I felt very strongly. Agitated I mean. You know by now that I am on the wrong side of the Age and have my Senior Moments quite often ( as they have become affordable now :) ). Here is what happened.
I was on my Evening Long-Walk and a constant reminder of an ad about Reliance Digital and some great SALE regularly coming in the Newspaper and TV and as insertions by the neighborhood Reliance Digital store was a constant reminder and perhaps the Ad copy or something about the ad was creating a Recall. So when I walked in front of the Store - i entered.
As is typical of Reliance in India - one is greeted by Security Men in Commando fatigues. ( I had been to their HQ and there were Commando teams in full battle gear on Each floor instead of Receptionist - they were manning the Intercoms ! :) ). So I passed the Body-scanner door and went to the first Open Showcase and started looking for - I remembered - " A Talking Tablet" - meaning - no iPad - may be a Lenovo Yogi or equivalent, may be a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 if nothing else works in the range of 16-20k. I had compared the specs which came in the newspaper, I had watched it on the Gadget Guru TV program. I had even asked my Techie neighbors about them and what's the best 'Employee Discounted Price' they can get me if I chose their company product 1 :) .
So necessarily, the visit to this store was about doing window shopping and Looking, watching, touching, feeling the products on display in the open showcase tied with 'Alarm Producing' devices in a Store.
Promptly, an Unshaven, unclean clothes wearing guy walked up to me with a pasted smile - I knew who is coming my way ! A desperate, non-permanent, badly trained, Temp or newly appointed Sales Person for the stor keeper who had hired him solely because the guy was sporting a large display Smartphone and was playing Chat - Chat when he came for the interview to prove his "Digital awareness", The unkempt beard was soooo.. trendy ! The poor chap in unclean clothes was so Hep ! I knew that trouble is coming my way !
And he did. And he opened his mouth - " Yes Sir ! " in a Semi-Loud voice which was even louder than the Security cum Receptionists ! And the Tone told me all ! The guy is hired on a Pure Commission basis ! Decent enough to call it a Days' Wages by the shopkeeper who does not believe in 'Overheads' and does not have any HR people to help him with Restructuring, Resizing leave along doing interviews ! ( Lucky him ! :) ).
Now having done all the Research back home and having been a Mobile, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony user of over 20 years I just looked at him. I thought Age! and I was so Wrong ! I asked - " Thank you, Can I watch what is on Display without your assistance Please ! " I saw Retort, Grief, Anger, Pent Up Aggression, Lost Sale and Lost Commission Grief in his eyes ! I just walked away from the shop.
Is Salesmanship Dead? Is e-Comm a Death-knell for Sales People? I asked myself. I started selling at age 12 to Paan-wallah who also stored lot of stuff which you would make a General Store blush. I felt very sad.
I have had the same feeling at the Croma Shops Owned by Tatas. Of course, most of the Sales people are on Rolls. Tata employees even if they speak broken bad Hinglish or Benglish in a very rude tone of voice. Try and sell you all the Extra warranties and small goods (high profit stuff) stored behind the Cashiers. I hear they are changing model and going E-Commerce way - That's they way to Go Tatas ! I like it. The worst in terms of fulfilling the Warranty and Service AMC contracts I have ever seen apart from HiCare Pest Control, AcquaGuard Water filter people or our own Gas Wallah BP, Indane - you name it.
I really felt pity at the poor Sales Guy and felt sad that I Walked on him ! But times are A Changing. Customers do a lot of research and in showrooms - there is no price negotiation - so what are sales people needed. Even if they are - why can't they be taught to be non-obtrusive? They are poorly trained any way on the Features, Advantages and Benefits. They have no clue to objection handling and negotiaion is not in their purview ( jurisdiction as the sales person in Croma told me) !
So I foresee - a very soon R.I.P. Sales Man and Salesmanship !
What do you think?