The Big Cost of Small Talk on the Floor
Here's an article you'll want to share with the entire staff.
During one shopping trip I walked into a local gift shop and was quickly engaged by a welcoming young lady. I'm thinking this is going to be a great experience but unfortunately, she asked me if I needed any help. We all know what I said next.
As I started "just looking" the woman started talking with another employee. She said, "As I was saying...." and continued on to share way too many details about her family life. This was awkward on many fronts. First, it was clear I had interrupted her story. How rude of me! Second, this woman has enough family issues to star in her own reality show.
As I walked around the store I thought about the impact of her asking me if I needed help and then having a personal conversation with her colleague. Here's what I came up with in the time it took her to trash her entire family.
* Customers don't want to interrupt associates having a conversation.
I did have a question for Ms. Talkative, but it wasn't important enough to interrupt her. I would have asked my question if she had made herself available, and that could have led to a sale.
* Personal conversations are distracting.
I couldn't give my full attention to looking at the products and still listen to why her sister is such a spoiled brat.
* It's clear that the company doesn't care about customers.
Notice I said company, because at this point this employee's actions are the company in action. That might seem harsh, but that's exactly how a lot of customers feel.
Anyone who works in a specialty store knows they're not supposed to have personal conversations while customers are in the store. What I suspect not everyone thinks about is the cost of those conversations. Let me run some numbers.
Let's say that in this particular store they see 100 people a day, with a 40% conversion rate and an average sale of $100. That adds up to $4,000 in sales for the day.
I suggest that personal conversations could cost a store one sale a day. That's $700 a week, and a whopping $36,400 a year!! Looked at that way, a personal conversation, no matter how interesting, can wait
Even if you think my numbers are high, losing only two sales a week would add up to over $10,000 a year.
So the next time you or someone around you starts to have a personal conversation on the sales floor, just remember the big cost of small talk. I bet you'd rather make the sale instead.