Customer: “I’m looking for a light blue sundress for my trip to the Caribbean”
Salesperson: “We have this awesome cardigan sweater.”
Customer: “It’s too hot for that and I need a dress. How about that one? It looks nice”
Salesperson: “You don’t want that. It’s a mess. You want this sweater!”
When you go shopping for a “solution” to a pending problem, do you find yourself enduring this type of conversation with the person who is supposed to assist you ? Sadly, so many stores now focus on pushing what they have, completely ignoring what you need.
I’ve seen this practice particularly prevalent in technology sales. For example, you go to the store for your wireless carrier, seeking a new phone. You know what features you want, and those you would never use. The clerk never takes the time to ask what you want because they have the device in mind which brings a bonus to their paycheck. In fact, if you’ve done your homework, read the reviews, evaluated the features, and have a specific phone in mind, be prepared for them to tell you why you don’t want that one, but you should buy their “better” model.
Before you go out to buy, here are some guidelines that will help you come home with the right device, and without the angst of making a pushed purchase. Remember, you will likely have this device for the next two, or more, years, so use caution.
Know your needs
If you are looking for a phone, computer, or tablet, be sure to first make a written list of how you will use the device. What is important? What will you not use? Think this out carefully. If you are replacing a device, be sure to list the features you wish you had now. This investment is actually a tool to help you, not some glitzy toy with features you will never use.
Research what is available
There are ample articles available on what devices do, how they work, and who has quality products. Do you research and read the reviews of various available products. For example, if you want a phone, look at the models the carrier provides. Read the feature list, and note the model numbers of those that appeal. Then do a web search on those model numbers and read the various articles. Use independent resources, and check both the author, and reader, viewpoints.
Visit the store, but do not buy
Visit your vendor and look at the models of interest. Get a feel for them. Consider size, weight, display resolution, and how they feel in your hands. Take time to try the keyboards. However, on your first visit, DO NOT BUY ! Go home and sleep on the info and impressions you have obtained.
Go to the store when you know exactly what you want
After you completed all of the research, checked out the devices in person, you can decide to either wait, or move ahead with a purchase. If you decide to buy an item, do not let a salesperson talk you into something else. If they start badmouthing a product, you might decide to wait, and do further research. Most often, however, they are simply steering you to the product the boss sees overstocked in inventory, and wants to get out the door, or the manufacturer is offering a “spiff”. Stick to your guns. In fact, if the salesperson is pushy, it’s time to depart the store and take your business elsewhere.
You may be wondering why I wrote this. I’ve been talking with people recently who have been encountering high pressure sales techniques to push them toward devices other than what they wanted. Some has been very aggressive, and not once has the sales person cared at all about what the client needed. This old geezer doesn’t take kindly to such pushy behavior, and I don’t think you should either. I hope you will take a stand and make every technology investment that you make a satisfying experience.