is also a major weakness
— Jeffrey Gitomer,
I used to own a lot of guitars, then over the last several years, I sold all of them. I’ve been without a guitar for a couple of years, and I have a strong desire to get at least one good quality guitar. So, I’ve been looking around on the Internet for some specific guitars I like, and I’ve found some that I’m considering. But, I’m not in a hurry, nor am I dragging my feet. I’m ready.
On a fluke, I drove over the bridge to the Guitar Center, which is a huge chain of stores that sell musical instruments, including guitars, drums, amplifiers, recording gear, and more. Musicians often call it the ‘candy store.’ They have hundreds and hundreds of guitars–lots of different models, makes, colors, and shapes. I have not been in that store for a long time, but I wanted to see what’s hot now, what’s still hot and to see a wide range of instruments.
My favorite guitar brand was not even represented there except two used units, so my favorite is not hot now, I guess. But, I came to see the lay of the land, not something specific. I wanted to open my mind a bit; pry my fingers off the old and true; consider changing.
At Guitar Center, they have a lot of roving salespeople. Or, rather, I might now call them greeters and welcomers. There wasn’t any selling going on–at least none with me. I was there for about 45 minutes and looking and touching a few, and in that time, I had 5 different salespeople talk to me. They wanted to know if I had any questions. They wanted to know that I was comfortable there. Several even asked what I might be looking for. I talked openly. And, after 45+ minutes, not one of them asked me to buy anything, or tried to sell me anything.
As a sales manager most of my life, I have to say that this situation was very sad. I was a buyer. I was ready to buy. I had the money. I was in their store. They have almost anything a person could want in an instrument and the low end to the high end. What a missed opportunity this was.
I know a number of music store owners around the bay area and they always talk about Guitar Center and how they cannot compete with them. It’s the old Wal-Mart argument. It’s crap. Of course you can.
A couple of things I learned, or relearned from this shopping experience. One, having a huge selection of lots of different brands is not as effective as a large selection of one brand. Two, it is very confusing in that store. There is so much going on and it is noisy. It is almost scary and intimidating. Three, if they had trained salespeople instead of the ‘wandering welcomers,’ they would actually sell more guitars. Four–and this one is kind of important–people do like to be sold. Jeffrey Gitomer has always said, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” I get what he’s saying. No one wants a pushy, insensitive, salesperson, but frankly, I love being taken good care of by a real and skilled salesperson.
I found a guitar there yesterday that I would have bought, but chose not to. It was an interesting experience.
The Self-Serve World Of Marketing Might Look Good, But Is Nowhere Nearly As Effective As Sales.
Spread Some Joy Today–Keep your eyes and heart open today for some very special blessings. They’re all around, but you have to be open to them. Enjoy your day as if it mattered. It does.