Okay, so it isn’t really something everyone can do, it is more something you are born with. If you are me, or my sister, all you have to do is walk into a store with the intention of buying something and voila, you are invisible. Not a single sales person will know you even exist. I am not sure what it is, maybe we have a certain look about us, even though we think we are giving off the “I want to buy something” vibe in reality we are saying “don’t notice us or help us or even acknowledge us in any way”. Thankfully I live in a big city with many malls and shopping locations. If I am ignored I will walk away. If you are rude or condescending, I will walk away. I don’t care if I have to go out of my way to go to another location, I will.
Yesterday I went shopping with the intent of buying new running shoes. I wasn’t browsing, I knew what I wanted and all I needed was someone to acknowledge me so that I could give them money in exchange for a pair of shoes. Sounds simple, does it not? I went to two different athletic shoe stores, not once but twice, and all four times I was completely ignored. I wandered around waiting for someone to ask if I needed help, and nothing. So I left. I drove to another mall and went to another store and gave them my money instead because they acknowledged me.
It is not much to ask for. If I am carrying a bundle of clothes please ask me if I need a fitting room. If I am looking at shoes, ask if you can get me a size. Maybe I am just browsing but if you ask then you will know for sure and I will feel like I exist. Feeling invisible and like you don’t matter is a terrible feeling. Even if it is just at a clothing store; you leave either feeling angry or hurt. I probably sound dramatic, which I usually am, but it is true. When I go shopping for something, whether it is shoes, clothes or electronics, I want to know that I matter. I don’t want to be treated poorly. If I have a good experience I am much more likely to come back and even recommend your store to other people.
Lesson of the story: Treat people well, especially if you work on commission because you never know…