Today we strive towards an information marketing strategy. We as marketeers post online content, follow up on user generated content. We let the consumers get involved in our prototypes and new products.

The brand and the consumer are standing beside each other. Why isn’t the store manager standing next to the brand and the consumer?

In the book the conversation manager it was pointed out briefly that the consumer is an expert on what he wants. He has gather the necessary information about the product, the competitors, the features and capabilities. Thanks to social media: people from around the world inform you about the best products out there. Most of the time not just ordinary people, close friends and relatives will point you in the direction of a brand,company or product.

The store manager and the salesforce should be aware. They should be aware that the consumer exactly knows what he wants. If he wants to buy an High Definition TV from one particular brand, let him buy that HD TV. Should you inform the consumer about the competitors with the exact same features, yes. I said inform not persuade.

We are the experts and we will take advice from experts, not from row pointers. Every time I walk into a big electronic store like MediaMarkt or Saturn, I get row pointers. The salesforce just points and says: “It’s over there”. When the consumer exactly knows what he wants it isn’t that bad actually. But most of the time he wants to be acknowledged on his expertise. Guide the consumer towards his product and ask him a few questions. Did you hear about the latest technology? Did you hear that you can run Windows on a Mac? …

The best part is when someone of the sales force says: “I’m sorry sir. This is not my department”. What follows is frustration! Because the guy of the department just went out to get a cup of coffee and a chocolate muffin, result you’ll have to wait for half an hour till somebody shows up.

So a small solution should take care of that problem:

  1. The sales floor is a house of knowledge. Learn from each other on the sales floor.
  2. 4 computers at the entrance, where you can type in your question. The computer will guide you trough the store to get your product.
  3. When the computer isn’t capable to answer your question the sales person of the department will be notified. The computer will guide you trough the store to the right department where you will find the sales person that has been notified. No waiting = awesomeness!
    1. Perfect for statistics:
      • You can see how many times a sales person has been called upon
      • Erase the workforce or add workforce on different departments.
    2. You can see how well your sales person is informed about a product:
    • Yes, I could help my customer
    • Yes, I could help my customer with an alternative, we didn’t have his product.
    • No, I couldn’t help my customer, need more info about the product.
    • No,I couldn’t help my customer, we don’t have the product or an alternative.
  4. The salesforce should know the basics of every department.
  5. Make a list of the 10 most F.A.Q. for each department, 10 most in demand products. Lists of 10 aren’t that hard to remember, if you are really not capable of helping the customer because he is an expert. Notify your colleague and now you can point a row where the colleague is standing.

It’s like a Disney ending everybody happy.

Row Pointer Happy = Department Expert Happy = Consumer Expert Happy = Brand Happy = Boss Happy