¶ … working in a jewelry company and I was asked to meet certain sales goals. I was new and unfamiliar with the practices of the other salespeople and didn't know how to approach the sales goal. The sales goal was high, similar to the other, more seasoned sales people. I didn't know what to make of it because I didn't want to get fired for lack of sales as well as not meeting my sales goal, but I didn't have the techniques and charisma as the salespeople that were there longer. So when we had one of our weekly meetings, I suggested to the manager at the time if he could lower my goal so that I may meet my goal as well as give me more time to get used to everything concerning pitching and selling to the customers. The manager at first had a hard time with my decision and decided to give me a slightly lower goal but added that if I don't make it, he may have to replace me altogether. Technically they are somewhat new in the sense that they were fixed to operating standards, but ethically it was wrong for the owner to sell the computers and TVs as if they were factory new. I knew the condition of the electronic items were good enough for people to use and very few people had problems with their purchases. The ones that made returns usually did so because they changed their mind or simply wanted something else. So in this instance I did not speak to the owner about the situation and instead decided to remain silent on the matter.
So I accepted the new goal and began to make sales. The problem arose in competition with the salespeople in my store. The salespeople were sharks. If I was dealing with a customer, some of them, when my back was turned cleaning some piece of jewelry or ringing up a sale would take my customer or offer the customer more services, including themselves in my sale. This not only made my sales lower, but it also made me have to work harder to meet my goal.
It was a hard experience and generated a lot of stress because if I wanted to make my sales goal, I had to mimic the actions of the other salespeople. That meant I had to try to take sales from them and really speak up when they tried to take mine or join in on my sales. It went against my beliefs because not only am I not a competitive person, but I also believe in fairness. I also dislike competition so to have to compete with people on a daily basis really took a toll on me. But again, the stress was getting too high so during the next weekly meeting I had to address the growing concerns I had with the work situation.
I explained to my manager what was happening with the salespeople and my sales and how it was affecting my goal as well as my health due to the increasing stress. He explained to me that, that is how sales is and sometimes one has to become a "shark" in order to meet the demands of such a job occupation. He suggested I talk with the customers and build a personal connection with them that enabled me to keep my customers even if the other salespeople tried to take them and also allow me to gain repeat customers that would increase my sales. He added that I should improve my sales technique and try to get them to fill out credit applications with the store as well as suggest more things to buy so they can stay repeat customers and I wouldn't have to try as hard to gain new customers. Customer loyalty, what he stated, is the best way to avoid sharks from coming in and taking your sales.
I applied what my manager at the time told me and sure enough as I built rapport with my customers, they kept coming back, asking for me. I made sure to make business cards with my name and number in order to allow them to reach me should they decide to buy something else. Even though the situation with the sharks was still difficult, it was less stressful because I was making my sales goal and earning a good reputation with my manager. Ultimately the experience taught me two things: life is hard, you just have to adapt, and communication is important when facing stressful situations. If I had not discussed my concerns with manager, I probably would have either been fired or quit the job.
Sometimes in life you cannot escape certain responsibilities. In order to complete the responsibilities and continue working, you have to adapt to the situation and communicate any concerns you may have while approaching from an understanding and productive standpoint. The sales goal and the salespeople were out of my control, but how I handled the sales goal and my interaction with customers was not. What would have made the experience easier would have been if the salespeople behaved in a less competitive way, but that's how sales works.
The motivation behind me remaining silent was the fact that customers could purchase equipment protection plans that would enable repair in case the item became broken. Also, returns were less than I had anticipated thus relieving any guilt I may have had for selling customers things that were essentially cheaper than what the price suggested. I also realized that retail markup exists in many stores and customers pay the full price without objection. So in reality what he was doing was common and recognized among many store owner.
Since I do believe in honesty and fairness, it did bother me a bit, but I was satisfied with my decision because I saw no negative consequence for the customer and I kept my job which was relatively easy and paid a decent amount of money at the time. I would have responded, ideally if I could, with a brief explanation to the owner of how I think his practice of selling refurbished items as new is unfair to the customer, but in this setting and under those circumstances, I felt it was unnecessary. If I would have responded the way I would have ideally wanted, I would have probably been met with a dismissal or an uncomfortable work atmosphere at best.
The owner/manager was also the type of person that was interested in keeping his store afloat and amidst a tough economy was a shrewd business person looking to make his money and retain his store and income. If the owner would have been a wealthier individual who was not particularly concerned with the outcome of the store's profit, than perhaps it would have been far easier to relay unto him my concerns. Wealthier individuals can take financial losses more easily than individuals who are less wealthy. The income earned from the store was his only means of income and thus made his situation all the more sensitive to approach.
Things that were in my control when it came to the situation that helped me come to terms with my decision was providing the customers that did come to the store, with excellent customer service and educating them on the protection plans available should the item that they purchase need repair. This in a way helped alleviate any guilt I had as well as increased customer satisfaction overall. I also chose to keep the store clean and well maintained in order to attract more customers and inspected any of the items in the store for any external damages. I figured that if I kept some level of maintenance within the store, this could then help customers feel like they're getting their money's worth and having a good experience within the store.
Things that were out of my control, like the quality of the refurbished items sold, were outside of my control as well as how the owner dealt with the inventory that came in. Ultimately he had the last say in what prices were shown on the items and what kind of items came in. If I interfered in that, I could have lost my job. Additionally what was out of my control is the decision some customers made to not buy protection plans. If customers didn't buy these protection plans and the items in some way broke or were defective, and the time frame for returns passed, I couldn't help them get their money back.
It was an interesting experience to say the least and I learned a lot from the experience. I learned that some things are better left unsaid. I also learned that there are many things to factor in before making any decision that concerns my beliefs or way of…
Technically they are somewhat new in the sense that they were fixed to operating standards, but ethically it was wrong for the owner to sell the computers and TVs as if they were factory new. I knew the condition of the electronic items were good enough for people to use and very few people had problems with their purchases. The ones that made returns usually did so because they changed their mind or simply wanted something else. So in this instance I did not speak to the owner about the situation and instead decided to remain silent on the matter.
Among these "Scribble" designs is the drop earrings design. The reason for their success is the overall smooth and elegant look of these earrings. Made with sterling silver, the piece creates a contrasting color tone against darker skin tones. The scribble shape of the design creates a free-flowing feel that makes the piece feel both delicate and prominent at the same time. Although the Scribble appears relatively small, with
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Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. 2009. Gehlhar Mary. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business. London: Kaplan Publishing, 2008 Plunkett Jack W, The Almanac of American Employers 2010: The Only Guide to America's Hottest, Fastest-Growing Major Corporations. Houston, TX: Plunkett Research Ltd., 2010 Plunkett Research Ltd., Jack W. Plunkett. Plunkett's apparel & textiles industry almanac 2008: the only comprehensive guide to apparel companies and trends. Houston, Tex: Plunkett Research.
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