Who’s The Expert Here?

19 Oct

So, here’s a rant about know-it-all customers. As a salesperson, guests come to you to have their questions answered. As previously ranted about, some answers you have and others you don’t. But, when you have them, there’s a certain satisfaction you get when imparting said wisdom; satisfaction that is wasted on the know-it-all.

This customer usually doesn’t have a question or concern. In fact, their whole motive in engaging you in conversation is to make themselves look better by trying to make you look like an idiot. Sometimes they’re successful and of course, that sucks. But then, there are other times when they end up with egg on their faces, while you enjoy the satisfaction they so desperately wanted. And, that my friends, is sweet! Here are five tactics the Know-It-All uses to gain the upper hand and five solutions to help you maintain control. Learn them and you will never be caught off guard:

1. The Know-It-All will always ask for a super specific product, which means they already know everything about it, and therefore are waiting for you to slip up. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Solution: get them to spill their guts. Listen for inaccuracies. When you’ve found a good one, go in for the kill. If they happen to know more than you, congratulate them and only ask if you can put the item in their cart.

2. The Know-It-All will always want to quote you store policies. They’re very proud that they’ve researched everything there is to know about your store. Solution: Again, let them talk. Chances are good they’ll have interpreted something wrong or better yet, read a policy that’s recently been changed. If not, then you can always hide under the umbrella of store autonomy. Yes, you belong to a big corporation, but every store still does things differently.

3. The Know-It-All will always try to use their prior retail experience as a platform. You’ll notice they’ll never go into specifics. Solution: Exposes the vagueness. Ask them point blank, “Where’d you work?” If they’re a true veteran, they’ll gladly share their war stories. If not, then they’ll clam up or change the subject.

4. If the Know-It-All doesn’t have personal experience in retail, then they’ll be related to or good friends with someone who does. Solution: Same as above. Get specifics. What was their position? What store was it? Even if they’re able to provide this information, you can still claim that their friend’s/husband’s/wife’s store is different than yours.

5. The Know-It-All will always claim they’ve seen it cheaper, better, in another color, etc. at another store. Solution: Without being rude (which is so hard to do), wish them luck and send them on their way. Unless you’re undermined by a higher-up, stand your ground, because more times than not, a know-it-all doesn’t know squat.

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Posted by on October 19, 2009 in Uncategorized


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