The purpose of this article is to present you with an example of a common poor user experience that has rooted itself deep into our culture, and is likely not going anywhere any time soon.
I'll always remember that day in 2005 when my wife and I went to the car dealership for the first time to start looking at prospective candidate vehicles. When we pulled up with our old beater and parked in the newly painted parking spot. As I glanced around, signs were everywhere boasting of this sale, or that sale. The balloons, streamers, and soft music mesmerized my senses, and then it happened. I looked to my right and standing there in their gold lined deception gear was a money thirsty platoon of sales people... I could feel them pulling the money out of my bank account with their eyes. If you've ever seen the 1996 kids movie, Matilda, you may remember a few scenes where Danny DeVito played as a crooked used car salesman. Well, five (5) or six (6) of those people were looking at me. Yes, I gulped as I physically felt fear.
I get the same feeling every time I go to the car dealership, whether it's for an oil change, or to have repairs done. It's always the same.
A similar incident happened just today as I was taking my daughter on a "Daddy / Daughter Date". I have 1930's Mystery date with my wife coming up that I have been slowly preparing for. I figured I'd take some time while I was away from her to stop and get a bow tie. Of course my daughter didn't want to go in, but I made her anyway. As we walked in, I immediately noticed the nice air conditioner and pleasant clean smell of the men's clothing store. Before I could be distracted by any other sensations, my attention was stolen by "Is there something you are looking for today?"
Looking over, to my horror, I found myself facing four (4) sales vultures ready to swoop in for whatever they can get from me (very similar a scene to the classic Disney kids move, The Jungle Book. They were fully decked out in high class dinner date clothing. All smiling. All full of sales tactics. I looked down at my self: Shorts, T-shirt, flip-flops. Then I said out loud... "I feel under dressed."
I literally picked a sales person, did my business and got out of there. Man, that was AWEFUL. I don't want to go there again unless I absolutely have to.
You can bet however that before I left, I let the guy know how intimidating the encounter was. In fact, it was an easy conversation that I've had the opportunity of sharing with other businesses as well. Yes, even the car dealership has heard my qualms. Unfortunately, no one ever REALLY hears my complaint.
Image how different sales would be if all sales personnel around the world approached their jobs with intention to better the customer's shopping experience RATHER than with intention to push units. Wowwy! Bamo! That would be a beautiful day.
I primed the pump. Now it's your turn. Tell me about your experience with being met with a Barrage of sales...