Volume 45, Issue 1 - January 2010

Buyer’sBlock

 

50 Reminders for Sales Staffers

100 Simple Rules for Glass Shop Workers, Part I

by Paul Bieber

Here are some basic, commonsense rules for working in a glass shop that I have found few owners go over with their staff. It is in two parts; this month we have 50 tips for front-end and sales staffers, while part two will provide rules for shop and installation staffers.

1. Do not let anyone enter the shop without a friendly smile and a “Hello, may I help you?

2. If you are not wearing a nametag, announce your name when offering to help.

3. Always listen to what the customer says, giving verbal and non-verbal feedback, such as a nod of the head.

4. Respond to each question asked as if it is the most important question a customer could ask.

5. Always keep your showroom lights on and your door unlocked during business hours.

6. Sweep your showroom and neaten all displays every morning.

7. Clean all glass and mirrors every day, without fail.


8. If your job calls for meeting customers, always wear clean and neat business attire.

9. Never come to work with stubble of beard, unless you are growing a full-fledged beard.

10. If you are on the phone with a customer, wave to the walk-in, pointing to the phone. Finish the phone call to the satisfaction of the phone customer.

11. If you are on the phone with a vendor or a personal call, get off the phone immediately to help your customer.

12. Do not tell jokes, flirt or discuss politics with customers.

13. Never say anything bad about a competitor. Always say good things about your company.

14. If you are taking a food break and a customer walks in, don’t walk out eating. Finish chewing and swallowing before talking.

15. It is okay to have background music, but no hard rock, hip-hop, rap or anything with controversial lyrics. Do not play any talk-radio station.

16. Show customers what they want to see, before what you have on special.

17. Ask, “Do you have any other questions?” Listen and answer those questions seriously before trying to close a sale.

18. If the customer comes in with a direct job (such as “fix my windshield”), take care of the paperwork and set up for the job at hand, before asking to sell something else.

19. Never touch your customer, other than to shake hands upon an introduction. Do not put your arm on their shoulder as if you are their long-lost friend.

20. Go light on the perfume or aftershave. Do not let the showroom or offices smell of cigarette smoke. Someone who is allergic will not stay around long enough to become a customer.

21. Do not curse under any circumstance, for any reason.

22. Do not force-up the value of an order; rather, suggest alternatives in all price ranges.

23. Keep eye contact at all times. Do not stare at a customer or look away when they are talking to you.

24. Never talk on your cell phone while a customer is in the shop unless it pertains to a question or a need of the customer.

25. Know what you have in inventory, and what has to be ordered out.

26. If the question asked of you is beyond your knowledge, say so and then get someone to help you with the answer.

27. Thoroughly explain how low-E glass works. Most people won’t understand it the first or second time. Be patient.

28. If you don’t have the right product for this customer, recommend someone you trust.


29. When you make an appointment to go to someone’s house, confirm that there will be an adult at home. Never schedule a house visit when a child is at home alone, no matter what the customer says.

30. If your employer has a tuition reimbursement plan, use it to the maximum.

31. Do not wear political pins or jewelry. Do not put political signs in the showroom or on your trucks.

32. Know when safety glass is required, and don’t break the rule. Be able to explain the advantages of tempered, laminated and annealed products.

33. No glass is unbreakable, just as no glass is bulletproof. Don’t use the wrong terminology just because it is easy.

34. Never promise a delivery/install date just to get the order, when you know you cannot make it.

35. When you call a customer on the phone, immediately identify yourself, your company and the reason for the call.

36. The business telephone is the lifeblood of a glass shop. A busy signal will make the customer go to the next listing in the Yellow Pages or on the web screen.

37. When you tell a customer you will get them an answer by a certain time, call back by that time, whether or not you have the answer.

38. If a customer’s credit card is declined, discuss this with him quietly and with no one else around.

39. Always give a written receipt for any cash transaction.

40. Never leave the cash drawer open, for any reason.

41. Use a special yellow highlighter to detect counterfeit bills on fifties or hundreds.

42. Always call a customer the day after an installation to confirm everything is perfect for them and, if it is, ask them to refer your company to their friends.

43. Take every opportunity you can to learn more about our industry—read magazines, attend seminars, read every page of vendor literature and every website you possibly can.

44. When dealing with a customer, having knowledge is better than being funny.

45. Customers are our work, not an interruption of our work.

46. No employee is excused from these rules, especially family members who must set the best example.

47. If your company has a coffee pot available for customers, make sure it is always fresh. Have tea available as well.

48. Start learning about the solar energy field; it is our future.

49. The installers and the shop workers are your partners and equals.

50. The company pays your salary and benefits. Remember this always.

We will have part two for you in my next column.


Paul Bieber has 30 years in the glass industry, including nine years with C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., and 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005. Mr. Bieber’s opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine.




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