Consultant vs. Salesman

This past weekend, Desirée and I went to price one of our next purchases. I had made the purchase before from another vendor and had been sold to. After the deed was done, the salesman all but washed his hands of the transaction. When the delivery timeline was off, he avoided me, didn’t return my calls and did nothing to rectify the situation. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

But this time, I met with a consultant. When we came in the door, we were greeted and introduced to Jonathan who would be working with us. We let him know that we were pricing but wouldn’t be buying on the spot. That didn’t affect the level of service he gave. I’m not sure of whether or not he works on commission (though I could assume he does). Still, he didn’t push us to the higher end of the showroom. Instead, he talked to us about what we were looking for, what look we wanted, and how he could get that look into our price range. He explained terminology, value, and the difference between trend and staple. He was thorough, knowledgeable, and, all in all, a pleasure to work with. (The complimentary beer for me and complimentary mimosa for Desirée was also a nice perk).

This time around, I do not worry about the level of service I will get from the company I’m a patron at. This time, I am certain that I will enjoy my experience and will hopefully develop a relationship with the company that will keep me as a lifelong customer. Why? Because this time, without an expectation of buying, I was consulted on what would be best for my wife and me. Before, I was sold to quickly and then, if the adage “Actions speak louder than words” is true, asked not to return. Instead of selling to your clients/customers, consult them. That way, both of you come out on the winning side of things.


Make professional development a priority.


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