something they are unhappy with.”
“Take it with you. If you don’t like it you back.” Smart retailers don’t reluctantly offer a return policy – they promote and advertise it. Not only does it create more sales, but if a customer is unhappy with something they’ve bought, you don’t want him to keep it and be continually reminded of the unsuccessful experience with your shop.
“Forget about the few who abuse a return policy and focus on the 99% who will buy more because of the reassurance. If returned merchandise isn’t damaged, the cost is still negligible.
Truth 7. Just because they don’t complain doesn’t mean they’re happy.
“Customers don’t like to be complainers. Most would rather stew in their dissatisfaction, tell their friends and neighbors about it, swear off any further business with you than tell you they’re unhappy.”
Waiting to meet friends in a pro shop recently, there was an assistant pro on the phone who never acknowledged my presence or even looked my way. I roamed the entire shop as I usually do and stopped a number of times to ponder the merchandise inquisitively. Ten minutes later my friends arrived as we made our way into the bar the assistant was still with his call. Interestingly the bartender knew one of my buddies and began making him a stinger before he sat down while inquiring as to his friend’s names and libations of choice. My guess is that the golf shop and bar are not run by the same person and that if you brought up the subject of customer service with the golf pro he would probably tell you about budget cuts. One thing I don’t have to guess about is that I am not buying anything from his first assistant.