If I want to buy ... Let me buy !

33 replies
True story:

I was trying to buy 3 tickets to get on a boat. That is all.

me) Hi, can I buy tickets here?

guy) No

About 10 seconds of silence.

me) Where can I buy tickets?

guy) At the outside ticket counter

me) Where is that?

guy) at the mill

me) where is the mill?

guy) the building that says mill.

me) seriously? That is your answer?
(as I walked away ... and he lost 60 bucks)


This would be a funny story ... if I did not see this type of thing all the time.

If you have something for sale. Make it easy to buy.
It is really that simple.

In his case ... A finger in the direction I needed to go.
Perhaps a sign ... a map ... some advertising and he
would have made him an extra 60 bucks for the day.

How much money do you lose because of an over complicated system?
#buy
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    This is a good example of zero customer service skills, and possibly someone who is tired of their job. They're familiar with the process steps and landmarks, and assume everyone else should be, too. "Duh, everyone knows where the mill is...you idiot." Time for a new job for that guy. The type that thinks 'Nobody knows how hard I work'.

    If it was the owner and not an employee, that is really disturbing. Either way, it shows someone who doesn't understand that without sales you don't have a business.
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    • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      This is a good example of zero customer service skills, and possibly someone who is tired of their job. They're familiar with the process steps and landmarks, and assume everyone else should be, too. "Duh, everyone knows where the mill is...you idiot." Time for a new job for that guy. The type that thinks 'Nobody knows how hard I work'.

      If it was the owner and not an employee, that is really disturbing. Either way, it shows someone who doesn't understand that without sales you don't have a business.
      True. It also shows how the business owner, manager or company leadership has poorly set expectations, training and rewards.
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      Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
      - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I think that person needs an attitude adjustment. I can arrange for a job tearing off roofs for a month and then we can asses his attitude about working behind a counter selling tickets and how much hard work it is. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    It's worse when a salesman does it.... check this out....

    I'm sat at home and my phone rings, it's a guy from Facebook, because I spent over £900 this month I get a free consultation with an "ads expert", but in order to get it I have to credit my "pro" account with another £900. I'm ready to do this as I know I'll spend it.

    This conversation (or similar) follows...

    Me - Great, let's do it
    Him - So, I'll just let you think about it and I'll give you a call back, when would be a good time?
    Me - Errr now, let's arrange the call with my expert
    Him - Well I'm actually just about to leave the office and I'm not in until Wednesday, is Wednesday good?
    Me - I'd rather just get it settled now

    Some more small talk and he took my payment, but I literally had to close myself, is this some sneaky new sales technique I don't know about?
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    About ten years ago, this is me at a major chain store in search of a digital camera (before they were on every smartphone):

    Three salespeople are chatting. One is working behind the counter. Two are visiting, leaning on the customer side of the counter. I stand and wait a few seconds for a break in the conversation, or even a glance in my direction. Finally, I say, "Excuse me, do you sell digital cameras?"

    "No," the salesperson behind the counter says and resumes her conversation.

    Looking down, I see them in the case behind the people standing on my side.

    "Uh, I see about 15 right here," I said.

    "You said VIDEO cameras," the salesperson behind the counter said.

    "I said DIGITAL cameras."

    "No, you said VIDEO cameras," the salesperson next to me said.

    Oy.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Isn't that the guy who created the f1040 form?

    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

    True story:

    I was trying to buy 3 tickets to get on a boat. That is all.

    me) Hi, can I buy tickets here?

    guy) No

    About 10 seconds of silence.

    me) Where can I buy tickets?

    guy) At the outside ticket counter

    me) Where is that?

    guy) at the mill

    me) where is the mill?

    guy) the building that says mill.

    me) seriously? That is your answer?
    (as I walked away ... and he lost 60 bucks)


    This would be a funny story ... if I did not see this type of thing all the time.

    If you have something for sale. Make it easy to buy.
    It is really that simple.

    In his case ... A finger in the direction I needed to go.
    Perhaps a sign ... a map ... some advertising and he
    would have made him an extra 60 bucks for the day.

    How much money do you lose because of an over complicated system?
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    The phone rings and rings...and no one picks it up.

    I was in the office of a struggling chiropractor. His wife was the receptionist.

    I had stopped by to see how a promotion was working for them.

    As I waited for the chiropractor to finish with a patient, I noticed that the phone was ringing, but was not being answered.

    Thinking that (just maybe) these calls might be in response to the promotion, I asked the "receptionist" why she wasn't picking up the phone. "Oh, I'm on my break," she responded.
    She went right back to that important magazine she was reading.

    I left.

