Originally Posted by lilywhite
It really depends on the quality of the advice and the sensitivity of the delivery. Also, is the sales person LISTENING to the customer's question? It is so frustrating when you ask a simple direct question basically requiring a yes or no response and instead you receive a lecture about something completely irrelevant and then get talked over when you interrupt to ask "yes or no?"
I only wanted to know whether you have any XL gloves out the back somewhere because there is only one pair on the rack, I want 2 pairs. I don't want to discuss mittens/hand warmers/hestras etc.... I have money to pay for gloves, that is all I want, do you have another pair of XL in stock or not?
How is the employee to know what you have in mind? The fact that YOU think it's yes/no doesn't mean that everyone who has asked that Q only meant yes/no. You're expecting the sales person to know you like your family or friends know you. That's a little expectant and spoiled, don't you think? Besides, if all you really want is Glove X in Size D, then if the shop employee tries to expand the conversation you can simply say, "no seriously, I just want these gloves and I need to get going." It's not that tough!
But I think there's something odd about your complaint. You might be able to read unspoken communication like a champ. Some of us aren't that good. Me, for example. I have a hard time knowing when someone's being direct, versus when someone's trying to talk around an embarrassing point. Generally I learn that through a short conversation. But you'd want me to know your intent without a chat.
I'm not a shop rat now, but I was long ago and I have a lot of memories from those days. Mostly I agree with ShopRatAnon's post above, especially this part:
Its not because I want to make you feel inferior, its because I want to talk skiing with you and get you just as excited for the season as I am.
But customers can mess with that desire to share knowledge and excitement. So I agree with this bit from Whiteroom:
As far as what can be done to 'avoid' the shop dance? Just be cool. Maybe say "I'm just checking out what you carry, I'll ask you if I have any questions." Then give it a moment and strike up a skiing conversation that you then introduce a few gear questions into. This will remove 'sales guy' mode and be two skiers having a gear conversation. Remember, attitude predicts attitude, meaning you generally get back what you put out. Treat a shop employee like an idiot and you may get a 'know-it-all' type reaction.
As someone who is pretty serious about skiing and MTB riding, I have all kinds of history with ski shops and bike shops, customer and salesman/employee alike. My experience is that the "impatient, arrogant shop guy" is a result of a few things coming together at once.
(1) Shop guy wants to talk to someone who "gets it" and doesn't waste his time by pretending at expertise. What I mean is that it's not the lack of expertise that is annoying, it's the lack of expertise PLUS the pretense at expertise that gets Shop Guy's goat. Shop Guy will happily help Joe Newbie who accepts and admits newbiedom. What Shop Guy doesn't like is Irving the Internet Expert.
(2) Shop guy might be busy, and trying to manage his time efficiently. Irving the Internet Expert is a bigger waste of time than Joe Newbie.
(3) Shop guy realizes that economically, in a tight economy/market, "the customer is always right" might be the monetary reality even if the customer in this particular case is dead wrong on the skiing facts (or MTB facts). This can be frustrating to Shop Guy.
(4) The customer is not relating to Shop Guy as an equal, but instead, is treating Shop Guy as his/her servant. Now that's a quick way to piss off Shop Guy!Edited by GrizzledVeteran - 12/13/12 at 8:36am