No Thanks, I’m Just… Researching.

Downtown Las Vegas

As we’re out and about, going from store to store… the same two-sentence conversations are happening everywhere.

The question is familiar to all of us, “Can I help you?”…

as is the response, “No thanks… I’m just browsing.”

I recently noticed that I seem to be giving that answer more and more these days, but alas… I must now admit that it is not really true.

You see, it may be just me, but the fact is that if I am at your business… I am almost certainly in the market to buy. I’m just not a window shopper… not a browser.

Whatever store I’m in, whatever aisle, I am probably processing something… either making comparisons or calculations, or both.

No, I am not browsing… I am researching.

So, why do I use the b-word?

Probably just habit… though I suspect that I’m not alone. It comes from not wanting to be ‘sold something’, by someone who doesn’t really know what I need.


Now, while I don’t want to be sold, I do want to buy. And while I do want to buy, I don’t want to buy what I don’t need… hence, the research.

Like many others, however, I’ve discovered that the best place to research a product is seldom at the point of sale. Rather, it tends to be at the point of a mouse… and a laptop.

Call it a trend, but in the last five years… when I have taken up a sales associate on their offer of “help”, the overwhelming majority of the time my questions were not answered, and I left to go get more information on my own terms… online.

Over that same period, I suspect I can count on one hand the number of times that a big box salesperson was genuinely able to help me find exactly what I needed.

In most cases, not even a question was asked to help narrow the field… to target the intended use… to accomplish my objective.


Much of the challenge lies in training… or the lack of it.

It is a leadership issue… that becomes a marketing issue… that becomes a sales issue… that becomes a customer satisfaction issue… that becomes… another marketing issue.

Many retail sales positions are seen as transitory… by the individual, and the company.

Employees don’t view it as a longterm career move… so employers don’t put the time into training. Razor-thin margins don’t seem to justify the time it would take to teach those on the front lines to think like marketers.

The result is a vicious circle… and a revolving door; one that leaves the customer on the outside.



As a small business, what advantages do you have over big business in terms of staff training, retention, and customer service?

How are you able to provide a more personal and customized total experience for those you serve?

Are these advantages unmistakably noticable to your ideal customers and prospects?

Does every member of your team view themselves as the expert of their area? Are you stronger in every position than your toughest competitor?


I look forward to speaking with you.


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