Why do people lie? As a customer experience connoisseur, I come across salespeople, managers and even customers who find it necessary to utter untruths. I have caught my 13 year old son in more than one lie regarding his homework, which brings me to a conclusion that a major reason for lying is to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
It is understandable that you can feel awkward telling a salesperson that you don’t want what is being sold. Reasons for not being satisfied vary, but the nagging feeling that you are hurting the salesperson’s feelings remains. Generally, people want to be liked and fear rejection. I want to be liked and take no pleasure in telling people no. However, I realize that I am doing the salesperson no favors through lying.
Tales from the fitting room
In a high-service business, you become more involved with the salesperson who is helping you. For example, fitting room service in a clothing retailer should include an associate checking on you periodically to ensure that you like what you are trying on and to change out things that don’t work, while offering further suggestions. When the associate visits your fitting room, you should not lie to her and tell her that everything is perfect if it is not. Give her the opportunity to make wardrobe adjustments or to bring you something more suitable. After all, she is there to service YOU!
Here come the brides!
In my past life as a bridal shop owner, it was customary for a bride to try on several gowns before choosing one. Often, the bride would leave without making a purchase. She may revisit the store again, try on more gowns and still choose nothing. No, it was not fun for me playing dress-up with no perceivable end in sight. It was all part of the nature of the job. Choosing a wedding gown is an important task and the idea of committing to one dress (kinda like to one man) is sometimes stressful.
The point is that although I routinely placed girls in beautiful, expensive dresses that they may or may not purchase, I did not take it personally if I could not help them in their quest for the “perfect” dress. It is slightly amusing when customers walk into a store or business, look around then try to sneak past the salesperson on duty. Trust me, she sees you and it is OK that you are leaving empty-handed. The associate would rather you become a converted customer but she also realizes that she can’t help everyone and that she may not have what you need.
Lesson learned: wear your big-girl panties
A friend told me that when she gets up in the morning, she puts on her big-girl panties. She is not going to fall apart if you reject product she is selling. As a customer, you can remember that her big-girl panties will protect her from rejection. Next time you find yourself in a store fitting room, take the opportunity to let the expert working there help you. If she is any good, she will not attempt selling you items that look bad on you or are inappropriate for the occasion. Remember that it does YOU a disservice to tell the salesperson that everything fits when in reality you need something else.