Bekerja di gerai ritel tidak pernah mudah, terutama dalam iklim ekonomi yang keras yang kita alami saat ini. Namun, memiliki sikap layanan yang patut dicontoh adalah wajib untuk kelangsungan hidup tidak hanya gerai ritel, tetapi juga karier wiraniaga ritel.

Dalam perjalanan hari yang sama, saya telah mengalami dua ekstrem layanan ritel.

I was at a large electronics supermart to shop for a new fridge as the current one is near its end. As soon as I walked towards a fridge I wanted to check out, a tall slim young man approached and pestered me with the usual, "can I help you?" spiel. Of course, I declined and told him I did not need his help. I started examining the various technical specifications (including physical dimensions to fit into my narrow space), and shortlisted two models. The same salesperson kept coming back to introduce another brand's model, and insisted that I should choose that instead. That particular model simply did not fit my needs, and he started pushing other models of the same brand, leading me to believe he wasn't keen to serve the needs of a customer, but rather, his own commission.

Setelah itu, saya perlu mencari bahan untuk makan malam, dan memeriksa toko kecil baru yang menjual pasta dan sphaghetti. Seorang pemuda datang untuk melayani kami dan sopan, berpengetahuan luas, dan peka terhadap kebutuhan kami. Kami membeli pasta. Bahkan, kami kembali lagi nanti untuk membeli lebih banyak pasta untuk diberikan kepada anggota keluarga.

Some people insist that salespeople can be "trained". You can teach good salespeople the necessary product and technical knowledge so that they can serve customers better, but you really can't "train" someone to be salespeople. What does that mean?

The right salespeople are those who are sensitive to people and their needs. They are communicative, sociable, warm and friendly. They are ernest and eager to learn, and hardworking. Above all, they realize that only truly serving the needs of others result in the success of their own careers. The truly great salespeople are people with the right personality mix with the above attributes. You can't "train" someone to be warm - at most, you can merely "train" someone to "appear" warm. You can't "train" someone to be sociable either. A person is sociable to begin with, or he is not. Likewise, you can't force someone to learn. That person should want to and desire to learn on his own. No amount of incentivizing can transform a laggard into a performer.

Ketika saya berada dalam pengembangan sumber daya manusia (HRD) sejak 1980-an hingga sekarang, saya menyadari dari waktu ke waktu bahwa Anda hanya dapat melakukan banyak hal untuk orang-orang yang menghargai pekerjaan mereka, atau berada di sana untuk menghabiskan waktu.

In short, sieve out the personalities and character attributes that are already present in an individual, and groom such an individual with opportunities for learning, serving others, and this individual will shine. Don't try to recruit people simply by a submitted curriculum vitae, or to meet numbers. Recruit the right type of individuals for the right jobs. And reward the brilliant individuals appropriately, and transfer those who simply can't fit into particular roles away.

You are accountable for the success or failure of the company, as well as the livelihood for all the employees. Different people fit into different jobs, and not everyone is meant to do sales, just as not everyone is meant to be chief executives or office administrators. And remember, in the fierce retail sales front, every cusomer encounter counts - at the cash register.

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