Walking through the mall today, I stopped into a store. Not that I was looking for anything in particular, it was just that I had not visited this store recently. As I crossed the threshold, I was spotted by the friendly and vigilant salesperson who quickly shouted out a “Welcome in” greeting. Not in the mood to talk with any clerks, I boded and smiled then turned in the other direction trying to signal that I appreciated the greeting but I wanted to be left alone.
Much to my surprise, the salesperson had hustled around to get in front of me and once again extend their greeting. The conversation went something like this.
“Thanks, I heard you the first time.”
“Can I help you find anything today?”
“No, I just came in to kick around.” I hoped that would signal to leave me be. At this point I was getting a bit annoyed. He was friendly and attentive which I could appreciate but he was attentive to a fault.
“That’s fantastic. Feel free to look around.”
“Thanks, I will.” Great, I thought I would finally be able to wander in peace.
“Just so you know, almost everything in the store is on sale.” (I had gathered that by all the signs, toppers and the easel at the entry way providing me with that same information.)
“Thanks, I will just want to look around.”
“That’s fine…Actually all of our winter wear is up to 60% off.”
I did not respond and just continued walking away.
“Okay then,” he responded, “I will just let you look around.”
Ah, the magic words. All I came in for was to walk around and check things out AND finally, it appeared I would be allowed to wander in peace. But NO.
“I will check back with you.” After which I shot him a glare that I hoped would tell him that I would prefer to be left alone. Not able to leave well enough alone, he added, “My name is _______ if you need anything you can track me down.”
Now I understand that they were just trying to make me feel welcome and more than likely they were possibly trained or coached to be persistent in offering service. But clearly this salesperson did not recognize that I needed and wanted to be left alone. It appears that they felt obligated to say all the things as if getting through a script will aid in sales.
Annoying customers will never aid in conversion and increasing transaction size.
Having spoiled the mode for my visit, I made a shortened loop of the store and headed out the door. Amazingly, I was not offered a farewell.