I had my shopping list:
-A device to keep my MacBook Pro and iPhone charged during a long flight
-A presentation remote
-A hands free wireless microphone
-A new digital camera
I could have purchased all of this online. However, I am essentially inept when it comes to electronics. I need support, guidance and expertise. I am willing to get into my car and drive for that expertise. I am even willing to pay more for that expertise (and generally to avoid buyers remorse). I am inclined to get excited about the notion that the expertise and technology could possibly be available in one place. I am excited about what this technology can do for me. I have dreams! I just need a little support to make them come true.
I will also embarrassingly acknowledge that my DVD player died 6 months ago. I have no idea what model/make to replace it with. Installation is another issue. If there is an easy solution and support then sign me up!
I entered. With my shopping list. Ready to spend. I was a very engaged potential buyer. They could have easily had the full inventory on my list and sold me a new DVD player with an up-sell for installation. Let’s keep going. It has been 8 years since I purchased a television. I could also easily add a television to the home office. Why stop there?
Instead I walked out of the store with nothing. No sale closed. Why?
Dream Support is a tough business (a very worthy aspiration no doubt and I absolutely love the enclosed video and positioning). To consistently execute dream support is a challenge. In a stalled economy with new competition that takes skill. That takes expertise. That takes sales competency. That takes ongoing training and development. That mandates preparedness, competitive intelligence and all around sales excellence.
After 30 minutes and 3 mediocre conversations I walked out of the store. I wasn’t angry. I was perhaps a bit unsure, a little overwhelmed and not having an in store experience consistent with my expectations. I was never asked about my dreams. I love to talk about dreams. I was directed to aisle 6.
At the end of the day this has very little to do with what Best Buy does and much more with how they do it. Dream Support requires an upgrade in the “How“. Increasingly, so will growth in the new economy.
One stand alone sales expert could have carved out a very nice sale and likely added layers of upside to the transaction. The difference between several thousand in revenue and the no sale that resulted was skill. Not attitude. Not desire. Everyone in that store was perfectly polite and I am certain they would have been more than happy to take my money. However, in this era of increasingly elevated expectations that often isn’t enough to make the cash register ring.
Multiply this over 1,400 stores and you might have an incredible opportunity to ring the cash register a lot more often through some elevated sales skill and strategy!
When you deliver an experience that meets or exceeds expectations consistently, you can build customer loyalty. If the experience is differentiated and compelling enough people will keep coming back, pay more and spread the good word.
Often, that comes right down to skill.
(Note: To my friends working for Best Buy…I am rooting for you! I am also going back to shop Saturday and you’ll have another opportunity to separate me from my $ and make my dreams come true! Sales 2.0 TIP: Start with an effective, open ended question that immediately connects me to my dreams…you will have me at hello!).
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.