Make Sure Your Staff Are Trained

Went in search of a BMX bike today, but by the time we got to to our preferred BMX retailer, they had closed up the shop for the day. So we decided to stop in at another shop that we knew had a few race BMXs on the floor.

The shop we were headed to were not really a specialist in any type of bike. They tended to be more of a specialist in selling bikes in volume, and thus tended to focus on the lower end of the market with a bit of high end gear thrown in.

After about 15 minutes of no service, I managed to get one of the staff to pull down a bike I had been considering for a while now, an Intense Pro XL. I stepped over it and did a track stand on it with the front brake on, but as the bars were in a really bad position so I couldn’t gauge the size properly. I mentioned the bars being out of position the the sales guy, but got no offer of help to correct the issue.

I then picked it up to feel how heavy it was. I said to my wife that it seemed a bit heavier than my current ride, at which point the sales guy announced that as a dirt jumper it would tend to be heavy. My jaw hit the flaw and I wasn’t sure if I should correct him. I thought, “Why bother” and passed the bike back to him and left the establishment.

The morals of this story:

  • People who manage sales staff should make sure that those guys on the sales floor know what they are selling.
  • People that are selling stuff should; a) talk to the person before offering any advice (in this case asking what kind of riding I am into); b) don’t comment on a product or feature if you don’t actually know what you are on about; c) get to know every product on the floor you are potentially going to sell.
  • I should stick to the shops I know have the expertise in what I am looking for, whether it is for a bike, a pair of skates, a computer, a Ferrari or a cruise missile.


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