Walk In Customers – For **** Sake Sell Them Something

The Frustration Of The Walk In Customer

When someone walks through the front door of your business or telephones you with an enquiry make sure you sell them something.  Anything.  Just make sure you turn them into a customer.

My experience this past week suggests a lot of businesses aren’t making sure their employees have got the hang of “making customers” and it’s destroying marketing investment.

What makes people walk through the door?  What motivates them to call your phone number?  Marketing.

In fact all your marketing effort and investment to date.  That’s what makes them come to you.

Word of mouth, postcards, emails, text messages, print adverts, sales letters, PPC adverts, networking.  The cumulative effect is to make them interested in buying something from you.

So why don’t you convert these visitors into paying customers?  After all, if they’ve made all that effort to come to you, it seems almost rude not to sell them something.

But something is getting in the way.  And that something is your employees.

Unlike you, they get paid whether they sell stuff or not.  The minimum wage sees to it that even the most callous duffer can stand at your shop counter or reception desk and destroy all that cumulative marketing effort – and be rewarded with a wage.

Your job is to make sure they’re converting walk-ins into paying customers.  Rule No.1 – Convert Existing Enquiries.

My experience of the past few days suggests that the average British employee is setting the standard depressingly low.  And yes – it IS insulting and rude.  After several shopping forays for different things all I’ve managed to achieve is waste my time.  The employee still gets paid, but you haven’t sold me anything and I haven’t realised any benefit from a successful purchase.

I’ve told you before about the hotel receptionists pointing walk in customers to the website for bookings.  Here’s more of the same.

The optician’s assistant who reversed out of a £250 sale because she wanted my to buy what I wanted after my next eye test (in 3 months time).  Her manager stood at the desk and watched her.  Despite my protests,

“No, please listen.  I really want to buy them today if I can!”

I left the shop empty handed.

(And went to a competitor yesterday who employed the exception that proves the rule – an excellent welcome to the premises, locked on to my needs and sorted out what needs to happen in order for me to get what I’m looking for.  Guess where I’ll be spending my hard earned cash.)

The supermarket that left me standing around like a lemon for 15 minutes because nobody was manning the desk I was told to go to.  Lots of staff walked past me.  None of them responded to me saying “excuse me…”.  So I just left the item on the desk and walked away.

The chain store that could have doubled the value of the sale.  I needed a new passport drive for backing up my laptop.  Two employees said hello.  But they were too busy completing some sort of internal document to bother asking what I was looking for.  I bought a £55 item.  I could easily have been persuaded to buy a £110 item instead but I needed some advice first.  I wasn’t offered any so I just bought the item I knew I needed.  Instead of the one I might have wanted.

Do you measure sales generated by walk in customers?

Are you really open for business?





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