You know when you’ve just gotta have it now, whether it’s pizza, a new outfit or an answer? Instant gratification is everywhere. Why wait, when you want—NEED—it faster than five minutes ago? I spotted a prime example of instant gratification in action just last week. A new item, advertised as the perfect accessory for spring, created a buzz in the stores that make up a small chain.
The item, a delicate pendant spun from multicolor threads and embellished with tiny silver charms, was a surprise hit for the chain. The buyer who liked it, underestimated its appeal, so the small order quickly sold out. The trendy “gotta have it now” item of the moment was on backorder, much to the annoyance of those who fell in love with its design.
“We’ve been to every store,” one customer said. “They all say to place an order and we might get it in a month.” At the store where I stood, one saleswoman wore the necklace, its pastel-toned shadings enhanced by her simple black blouse. “How many could you sell, if you had them in stock?” I asked, and she rolled her eyes. “No one wants to even look at anything else. We could move hundreds, along with coordinating accessories. It’s like trying to sell pink flowers for Fourth of July.”
I watched as she patiently explained to yet another young teen that no, there were no more in the back. “She really wants one,” the girl’s mother pleaded, waving a platinum credit card. “But not for herself. It’s for her friend’s birthday.” The teen explained, “Jen’s dad‘s been out of work since summer, and she’d never be able to afford one. “
The saleswoman unclasped her own necklace, discreetly placing it in a small box, while the teenager’s face lit up like a sunrise. When the happy sale was complete, I looked at the clerk, who shrugged. “I really hate disappointing customers,” she said. “My grandfather ran a clothing store, and he always said, if you make the customer happy today, he’ll come back happier tomorrow.”
True, no matter what you’re selling—even, or especially, when it’s a surprise order of instant gratification.
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