Friday 4 March 2016
I happened to have a bit of a shopping spree today, and I went into a store that has outlets nationally. I’m not going to name the store because the point of this post is not to name and shame anyone for doing anything wrong. A particular CD caught my eye – yes, I’m one of those people who still has to have physical copies of music, because I’ll never lose my love of CDs, DVDs, or books – and I picked it up, and continued wandering around the store to see if there was anything else that I wanted to purchase. I scoured the CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays but was unable to find any other title that stuck out to me as one that I needed to buy today.
As I wandered the store, an employee said a very happy hello, and continued on with her work, allowing me the time to wander the store, and peruse to the shelves until I was satisfied that I hadn’t missed a single title. With CD in hand, I made my way to the counter to pay for my purchase, where I was greeted by an equally chirpy female employee. As I mentioned, my aim is not to name and shame the employees – they were both quite nice and helpful. After the enthusiastic ‘hello’, and my reply, I pushed the CD case closer to the employee, and indicated that it was all I wanted by saying ‘Just the CD, thanks’. It was at this point that I could have reached over the counter, and given her a lil slap.
She went to the shelves of CDs, found the one that I wanted, and returned to carefully clip the disc into the CD case. ‘Do you want to get another stickered CD to bring your purchase to our special of two CDs for $40?’ she asked me. ‘No, just that one CD, thanks’, I replied. However, not content with the fact that I had clearly articulated that the CD was the only purchase I wanted to make, the employee asked, ‘Do you have enough media wipes?’. In my head I answered: Didn’t I just say that I only wanted the CD? Surely if I wanted media wipes, I would have indicated that to you, or I would’ve chucked a pack on the counter, and said, ‘Hey, I’ll have these too’. In actuality, I simply responded that no, I didn’t need any. Within milliseconds of my response, she asked, ‘Do you watch Game Of Thrones?’ and casually gestured to the pre-order media release that the company she works for issued with regards to the purchase of the new season of GoT. Again, in my head I responded far more harshly than what actually came out of my mouth. For f*#k’s sake, I don’t f*#king want to pre-order ‘Game Of Thrones’. If I wanted to pre-order it, I would have asked you to take my f*#king money, and pre-order the f*#king whole season. ‘Nuh, don’t watch it,’ I simply replied. And the store employee left it at that, process my payment, bagged my purchase, and bid me good day.
Let me mention again: I have no issue with the employees. They were nice, polite, young women. It’s the company policy that sucks balls. I’ve worked in retail, and I fully understand the concept of upselling, and it’s a sales concept that I really don’t like. It’s slimy, sneaky, and a wee bit underhanded. It’s a sales tactic that the company I worked for endorsed – it makes the company a lot more $$$$$$ if you can convince a customer that they need another product, a bigger (and more expensive) version of the product they’re buying, or another product that complements the one they’re looking to purchase, and a good salesperson can upsell like there’s no tomorrow. Hell, I even managed to convince my fair share of customers that they needed to make further purchases on top of what they really wanted. Yep, upselling gets customers to buy stuff that they didn’t know they needed or wanted, as well as the product they intended to get.
But here’s the thing with me and shopping. When I venture out to buy something, I already know exactly what I want, and no amount of a sales assistant trying to upsell will get me to purchase anything extra. I’m a pretty stubborn shopper. So the poor woman at the counter of the store today had a snowflake’s chance in hell of getting me to buy anything else that she was offering.
I also have to wonder what would have made her think that I was the sorta person who watched Game Of Thrones . . . I was wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt, four out of my seven tattoos were highly visible (and I don’t think any of my tattoos scream ‘Hey, this woman watches GoT’), I think I had quite a grumpy expression on my face, not to mention that the CD I was purchasing was ‘White Light’ by The Corrs. The. Corrs. Not the sorta music I have in my head that GoT viewers crank up for a good time. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe GoT viewers get into music by The Corrs . . . I understand why she’d think I’d need media wipes. They’re kinda nerdy things that a Doctor Who fan would buy. And maybe fans of Doctor Who are also likely to be GoT fans. Like I said, I don’t know because GoT isn’t my cuppa tea. I’m more crime, thriller, sci-fi, crime, comedy, crime, murder, horror, psychological thriller, adventure. Did I mention crime? And when you add The Corrs’ music into the equation, the fact that I’m more into crime shows, makes my listening to The Corrs just a lil creepier, don’tcha think? Listens to sweet music by day, kills the sh!t outta people by night. I don’t, just so you know, kill the sh!t outta people by night. Except when I write stuff, but that’s not actually really killing the sh!t outta people. Not real people. Not real killing the sh!t. I’m digging the hole a helluva lot bigger, aren’t I?
Back to upselling. Companies, please stop making it sales policy that your employees are directed to follow. Yeah, I understand it’s a $$$$ making tactic, but it’s f*#king rude to attempt to pressure customers into purchasing more than what they need, want, or can afford. It makes your company look bad, and it puts your employees, who are at the chalkface of your business, in the line of fire from grumpy-assed, and potentially aggressive customers. Your employees are worth more to you than you like to think. They are the ones who make you your big $$$$. Company executives, remember that the next time you direct your employees to upsell, upsell, upsell.