We have so many choices! There are so many brands and styles to pick from that sometimes it becomes paralyzing to choose – so we don’t. We look at everything on the shelves, maybe talk to a sales rep that is even less knowledgeable than we are then we leave the store – empty-handed.
I recently had the opposite experience and it was wonderful! I am in the market for new flooring in my office. Keep in mind that I know NOTHING about flooring. I visited a local merchant to get some ideas and had a delightful encounter with a gentleman by the name of Eric who knows far more about flooring than I do and he was willing to share his knowledge with me.
When I asked him how he knew so much about the type of flooring I am considering, he told me he considered it his job to know. He told me he owes it to his boss, the owner of the store, to educate himself about the products he is selling. He also shared that when a new product comes into the store, he devours the marketing literature, corners the visiting sales reps, examines the product testimonials, attends training sessions and thinks about all of the customers he knows who might benefit from the practical application of the product.
Now I’m intrigued. Remember I evaluate customer service for a living and so far, I am pretty impressed with the level of service I am getting. This sales agent’s product knowledge is noteworthy and his delivery is confident. He is also enthusiastic about every brand and style I am being shown, leading me to the conclusion that this store only carries quality.
I asked Eric if he had a formula that he follows when it comes to product knowledge and he listed several points that he considers important to know about each product he sells so he can share these with his customers. He wants them to make informed decisions.
He started off by listing price (expensive, medium expense, budget conscious option) then mentioned knowing the styles, colors and materials available for each product. If a style or color is discontinued, he’ll investigate to find out why.
He also said that he likes knowing a bit about the manufacturer, in particular their history. He said it makes for added interest in the sale.
He then mentioned that he likes knowing how a product is manufactured and distributed so he can share this with potential customers too.
And he ended by telling me that he never lets a customer leave the store without a conversation about the product warranty.
By the time I left the store, I had ordered up several cartons of flooring and felt really good about my purchase. Could I have gone online to educate myself about the products this store carries? Probably, but Eric and his boss know that I have better things to do with my Saturday afternoons!
Because Eric was so knowledgeable, I consider him more than a sales rep – I consider him a flooring consultant capable of answering any questions I might pose to him. I only wish I had more floors to replace.
When you are purchasing something that has many choices, is complicated and/or expensive, what is it you value in your sales representative?
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