Fear of buyers. Causes, symptoms, treatment of this occupational disease
23.07.2019 18815

Fear of buyers. Causes, symptoms, treatment of this occupational disease

Many sales workers and training managers are familiar with the concept of “seller fear”. This is the behavior of the client when he from the doorway declares to the smiling seller: "Do not help me, I'll see for myself." And the seller steps aside, giving such a client time to adapt in the store. If the seller is stress resistant or really wants to make money, he will most likely make another attempt to establish contact with such a buyer. And if not, then the seller will not approach such a client until the buyer himself asks the seller a question. This behavior of sellers is called "fear of the buyer." And this fear is directly related to the behavior of buyers. How to treat this disease and whether it can be prevented, says expert SR Daria Artyukhova.
Daria Artyuhova Daria Artyuhova - started her career in advertising and marketing in 2006, since 2007 moved to HR. During her work, she managed to gain experience in the field of recruitment, C&B, management, creation of an HR brand, T&D. Launched several successful start-up projects. She was one of the founders of the KEDDO franchise network in Russia. Management experience over 6 years. Certified business coach, business consultant, speaker, webinar host, author of articles and training materials. Education: MBA-Professional City Business School, master's degree at the Russian State Social University, Moscow City Law Institute.

According to statistics, only 20% of sellers make a second attempt to establish contact with a “cold” customer. Here the Pareto rule immediately comes to mind, which states that 20% of the effort a person spends brings 80% of the result. So it is with sellers: only 20% of your employees make 80% of your profit.

But the article will not focus on downsizing. This behavior of sellers is called "fear of the buyer." And this fear is directly related to the behavior of buyers. Buyers are afraid of sellers, because they have the confidence that now a sales employee will “vparit” him something and, possibly, will select the latter. Moreover, such a belief lives somewhere at the subconscious level, and in fact a person may not even be aware of it. But this belief will be manifested in the aggressive or withdrawn behavior of the buyer in the store.

In general, in Russia there are still fresh memories of "real salesmen" who were not at all familiar with the concept of "customer focus." Hence the negative attitude to trade in general - both among buyers and sellers. Today, the retail sector is experiencing a real crisis of valuable personnel. It was difficult to find good employees before, but now it’s the same as looking for a needle in a haystack. I’m not dramatizing at all. Most young people go on sale because they don’t take them anywhere else. But in order to sell well, you need to love this thing. And you need to love people. Yes, yes, without love for people in this profession in any way.

Of course, the requirements of companies are gradually growing, standards are being introduced and “Hello!” From the seller in the store is commonplace. It surprises me if they don’t greet me at the store. And it does not just surprise me, as a buyer, it even offends me. Only now, not all sellers still understand how important it is for the client to pay attention to their person. Even if the buyer did not say hello in return or said something disgusting to the seller, it would be much worse if the seller did not say hello.

After analyzing the behavior of our employees and employees of our partners, we came to the conclusion that the “fear of the buyer” takes place in any city and any store.

What are these symptoms and how to remove them? Let's get it right.

The seller is afraid of the boorish buyer

Fear of the buyer at the sellers does not appear immediately. Moreover, even an experienced seller can have this fear. It's all about stress and self-perception.

To make it clear, I will give an example from real practice. A young student worked in one of the stores. A sociable guy who was always distinguished by increased sociability and easily established contact with customers. But the time has come for the session and something went wrong. He stopped getting enough sleep, was very worried before exams and was in constant stress. At the same time, not the most adequate and pleasant customer came to the store. At first, she too rudely “sent off” a student-seller at the moment of greeting. Further, when he tried to establish contact a little later, she sent him a strong Russian word and for several minutes expressed to him what tactless, mediocre and bad seller he was. Ivan (let's call him that, his name has been changed), we must give him his due, withstood all insults with dignity and politely tried to smooth out the growing conflict. The administrator came to shout into the hall. Together with the seller, they managed to "calm" the customer. And she even made a purchase. After her departure, the young seller in every possible way tried to joke and pretend that everything was fine. But the administrator saw how snick Ivan. After some time, its sales began to fall. The administrator noticed that he no longer approached the customers who at least somehow reminded him of that scandalous lady. After some time, Ivan generally stopped approaching any customers and became closed. Of course, one could attribute Ivan’s behavior to problems in his family or personal life and not pay any attention to it. But we do not work like that. We work for the result. Our administrators are not only leaders, they are also mentors and a bit of coaches. Therefore, the administrator called Ivan to talk. During the conversation and special issues, she was able to find out that Ivan had a fear of customers. He is afraid of being rejected by them. And this fear is connected precisely with the story voiced above. Again, with the help of special questions, the administrator was able to remove this fear and restore Ivan's self-confidence. And now it is one of the strongest sellers.

But such a happy ending does not always happen and not everywhere. Often a change in behavior does not occur so brightly and quickly. And at first they do not pay attention to it, and then it is too late. And a person goes to other places with his fear, and over the years he only gets worse.

The seller is afraid of people

Some sellers initially go on sale with this fear of buyers. More precisely, they are simply afraid of people. But stubbornly go on sale. At the same time, they do not conduct any work on their fear. And what is the result? Shops in Russia are filled with unfriendly and non-customer-oriented sellers who not only do not like sales themselves, but are also afraid of people. People who are afraid to sell should not go into sales and take someone else's place. Or first you need to deal with your fears in order to be successful in this area.

We deal with this problem at all levels - from selection to management. We try not to let sellers who do not like sales or are afraid to sell in stores. Our administrators closely monitor the behavior of their employees and respond promptly to any change in behavior. If stressful situations occur, they will surely help the children to survive this as easily as possible. If it doesn’t work out on their own, they turn to the personnel department, where they receive psychological assistance.

There are also special trainings that are developed taking into account the situations that sellers in stores encounter. These trainings are not just a lecture or a collection of information and games. This is a real coaching campaign that helps to form and maintain a strong team.

How to survive the Groundhog Day

Everyone is very important attention, especially sellers. Their work is a real “Groundhog Day”, and professional “burnout” is normal practice in this profession. Every day hundreds and even thousands of people pass through them. And each of these people requires attention and respect for their person. In addition, rude and aggressive characters are often found among customers, and the seller must keep his face and be polite to everyone.

Therefore, the more varied the working life of salespeople, the more support they feel from management, the easier it is for them to sell, the easier it is to remain friendly and benevolent. The main idea is to teach salespeople not to let through all the emotions that customers make them feel. And in no case should you take on the stream of criticism or aggression that may come from the client.

So, to summarize: what needs to be done to keep sales and service at a high level?

1. Review the selection process. Stress requirements for candidates in the field of stress tolerance. True, such an opportunity is not always available, and in some regions it is necessary to work, so to speak, with what is. It is important here to maximize this level of stress resistance.

2. Conduct a series of trainings aimed at increasing stress resistance.

3. And most importantly: the work of management is very important. 90% of success depends on the support and timely relief of stress symptoms. Especially when it comes to a young specialist.

This article was published in the 153 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Many sales workers and training managers are familiar with the concept of “seller fear”. This is the client’s behavior when he announces to a smiling seller from the doorway: “Do not help me, I ...
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