With my two weeks of training behind me I went into last Saturday overwhelmed with product specifics, special order instructions and a tiny bit of coaching on a little something they call “following the process”. “Following the process” isn’t as easy in real life as it is on paper. It sounds a bit robotic after a while, too. “Good morning!(insert smile) Welcome to Fine Furnishings. The weather sure is nice out, isn’t it? What brings you in today? You’re just looking? Well that’s okay. My name is D’Ma. Have you been into our store before? We’re having a fantastic deal on mattresses. Have you seen our La-Z-boy section? We’ve got some special financing options available, too. What room are you working on? Oh, your living room? Let me just sketch that out here.”
Yep, really easy on paper. When you’re greeting your very first solo customer, however, things can go a bit differently. And when they still “wanna just look” you’re supposed to chase them around the store and ask them twenty times if they have any questions. This is called re-engaging. So the next time you go into a furniture store to “just look” please understand that the person hawking you doesn’t want to do that any more than you want them to do that. When they follow you around watching your every move it isn’t because they’re afraid you’re going to stuff a sofa in your pocket and make a run for it. It’s because they have to be available if you have any questions. You know, right there. So you don’t.have.to.chase.them.down. And because they’re supposed to continue to ask you if you’re looking for something in particular. And because they’re not supposed to take “we’ll know it when we see it” for an answer. They’re supposed to try to make you want what you see.
There, I got all that out. The truth is….I don’t exactly “follow the process”. Some people want special attention and some people don’t. The trick is figuring out which ones are which. All in all I don’t think I’ve done too badly. They told me when they hired me the goal would be to build up to selling $40,000.00 worth of furniture and/or accessories per month. It would take some time but it could be done. After my first full week on the floor I’ve sold $21,000.00 worth.
My very first sale was last Saturday. It was also a special order. With a company I hadn’t even practiced doing a special order with. I’m not sure what my customers thought every time I disappeared to go ask another question. It was fun. I loved every minute of it. Picking out a frame for a sofa and love seat, picking out what feet to put on that sofa and loveseat, the fabric, contrasting pillows, fringe or piping, nail head finish. Right up my alley.
Then on Monday I turned in my two-week’s notice. That’s right. I quit. You see, out of the blue last Friday I got a phone call from a CPA I’ve worked with in the past. He knew of a job opening in accounting and wanted to know if I was interested. At first I wasn’t really, but thought I should at least hear what the job was about. I met with the company Monday morning and they offered me a salary plus benefits. On the spot. More than I could pass up. I took it on the spot. So as quickly as I went into the furniture business I’m exiting.
I half expected the store manager to tell me he didn’t want me to work out a notice since I’d just finished my training and had only been there two weeks. But he asked me to stay on for the two weeks. So I’m doing that and treating every customer like I’m going to be there forever. On my two days I work eleven to eight I’ll be going to my new employer’s office from eight until around 10:30. I feel like I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind. I haven’t had any time to post and just barely enough time to read some of my favorite blogs. Welcome to my crazy life…