Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let Shoppers Go Through Their Rituals

Have you noticed how some shoppers will complain and complain about a product or service that seems ideally suited to the shopper's needs and desires, and then after all the complaining and what seems to be arguing with the salesperson, the shopper will go right ahead and buy the offering?
     Other shoppers come into your store asking for a specific product and brand, but before buying it, as they'll end up doing, they want to hear about at least a few alternatives, as if to convince themselves they're making the right decision.
     And then there are those customers who refuse to buy a product until they can take it out of the packaging and run their hands over it. This last group, not surprisingly, resist making purchases over the internet, although, according to researchers at University of Kentucky and University of Wisconsin, rituals of the grasp-and-caress crowd can be satisfied with written or spoken descriptions of all the different textures the product has.
     The complaining, arguing, searching, and caressing are shopping rituals. I'm sure there are many others you've seen as well, some even more bothersome than my three examples. As salespeople gain experience, they learn to respect the customer going through the ritual—or if not respecting the ritual, at least staying out of the way of the ritual as much as possible.
     Most shopping rituals are quite deep-seated in the personality because they were introduced early in life as the child watched others shop and was coached by parents. Some shopping rituals, such as a need to handle or smell products, often have their origins before birth, being hardwired in as the brain developed in the womb.
     Never allow your staff to be harassed. But coach your staff to take time to go along with the harmless rituals.

No comments:

Post a Comment