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I Don’t Work Here, But I Know How Stuff Works

, , , , | Right | July 1, 2022

I work as a Regional Sales Manager for a pretty major consumer/industrial electronics manufacturer. I specifically work with a lot of the national retail channels, and I will do meetings with a lot of each retailer’s leadership and directors in-store to discuss product sales, supply chain projections, product marketing, and other various metrics. I also have in-store brand ambassadors who represent our product lineup specifically in [Electronics Chain] locations.

For starters, when I go into stores, I generally wear dress clothes or something semi-formal with an identification lanyard and a bookbag, specifically so I don’t get stopped a bunch of times by customers when I’m trying to complete my job. I usually don’t mind helping people out in stores when I can, but I have to be pretty concise with my schedule and I have limited time available to be in the field.

On one of my most recent visits, I was meeting with one of my brand ambassadors to complete a performance assessment. When I was walking in, a middle-aged woman grabbed my shoulder — I cannot STAND being touched, so great start — and immediately started asking me about some open box television and what kind of “deal” I could work for her.

Me: *Kindly* “I am a store visitor that works with [Chain] leadership, but I don’t represent [Chain] in any way. And my brand doesn’t sell TVs, so that isn’t my area of expertise.”

Woman: “Oh, well, you’re here now, so I need you to tell me about it and figure out what we can do here. Also, I’m a real-a-tor, so no funny sales tricks!”

That’s strike two.

After reluctantly dealing with her for about fifteen minutes and finally getting her to make a purchasing decision, she begins questioning me.

Woman: “Why do the display TVs look ten times better in the store than my TV does at home?! That should be illegal marketing practices!”

I’m fed up at this point.

Me: “They use a flash drive of specifically optimized videos and have the TVs professionally calibrated.”

I also use an analogy relatable to her.

Me: “Think about it like this: as a realtor, you’ve sold a home that’s absolutely f****** hideous, let’s face it. I’m sure when you staged that home, you put a bunch of beautiful $5,000 couches, fancy love seats, and a mahogany coffee table in there to really sell the ‘personality’ of the home. In reality, you just put lipstick on an ugly pig. It’s the same thing with any kind of visual product marketing.”

She ended up apparently trying to file a complaint with the store and district manager. They informed her that they didn’t have an employee named [My Name], so they had no idea who she had talked to.

Question of the Week

What is the most stupid reason a customer has asked to see your manager?

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