Are you really “here to help?”


To follow in a similar vein to my last blog, I was in a well-known Swedish furniture store the other week with my Better Half, looking to buy some book-cases.

After piling our trolley with what we needed, at the check-out we were greeted by a girl wearing a name-badge containing the slogan “Here to help…”

As I made to pay, she asked “Have you got one of our family loyalty cards?”

“No,” I said – and that was that.

So she proceeded to wait for me to key in my PIN number.

But my Better Half decided to offer her an olive branch – otherwise known as a gilt-edged buying signal – in the shape of a question. “What is a family card?”

Without even looking at us, she said: “It gives you discounts on purchases and life insurance on what you buy.”

And that was it! That was the full extent of her sales pitch to us about the family loyalty card. After that she simply handed me my receipt and waited for the next customer to push their trolley up to her.

I took one last glance at her “Here to help…” badge, and made for the exit.

I looked at my Better Half and she looked at me. “So, do you know what a family loyalty card is?”

“Not really,” she said. “Which is a shame really, because I might have got one if I had.”

Now, I have no idea if the girl on the check-out was on any commission for getting customers signed up for the store loyalty card. In a way, I almost hoped she wasn’t because that could be the only reason why she showed so little interest in trying to get us on board.

For a company that spends so much money on marketing their image, they should probably spend a little bit on training their staff in recognising buying signals. Especially when they insist on their staff wearing badges that say “Here to help…”

Here to help? I’m not so sure.

So, make sure you or your staff don’t fall foul of thinking you’re selling, when really all you are doing is blandly trotting out a few basic features of your product.


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