I’m of the personal belief that shopping is a sport. Every time I enter a store, I have a game plan in mind. I usually know what I’m looking for and how to get the best deal. However, if you aren’t a seasoned shopper like me, a sales associate can be your best resource. The one thing you never want to do at a store is be dismissive of a sales associate. You might not need their help right away, but be polite when they approach you. Sure, it can be annoying when an employee hammers you with questions as soon as you walk in the door, but it doesn’t hurt to be polite.
A lot of the time, employees are required to approach customers and ask them certain questions:
“Are you finding everything okay?” “Have you seen our new jeans?” “Do you have a store card with us?” They know it’s annoying, but it’s part of their job. My friend who works in retail told me that she is much more responsive to customers who are courteous when she approaches them. She told me, “If a customer is nice, I’m more likely to go out of my way to help them. If we don’t have an item in stock, I’ll search the backroom for them or check other stores. If they are rude, I usually just tell them if it’s not on the floor, we don’t have it in stock.”
I recently went shopping a friend and she found the perfect leather jacket but it was a size too small. She politely asked an employee for help finding it in her size. Although the employee was clearly busy, she immediately responded to my friend’s respectful approach. The sales associate took the time to help my friend track down the jacket at different stores and gave her tips for ordering it online.
Of course, there are some situation where the sales associate is just trying to make a buck. Be aware of the scenario. Are you shopping at a department store where the sales associate clearly makes commission? Are they pressuring you to make a purchase or do they have your best interest in mind? Don’t tell them exactly how much you are willing to spend. You don’t want them to take advantage of you (or your wallet). However, for the most part, retail employee respond will be helpful and genuine if you are polite. They might even help you get a better deal or tell you where to find coupons, so be nice!
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