As this associate went on to tell the story, it was clear that the higher ups in the store approved of her selling strategy; after all, she was getting the results everyone wanted; the young woman hit her numbers, the store likes sales, and the customer thought the cute woman in the store was checking him out, so everyone was happy, right?
So, what’s the problem?
Here’s my issue with this situation-every time that woman pretends to be checking out someone she isn’t actually attracted to, just to make a sale, she loses a little of her integrity, does she not? And, when she realizes that her “sales strategy” works, she does it more, which in turn causes her integrity to diminish even more and more and more.
When the leaders of the store tacitly or implicitly reward and reinforce her actions, they send the message that customers aren’t really people to be taken care of and served; they’re people to be fleeced, fooled and scammed-all to make the sale.
The Customer Comes First?
What does this do to the “Customer Comes First” mantra that is trumpeted all over the store? Will the associates believe it now? Or will they think, “That’s just some marketing BS that corporate puts out!”
Oh and by the way, what happens when that guy comes back to ask that young woman out? What does she do then? Awkward!
So what is she supposed to do then?
Listen, if she really thinks the guy is cute and she wants to enjoy the eye-candy, that’s up to her-but I’m suggesting that pretending to do so is bad news all the way around and doesn’t need to be done!
She could smile sincerely and say, “I think those jeans look really good on you. I think they fit you really well.” If they don’t fit well, she could say, “Hmmm….honestly, I’m not sure about that one….but I think I know what style might work well with you!”
The main thing is that she can be sincere, assertive, informative and tenacious…all qualities of a great salesperson, without giving up her integrity and without compromising the integrity of the company.
In over 25 years of experience I've come to realize that you don’t have to sell yourself out to make the sale. You don’t! And if you lead a sales team-encourage them to sell the right way...I think the long-term rewards are worth it.