First Stop Bob’s Furniture, Next Stop Police Station

I’ve shopped at Bob’s before and the sales people can get really pushy and annoying, but never to the point where I felt like I needed to stop at the police station afterwards to get a restraining order. I guess they say there’s a first time for everything.

Today Eric and I were out running some errands. I had a tons of stuff to return and some things to get. Mom and Dad wanted me to go to Bob’s Furniture with Eric to get him a new bed. With the time change I didn’t realize how early we were there so since we had ten minutes to burn we ran over to Dunkin Donuts for our free drinks. When we came back, we walked in and were immediately met with the presence of about 30 sales people. They were just attacking customers as they walked in the door. They went in for the kill and followed people around the store. Now maybe people are different and like this kind of attention, but certainly not me. I will ask you myself when I have a question. This was probably the worst I’ve ever seen. As we were walking in we were making a tactical plan. We decided we were going to walk right in, heads down and go straight to the back of the store where the mattresses were. Unfortunately one of them latched on. Linda. We immediately switched to plan B and zig-zagged across the store to the back. That didn’t work either. For an older woman she was pretty damn fast. Within about 10 seconds she was right behind us in the “Sleep Zone” burning a whole in the back of our heads.

The building we were in was of course a big impenetrable box with no cellphone reception and we were trying to call Mom and Dad to get the type of mattresses they wanted Eric to look at. This dragged out the process and we were forced to extend this incredibly uncomfortable experience even longer. I was getting service in one spot, but little did we know Mom and Dad were wandering around the back of K-Mart so he didn’t have reception either. We kept losing each other. We had enough service time to get a spending limit and a general suggestion of what Mom saw that she thought would be good for him. The lady saw us starting to look at the different mattress tags and thought it would be a good opportunity to tell us about the mattresses closest to her, which of course was double the price of the ones we were looking at. We kind of brushed her off, especially since she spent the last 20 minutes grilling us and standing guard at the door so we couldn’t leave without passing her on the way out. I knew I didn’t want to work with her even if we decided to buy today. Mom and Dad wanted Eric to try out the mattress here and if he liked it they would have picked it up in New York and brought it up when they bring up my couches next weekend. Eric laid on it, tried it, loved it. We took a picture of the tags and tried to make a run for it. We figured we would call Mom and Dad outside to shake all of the awkward that was going on. Linda insisted on giving Eric her card and told us the mattresses are not in stock so we would need to order them if we wanted one. We yes-ed her and ran.

We talked to Mom and Dad and decided we should go inside and order the mattresses. Damn. Round two. We made it out alive the first time but would we be so lucky the second time? We plotted our plan of attack again and went it. As we walked in we saw Linda. Crap! She was like “Wow that was fast.” I was like “yeah, my Dad wanted us to look at something really quick.” We brisk walked to the back and knew she was probably going to follow us again. We serpentined into the bedroom sets, hid behind the wall for a few minutes, pretended to browse the headboards, and after about 5 minutes we knew the coast was clear. We lost Linda. I definitely didn’t want to work with her so we carefully snuck around the store looking for a sales associate that we liked.

We found this chill guy named Darryl who happened to be walking by and I asked if he was busy and could help us. We told him we wanted to order a mattress, so he had us show him the one we wanted. We carefully walked to the mattresses and showed him the one always being on the lookout for Linda. He took us to the computer in the back corner and started our order. I told him about our experience with Linda and how uncomfortable the whole situation was. He apologized. We thanked him for not stalking us around the store and pushing us into another mattresses or over selling us. While he was writing up the order he asked us if we wanted the mattress protector and what it meant as far as the warranties. We declined the protector. He didn’t try to give us 45 other reasons on why we needed to get it. We said no, he moved on. That’s when the manager came over and lectured us on the mattress protector and why we needed it and how all of our warranties would be void if we don’t get it. He was pushy and things got really uncomfortable. Our sales guy knew that and I swear in his mind he was hoping we wouldn’t just walk out, especially after telling him I wasn’t happy with Linda and now the manager was up our butts. We declined again and he finally walked away.

Darryl wrapped up the sale in about 10 minutes and we were on our way. We went the long way out so Linda didn’t see us and we ran. The mattress will be here on Tuesday and we will be picking it up at the store.

Here are my issues with salesmen:

  • Do not stalk me and follow me around the store. Having someone hover while I am trying to shop is incredibly uncomfortable. I am a big girl and can ask someone for help when I need it. Having someone babysit me is really annoying and makes me not want to buy anything, but rather makes me want to stop at the police station and get a restraining order.
  • Do not push the add-ons. As someone who works in a commission job, I get that add-ons can double your sale. When someone is making a big purchase it can be overwhelming to worry about buying 3 other things that compliment the product, and spending more money. For my brides, I find that they are most likely to buy their add-ons like veils, undergarments, jewelry and shoes later on. The shock of an $800 dress or $1,000 mattress be enough for one transaction.
  • Know when no means no. When I say no thank you, do not continue to push and push and push until I just get annoyed and frustrated. At that point I’ll just walk out instead. What’s even more annoying is when a second person feels they need to swoop in and try too. Just because you walked over and asked doesn’t mean I am going to all of a sudden say “you know what, I like your tie and your hair so for you, yeah, add it on.” No that’s not going to happen. Accept the fact that I said no and lets move on.
  • Chill out with the overly aggressive attitude. Coming in like a hurricane and trying to sell me everything on the floor is  not going to make me want to buy. When I was looking for the sales person I wanted to work with I picked out the chill guy that was more laid back and relaxed. I didn’t want the person that just gave them a sales pep talk in the locker room to get psyched up for selling and went out on the floor with an aggressive attitude.

I am a salesman too, so I get the pressure behind a sale. I sell websites and I sell wedding gowns. I understand the importance of add-ons and making the sale but there is a balance between sales and customer service. My customers are much more likely to come back if I treat them well and I am not pushy. It may not be the way the company wants me to sell but I know how much I hate pushy, aggressive sales people and I don’t want people to dodge me like we dodged Linda.

-AB

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