Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Example of when Online Isn't the Answer

Dear Alex, the REI clerk,

The other night the Boy and I were in your store shopping for a raincoat.  You did a nice job of explaining the two we were considering, and overall, you were fairly helpful.  Except for your spiel about shopping online.

If you didn't notice, it was raining that night.  We were there buying a raincoat.  You know, to wear immediately.  Listening to you go on about how we could just order what we wanted and have it shipped to the store didn't work--and was actually a turn-off.  After trekking out in the rain, why would I want to go back home, shop online (where you can't try anything on and see if it fits a tall Boy in the sleeves), and then go back to the store in five days (probably when the weather has cleared), to pick it up?  We need the coat now!

Isn't the first rule of selling to close the sale?  If you have a customer that's in the store and is intent on purchasing something right then and there, shouldn't you be more concerned that that customer's needs are met?  Why send him out of the store in hopes that he does, in fact, go shopping at your website?  Get your head out of your iPhone, make the sale, and get the cash in your drawer.

By the way, we took your advice and didn't get the yellow coat.  It turned out to be a little smaller all over.  The one you suggested seems like it will work nicely.


Your pal,

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