Let me tell you about mobile broadband.
When you hear the same thing long enough, you stop hearing it. It simply becomes white noise. You might hear a car alarm go off for a few minutes but then your brain stops processing it, even though the noise is still there. That’s sort of how work is at times. One of our focuses is to sell broadband. Reason being, we get a very high return on the product. So, even if someone comes in asking about a screen protector for their phone, part of our job is to somehow work broadbands into the conversation. The customer easily realizes they’re getting a sales pitch and sometimes leave without even purchasing what they came in to get.
Anyway, back to the car alarm analogy. Our priority, ever day, every month, is to sell broadbands. We are reminded, constantly, how important they are to the company and to our success (and to our bonus). Broadbands. Broadbands. Broadbands. Sell broadbands. Did you talk to that person about broadbands? Is that person aware that we sell broadbands? How does that person use the internet? If it’s not via a mobile broadband, tell them how much better it is than what they’re using now. How many broadbands have you sold this month?
It has come to the point where we stop listening to the higher-ups the moment broadbands are mentioned. Yes, we understand broadbands put money in our pockets but can’t we focus on something else for a while? Apparently, no. At the beginning of this month, a new promotion started, one that has been labeled a HIGH priority… selling broadbands. There really is no special promotion currently running, though we’re supposed to tell people there is so that they get excited about it. Broadbands. Broadbands. Broadbands. Sell broadbands. Car alarm. Car alarm. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. And the result is that we stop hearing we’re supposed to sell broadbands, we stop mentioning broadbands, and the whole product is something that gets tuned out. Sorry but you can’t make something a top priority every day of every week of every month. It loses its importance. And of course, at this point, you’re selling a product instead of learning about the customer and finding out what will fit their needs. I’m sure you know how well that goes over with a customer.
Last thing. I’ve been told that I’m doing the customer a disservice every time I do not talk to them about broadbands. Really? A disservice?
Our unhelpful district manager
Our district manager recently paid a visit to us. This person is as robotic as they come and as much as a “yes man” as you can be. My interaction with them consisted of them drilling me on certain measurements. What is the store’s shrink at for the month? Where are you at for BTP for the month? How many post-paid, non-iphone upgrades have you activated in Beast for the quarter? Where is the store at for notional margin so far?
Look, district manager, I don’t get paid a whopping nine dollars an hour to have all these numbers memorized. You want me to sell phones? Leave me alone so I can do my job. If you want to ask me a meaningful question, just let me know. What would I consider a meaningful question? How about, “In your opinion, what could help improve the store’s success?” Or, “Is there anything I, or your immediate manager, can do to improve work conditions?” Or even, “Is there anything keeping the store, or you personally, from achieving goals?” Answering questions like those might lead to something positive. Knowing what our shrink is at for the month is not particularly helpful.
ps. Our shrink is currently at .41%.
4G? Definitely! Not.
Guy comes in to upgrade his phone, says he wants a dollar phone and chooses the Nexus S. He asks if it’s LTE and I say no but that it might be HSPA+. I said I’d check with the manager to be sure. Manager says the phone is EOL and to push the phone, and to tell the guy that the Nexus S is 4G. I do as I’m told. When the customer leaves I do some research online and it took me a quick minute to learn that the phone is 3G only.
The apparent lesson to be learned today? Tell the customer what they want to hear to make the sale. Also, push phones that are end of life.
Wait, aren’t we non-commission and objective? Hmm. And who comes out with the short stick on this one? Yeah..
50 big box stores are closing and 100 mobile stores are opening in their place. Okay, that could be a good thing; reorganization in the face of a changing market. What’s that? The CEO is stepping down? Okay, it happens. Again, change can be a good thing. Huh? He was removed because he was allegedly taking money from the company and using it on his mistress who also works for Best Buy? Awesome! Way to set the example. Hey Dunn, thanks for reinforcing what many already believe.