Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interview: Helping customers to avoid wrong choices

A photographer (http://fotto.be/), an artist, a traveller, a dreamer….  and a sales person in a travel shop
-Taking in considerations everything you do, what brought you to a travel shop?
-Well, I understood for me that I need time to develop as an artist. If I would work as a photographer then I would go from one job to another and there would be no space for my own creativity anymore.
For me it was quite obvious that when I would work in a shop it would be The shop I am in. I travelled a lot in the previous 2 years with my back pack, and before it was by bicycle. So, when I started in the shop I could tell more about the products than guys who had to teach me. You know, when you are dreaming since you are a little boy, 12 years old, about long trips you read the entire internet and this way you learn a lot. Travelling was always my passion.
And you can see it when I am selling. When I am talking I always say “I used this for this reason”. And when I say “I have it on my own, I’ve been testing it and I am really happy with it” it builds trust. And the first thing you need is to build trust in order to be able to sell.
Did you get a lot of training in the shop?
We are quite service oriented in the shop. We have some training and there are quite some rules, but in the shop I always follow my intuition.
 It is very interesting, because sometimes I tell customers that they will be better off if they buy the needed product somewhere else. It seems crazy, but on the other hand the client will think “He sends me to the other shop but I will get back again because here I get helped” And you can see it works, when you look at the numbers. You see many clients coming especially to us.
I think this is part of my own style.
Yes, I noticed it. When I visited the shop, it was also  a very interesting experience: I am coming, asking for a specific product I want, and then you say me “No, you don’t need it!”
Yes, the thing I always start with, is asking what you will be using the product for. And I knew that the solution to your problem is not the product you asked for. This often happens: clients come having a product in mind, but maybe there is somebody who knows better what is on the market and what can help them better. This way you make a step further, and your clients are much happier, because suddenly they have a better solution. 
Sometimes a person comes asking for a sleeping bag for 100 Euros, and I tell them they just need a sheet when going to Thailand. So, I sell them a travel sheet of half of the price, but they are much happier. Then I can also advise them not to buy cotton clothes when travelling in tropics because they attract water and it it’s very wet there, so it’s not a good choice. This way instead of offering one expensive and not useful product, you can sell more, cheaper products but which will be really helpful.
How do clients usually react when you tell them they don’t need the product they are asking for?
Well, you have people who tell you “No, I need this” and then I just help them. But usually they listen. You know, when the clients come inside, I just want them to buy the best possible for them. And sometimes you need to play some little tricks to get them what they need.