October 25, 2018
As the holiday season approaches, I’m reminded of my son’s first Christmas. He was 9 months old at the time, and I had THOROUGHLY photo-documented every cute, funny, and sometimes gross thing he had ever done (hey, it’s what first-time parents do). However, after pushing my phone’s camera capabilities to the limit, I felt it was time to upgrade to a DSLR camera.
I’ve always operated under the idea that “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”, which in this case meant I needed to do my own research. I’m also the type of person who suffers from chronic analysis paralysis, so I read literally hundreds of reviews and comparisons, and watched dozens of videos to get educated. It was an informative journey that opened my eyes to the possibilities of photography as a hobby, even going beyond capturing precious moments of my baby boy. I also reached out to several of my professional and semi-professional photographer friends, garnering feedback and gleaning insights into which brand and model made the most sense for my needs and budget.
So I finally made a decision. I thought about ordering it on Amazon, but after hours upon hours and days upon days of research, I simply could not wait an additional two days to make the purchase. So I went into my local Best Buy store and headed straight for the camera department. A blue shirt approached me and said, “Do you need any help today?” I proudly responded, “Nope, I’ll take the Brand X camera.” (hey, no free advertising here). The sales associate looked at me and said, “That’s a great camera, but can I ask why you want that one specifically?” The audacity of this young jer…gentleman. I thought to myself, “Have you any idea how much time and vacillation went into this decision? Just give me the goods!” But I decided to humor him instead.
“Well, I just did a lot of research and talked to a lot of pros who ultimately guided me to the Brand X camera.” He smiled and said, “What do you plan to do with it?” I began explaining how I had this insanely handsome little dude at home and how my phone simply wasn’t doing him justice. I’m sure I must’ve taken my phone out and showed him several pictures too. He said, “I bet he moves around quite a bit, doesn’t he?” I confirmed that he did—at that point, the sales associate said, “I know you want the Brand X but let me show you this Brand Y camera instead. It has the fastest autofocus in this price range as well as the fastest burst mode, so you’ll never miss that perfect shot.”
It was music to my ears. How could I have missed such an important detail?! I was about to spend the same money for a camera incapable of capturing that perfect pose in the middle of an epic crawl. The conversation continued as he proceeded to show me all sorts of tips and tricks. Before I knew it, I walked out of the store with the camera and two additional lenses, eager to get started taking pics.
As I think back on this experience, I have to wonder, what made that salesman a fan of Brand Y? Was it really simply because I wanted to take pictures of a young, squirrely child, or was there something deeper? Was it personal experience? Expert recommendations he had previously received? Specific training? Marketing? Whatever it was, there was no doubt that Brand Y had won him over, as I saw him recommending Brand Y to other people in subsequent trips that I made to the store. So what does this all mean? Mindshare matters. Brand affinity matters. In fact, 70% of the consumer purchase decision is influenced by retail sales associate recommendations, and my experience is proof positive.
After showing some pictures that I had taken on my new camera to some colleagues at work, one of them asked me what kind of camera I had. I told him, and he began doing his own research, as he was also interested in buying a camera, albeit it at a much higher price point. Eventually, he purchased the Cadillac of the brand, all because I shared my positive experiences with mine. So not only did that recommendation cause me to buy Brand Y, but it set off a chain of events that affected someone else, and who knows how many more to come.
So what is your brand doing to win the hearts and minds of retail sales associates? No matter your answer, if you’re not on SellPro, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us show you how to drive ROI and increase sales at retail through building mindshare.