    I know how the story ends.

    A few months later, there was a "for lease" banner hanging in their window.
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    • Profile picture of the author digichik
      Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

      The phone rings and rings...and no one picks it up.

      I was in the office of a struggling chiropractor. His wife was the receptionist.

      I had stopped by to see how a promotion was working for them.

      As I waited for the chiropractor to finish with a patient, I noticed that the phone was ringing, but was not being answered.

      Thinking that (just maybe) these calls might be in response to the promotion, I asked the "receptionist" why she wasn't picking up the phone. "Oh, I'm on my break," she responded.
      She went right back to that important magazine she was reading.

      I left.

      I know how the story ends.

      A few months later, there was a "for lease" banner hanging in their window.
      I have never understood why businesses don't pay significant salaries to their receptionist, and hire only really qualified people. The receptionist is the first contact most customers/client have with a business, and the first impression. I have only known of one company that paid their receptionist really well, she was extremely competent. Of course it was a financial firm, wanting investors.

      On the other hand, I had a plastic surgeon as a client who ran Groupon offers to get more business, but his staff of 20 would regularly let most of the calls go to voicemail. Thus, much of the business they could have had went to the plastic surgeon down the street. Literally.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        digichik,

        I made a potful of money selling phone systems back in the 90's.
        Small business or large business, didn't matter. They drooled over auto attendant

        You can't fight stupid. Might as well sell into it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
          Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

          digichik,

          I made a potful of money selling phone systems back in the 90's.
          Small business or large business, didn't matter. They drooled over auto attendant

          You can't fight stupid. Might as well sell into it.
          When the auto attendant has like 4 different buttons to press to be connected to a real person! When they leave their away message on even during business hours, when you press '0' and it disconnects the call.. wtf
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    these stories reflect poor management. they are everywhere. It's ironic that they spend any money on marketing when they are so poor at taking peoples' money.

    its tough to turn these into a biz oppty (selling them sales/cust svc )because the owner/mgr are apathetic, crap rolls down hill.

    when they go out of business, they just say "golly gee, that business was hard"
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    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      when they go out of business, they just say "golly gee, that business was hard"
      Or blame it on Obama.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Black 68
    We see people making life for consumers as difficult as possible everywhere we go.

    The other night I visited a local Chinese restaurant.

    On arriving I asked ' You do take credit cards, don't you?'
    "No, sorry - cash only"

    None of the four of us had any cash on us, and with no ATM nearby, we couldn't get any.
    We spent £85 at the much busier Indian restaurant 3 doors away.

    Make it easy for people to pay and you get far more business.

    I notice this online a lot - getting through the check out process can be so difficult, people will give up before they complete their purchases.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Fortunately, you asked before ordering, eating and discovering "cash only".

      I've run across a certain attitude from time to time, over the years.

      It goes like this: "It's my business, and I'll run it the way I want to."

      When I hear that tone, however it's expressed, I know it's time to leave.

      And, I do.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        My local competitor won't accept credit cards "because I can't afford the fees".

        Words fail me.

        We bought a hand made Amish dining room set. It was about $8,000. We went to pay with a credit card. "We don't take credit cards here".

        I said "I'm sure you get lots of requests. What do you tell other people who want to pay with a card?"

        She said "We tell them to go to their bank, and get the cash".

        So, we wrote a check.

        I'm guessing they are missing 40% of their sales because of this blunder.

        We were in a J.C. Penny's a year or so ago. At the counter, the woman said "Too bad you weren't here last week, everything was 30% off. Next month we are having another sale. Would you like to put these back and come back then?"

        If she had been working for me, I would have fired her on the spot.
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    • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
      you mentioned online.

      one thing to watch out for is using captchas. Some of them are sooo dang hard to read and get right. If it takes me more than a couple times to get the captcha right, i'll forget it. For shins and giggles I tried one and it took me 5 tries lol. and i have good vision! Don't make it too hard, people get pissed, cancel out transaction and won't be back!




      Originally Posted by David Black 68 View Post

      We see people making life for consumers as difficult as possible everywhere we go.

      The other night I visited a local Chinese restaurant.

      On arriving I asked ' You do take credit cards, don't you?'
      "No, sorry - cash only"

      None of the four of us had any cash on us, and with no ATM nearby, we couldn't get any.
      We spent £85 at the much busier Indian restaurant 3 doors away.

      Make it easy for people to pay and you get far more business.

      I notice this online a lot - getting through the check out process can be so difficult, people will give up before they complete their purchases.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    "I'm guessing they are missing 40% of their sales because of this blunder."

    Claude,

    I would be willing to bet that it's much higher.

