Let me start off by saying that I hate shopping. I hate having to find a parking spot in a crowded parking lot where my car won’t be dented. I hate long lines and I hate spending money. So with the holidays just around the corner I decided to beat the crowds and head to the outlet mall to start my shopping. I went right after coaching a two hour class and I will admit that I looked quite messy. I was wearing spandex, sneakers, a gray sweatshirt, and I had my hair pulled back into a messy bun. I was on a mission. My plan was to get in and get out with as many gifts as I could while spending as little money as possible and return to my car no new dents.
I went from store to store and nothing was jumping out at me. People were pushy and rude and I was getting tired of shopping, I was getting tired of walking, and I was getting tired of wondering about my car. So, I decided to stop into one more store before I headed home. This store was a purse store and although I didn’t need a purse and no one I was buying presents for needed a purse, I decided to walk in anyway.
There were only two ladies working in this store and they seemed honestly thrilled to be working. They both joyfully said hello to me and both of them smiled genuine smiles. I am always very weary of overly happy people, so I smiled back and then quickly turned back around to look at the purses. I am a loner when I shop and I do try to avoid eye contact with the people working there by any means. They always seem to pressure me into buying things I don’t need or make me feel guilty for just wanting to browse.
The store was having a huge sale. Everything was 75% off and I was excited to see what kinds of deals I could get. Although I hate shopping, I do love a great deal. I mentally picked out bags that I thought were the best deals. I calculated the purses original prices and then took the 75% off and realized that I was going to save about $150.00. I was thrilled, but then I realized that I was going to have to spend way more than I wanted on purses that no one needed and I started to walk out of the store.
On my way out one of the ladies working there commented on how much she liked my shirt. “Oh my goodness” she said, “I love your shirt it looks so cute and comfortable, and you look so sporty and fit”. I smiled at her and said, “Thank you”. I immediately felt this weird feeling come over me. I felt wonderful and happy and I stopped and smiled at her. “Do you need help finding a purse?” she asked. I replied that I didn’t but then it happened. Instead of walking out the door, I unconsciously turned around and, like a zombie, I grabbed every purse I had on my mental list, plus a few more, I walked up to the cash register, and I bought all of them.
As I was walking back to my car, I stopped dead in my tracks. I stood there in disbelief. I had just been the victim of positive customer service. The lady working at the purse store completely scammed me into buying something. I was walking out of the store. I had my mind made up. But with one sweet engaging comment about my shirt, I turned into putty. I had let my defenses down and became vulnerable. Instead of having any strength to leave the store, I turned around and walked right back in. Instead of being strong and not spending money on things I didn’t need, I not only bought purses that I didn’t need, I bought purses no one else needed as well. And it was all because she made me feel good about myself for a minute. All because she took the time to make me feel special. All because she knew the power in being nice.
She knew that in order to get people to do what you want them to do, all you have to do is be nice to them. You have to say nice and sweet words to them and make them feel good about themselves. It really was that simple and it worked. I don’t really know if she thought I honestly looked cute or if she and her happy co-worker were honestly that happy all the time. I don’t really know if she was just trying to get a sale and it was all a big scam. Either way it was a win-win for both of us. She got the sale and I got a compliment. And in the end we both walked away happy and with smiles on our faces.