0Posted by Robert-Jan Broer on May 05, 2009
Just recently, a member (Thomas) of the LinkedIn group ‘Passion for Watches’ asked whether you – as a customer – know more about watches than the sales person behind the counter. The following boundary conditions were added: only consider the purchase of a new watch from a brick and mortar store. This can be either a flag ship store (brand boutique) or an authorized dealer.
Personally, I always try to do some research before I buy an expensive or durable product like a watch, camera or HiFi for example. Having so many blogs, forums, product review websites, it is quite easy to learn about the product you want to have. I assume that most people nowadays will do the same. It comes in handy when the sales staff knows what they are talking about, and are able to help you shifting the information you got from the internet.
Additionally, Thomas asked whether a certified (on product knowledge) sales?Ç¬staff would influence your buying decision.
I do have to admit that I don’t have a sales background, and that I probably am not comparible to the average customer in a jewellery/watch store. However, I assume there is still a number of people that just want to have a nice watch and step into a store with 3K in their pockets to get themselves a good wrist watch. How else can these stores sell an Omega Planet Ocean James Bond edition or an IWC Spitfire.
Jokes aside, this type of?Ç¬customer probably needs some guidance from sales staff, and then some product knowledge would be useful. One could ask himself,?Ç¬for who? For the shop that needs to sell some watches that they can’t get rid off or for the customer who needs this kind of guidance? Since an authorized dealer needs to order a collection of watches from a brand, including models they really don’t want to have, how can we be certain that these models aren’t being pushed to the ignorant? We probably will never know
Anyhows, it would be nice of course to talk to (sales)?Ç¬staff who know a lot about the watch you are interested in of course, and I definitely see the advance for the shop (and the buyer) when sales staff is trained well. However, I surely know when someone is JUST trained in being enthusiastic about a watch, or when a?Ç¬sales?Ç¬person?Ç¬is passionate about a timepiece he or she?Ç¬is selling. If it is a ‘trick’, then please spare me the fake enthusiasm because in a way, I feel that I am not being taken seriously. You can’t beat the passion if you don’t share it, as one of the LinkedIn group members wrote.
You will find some interesting write-ups at customercentric.org about customer service.