    I could be wrong about this, but do most of your customers carry their checkbook with them?
    I wouldn't think so.

    Once they leave the store, forget it.

    When I think about all the referral business being lost, it makes me want to jump in and go head to head with them.

    Just to show them how it's done.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

      I could be wrong about this, but do most of your customers carry their checkbook with them?
      I wouldn't think so.

      Once they leave the store, forget it.

      When I think about all the referral business being lost, it makes me want to jump in and go head to head with them.

      Just to show them how it's done.
      We are in a rural area. But over 90% of my sales are with a credit card.

      My local competitor asked me once why I had so much inventory, and how could I afford it. (The same guy that won't accept credit cards) I said "I sell lots of vacuum cleaners for more than I pay for them. And them I buy more vacuum cleaners....and I sell them. "
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Matthew,

    It was set up that way to keep you from talking to a human being.
    Try to do the "hit 0 to ring the operator" deal and it dumps your call.

    Incredibly stupid!

    Think about how their customers feel when they are calling about service issues.

    Think about how their prospects feel being stuck in "automated hell".

    I can remember walking into the office of a fairly large business. We had just installed their new phone system, and I was making a personal visit to make sure they were happy.

    I got a big smile and thumbs up from the receptionist. She sat there not answering calls but playing Solitare on her computer.

    I smiled back, but I remember thinkin', "unfreakingbelievable".
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobalTrader
    I agree with everyone's comments on this thread but I also would suggest that some of the problem with poor service is that most people 'politely' go away without ever asking to speak with a supervisor or sending an email to the company detailing the poor service you received.

    My wife and I had a good example of how effective complaining can be recently when her 86 year old mother entered an assisted care facility. To make a long story short, part of their services outlined in their 30 page contract was seeing that her mother would be personally prompted at meal times and if she wanted to eat they would take her in her wheelchair and then see she got back to her room since the facility is so large.

    She entered the facility on a Thursday and by Saturday afternoon she had missed 3 different meals and she said no one had come to her room as was agreed to - this was despite my wife speaking with some of the floor staff.

    I wrote a long email to the staff person who we worked late Saturday evening and Sunday morning we had a call from their nursing staff stating they were sorry for the level of service not being provided and would see it did not happen again.

    My Wife now says that when she is visiting her Mother the staff knows her by name and it almost like we have put the fear of God into them, but in reality all we did was let management know how things were not happening the way they had agreed to in their contract.

    Take a few minutes to complain, by phone, by email however, it may not do any good for some businesses but you may be surprised by how many will take positive action to try to keep it from happening again.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      What a coincidence, a new client emailed
      me back saying how easy it is to do business
      with me.

      Here's his quote...
      " Hi Ewen

      That arrangement sounds perfect, thankyou for your easy operation!*
      Regards"

      It was change of ownership for a Restaurant I service
      and he wanted to know how the supply
      arrangement was with previous owner.

      I got in first by making contact after previous owner
      let me know he had sold and gave new owner's contact details

      Never let one slip away.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        What a coincidence, a new client emailed
        me back saying how easy it is to do business
        with me.

        Here's his quote...
        " Hi Ewen

        That arrangement sounds perfect, thankyou for your easy operation!*
        Regards"

        It was change of ownership for a Restuarnt I service
        and he he wanted to know how the supply
        arrangement was with previous owner.

        I got in first by making contact after previous owner
        let me know he had sold and gave new owner's contact details

        Never let one slip away.

        Best,
        Ewen
        Good job. I just watched an interview with Aaron Levie, the hyper and funny young founder of Box, which serves corporations with a service similar to Dropbox. He said things change so fast now, in addition to developing new customers, you have to concentrate on re-winning your current customers every day. Otherwise, if you take them for granted, the ground shifts beneath you and they are gone.
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    • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
      Originally Posted by GlobalTrader View Post

      I agree with everyone's comments on this thread but I also would suggest that some of the problem with poor service is that most people 'politely' go away without ever asking to speak with a supervisor or sending an email to the company detailing the poor service you received.
      but going away and voting w/ pocketbook is the ultimate in feedback to the owner

      I agree with you that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, especially where you have already committed or spent money. Then bring up problems and negotiate. But initial contacts w/ businesses that don't give a flip, its easy to go to a competitor that does value your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    It does amaze me how many businesses have poor customer service. It's like, if you hate your job so much quit! Nothing is keeping you there.

    And, don't get me started on businesses not accepting credit cards... (David starts pulling out the hairs from his head)
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      It can get a lot worse... Like sales staff not selling to a client who's bothered to come into their store.

      A few years ago,something didn't feel right with my glasses (I'm blind without them), I wasn't seeing right. I figured I'd bent them somewhere. I was by the place where four months prior I had an eye exam, bought a year's supply of contact lenses and bought a rather expensive pair of glasses, frame and lenses.

      I gave the lady behind the counter my glasses, asked her if she could fix them.

      She looked at the name on the frame and she said, No, I had not bought them there. I insisted I was a customer, gave her my phone number. She looked me up in their computer.

      You bought a pair of glasses here, but it was not these ones, she said.

      She gave me my glasses. As I took them, the bridge broke in half.

      She let me go. And I never went back.

      Just to make this crystal clear: she'd looked at my file on their system, where it said I was blind as a bat and needed glasses to see my own nose, where it said I had spent a good sum of money on stuff in their store.

      True, I had not bought that particular pair from them, but c'mon, she's paid to make sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    DABK

    I'm lost.

    Were you expecting the counterperson to "make good" on a non-existent warranty
    since you didn't buy the glasses there?
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      If she'd worked for me, I would have wanted her to go beyond the fact that the pair of glasses I had with me was not from their store and more on the fact that I was there, in dire need of glasses, and suggest I buy something from her right there and then... The lenses were good, they could easily have been put into a new frame.

      Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

      DABK

      I'm lost.

      Were you expecting the counterperson to "make good" on a non-existent warranty
      since you didn't buy the glasses there?
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  • Profile picture of the author JacobS
    In my first sales job, I blew the doors off the place in my second week. Everybody thought I was some kind of sales prodigy. I hadn't been "properly" trained, didn't know the script very well, didn't follow the proper procedures, but when people were ready to buy I'd close the sale as quickly as possible and let them get off the phone.

    After I had a bit more training it took me six months to match that second week. Sometimes poor training gets in the way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Make it easy for the prospect to become a customer.

    We qualify prospects for life insurance products and draft their accounts later.

    If we were required to hit up Granny for $50 on the spot, we'd lost 75% of all new business opportunities; life insurance is a one-call close -- all it takes for some other dude to come behind me after I leave with better terms to seal the deal.

    You get it now or 90% of the time you don't.

    Certainly some of these people fall off the book, but multiples more are made into happy life insurance clients with the buy now pay later method.

    Additionally, Ben Feldman, when getting resistance to open a life insurance case, would simply ask to get the prospect to go through underwriting first. He knew the more you could get a prospect to commit to the process, the higher chance you were going to sell him something; maybe not the original proposal, but a smaller or larger version.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I have had so many bad customer service problems over the years. I ALWAYS make a point of complaining about it because the managers/owners don't know there's a problem if nobody tells them. The same applies to phone service.

    However, the reverse is also true. I recently had a very complicated scenario with my phone bill and it took ages and 3 separate calls to finally get someone on the line who could actually speak English and after lengthy discussion, she sorted out my problem and gave me a discount.

    I then asked to speak to her supervisor. She asked if there was something wrong. I said "don't worry. I wanted to give him positive feedback because most people only offer the negative." She said I had made her day.

    So remember the positives and negatives and make a point of complaining so the next person doesn't have to suffer the same problems. If everyone did this, the world would be a better place.
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  • Profile picture of the author John D
    Yeah, you find this alot on and offline. One big name store I havn't been to in years because of a bad customer service experience. It seems you are made to jump through hoops just to buy one simple thing. People's time is precious, and when we are itching to spend a few bucks on your products or services...the process should be as simple as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nail Yener
    Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

    How much money do you lose because of an over complicated system?
    Not only some businesses have complicated systems, but also in the last couple of years, I personally came across a number of local businesses in which the person in charge did not really show any interest in selling what I was looking for or even helping me genuinely and trying to find it for me if it was not available at that moment. I am not even talking about taking my contact info and trying to find the things I was looking for and contacting me later on.

    It seems weird to me but some people who run a business seem not to care about the customers at all. Also, not interestingly, in such businesses there is no interest in trying to create repeat customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Adams
    And, the business owner is to blame in all these situations as they hire the least qualified, novice people as they are cheap and mostly their job is to stand there and take money at the counter, rather than actually assist the customer. Very little time is put into training the person behind the counter in actual customer service skills as it's assumed they won't have to answer questions or be helpful other than figuring up how much is owed. It's the business owner's responsibility to ensure his or her customers are being treated right by the employees and that starts with hiring the right people, then training properly and monitoring (via secret shoppers and video cameras which record the employee/customer interaction). When a business owner cares enough to put this much effort into their employees, they are bound to get sales and earn more money.
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