How to Lose a Mattress Sale
An epidemic of introversion threatens the very fabric of our economy. At retail establishments across the land, over-amped sales personnel are charged with accosting unreceptive customers, all for the promised pittance of commission. Pity the retail employee who must cram their square peg sales strategy into the black hole of the introverted customer.
This unprecedented assault against extroverts has swept the nation, disproportionately affecting sales personnel who work on commission. This injustice cannot stand. Forget for a moment the larger market forces creating the conditions of their oppression; this battle is best waged on the sales floor, with one-on-one combat.
Too often sales personnel see the loss of an introvert’s business as defeat. To that I say: THIS IS VICTORY! What I offer is a way forward for our country’s under-appreciated and much-maligned extroverts. Read on, dear sales people, and discover the dawning of a new tomorrow that causes the lost promise of the 1950’s to tremble with jealousy.
Sales people, you’re in a tough position. Charged with accosting even the most unlikely of prospects, you’re losing commission by spending precious seconds on people who fix you with the same expression that deer flashed before your Hummer acquired a fresh splatter paint job. Well, your frustrations have not gone ignored. It’s time to reclaim the sales floor with the pent up fury of a sales professional long scorned.
Why waste your energy catering to introverts when there’s an extroverted customer waiting impatiently just down the aisle? After four interminable years of being part of the zeitgeist, introverts must be exhausted from all the attention. It’s only a matter of time before the internet’s promise of mediated social interaction and human-free commodity exchange lures them away from the public sphere for good. Your best efforts are no match for their inward spiral. Until then, you’ll be doing any introverts who stumble into your store a favor by expediting their decision to flee. This tactic has the added bonus of freeing yourself up to make the easier sale to the people who will appreciate your best efforts: extroverts. It’s a win-win-WIN!
The following instructions were provided by a woman who self-identified as an introvert as soon as the bandwagon rolled by in 2012. A mattress store serves as the example below, but with slight modification, these instructions should be effective in any retail setting.
How to Chase an Introvert out of your Establishment & onto the Internet in 10 Simple Steps
- As I enter your store, allow a satisfied customer to shout some version of the following into my face: “Looking for a bed? Bob here’ll take care of you!” This unrequested vote of confidence will sabotage any rapport we might have established.
- Disregard the fact that I ignored your overly enthusiastic customer and put five mattresses between us as quickly as I could. Instead, follow me down the aisle and introduce yourself. To expedite the alienation process, make me shake your hand and tell you my name.
- Don’t bother assessing what type of sales tactics might work best on me. Just launch into your spiel, making me feel like I’ve wandered onto the set of a postmodern improv show.
- Ask me questions about my sleeping habits and share your own.
- Exploit my tendency to adhere to social norms (such as being polite to strangers) in order to keep me from cutting you off and extracting myself from our increasingly uncomfortable interaction.
- Say disingenuous things like, “I want to be respectful,” or “I’m not trying to make a sale, I’m just going to give you all the information.”
- Lead me to your “patented” sleep technology torture device, where a bed writhes underneath me in brief mechanical surges while a woman’s voice prepares me for the impending robot uprising. This reprieve from our stilted conversation is ostensibly so I’ll learn which mattress will best support my back, but actually so you have additional jargon (cosigned by Technology!) that you can lob at my short-circuiting brain.
- After the creepy simulation, insist that I lie down on a mattress you’ve chosen for me based on my “custom” results.
- When I tell you it’s too soft, nod as if you knew this would be the case and repeat what I said as if you had thought of it first.
- After I inform you that I’m going to go look around on my own, point to a nearby mattress and say, “First I’m going to have you try this one.”
Originally published at contemporarycontempt.com on June 6, 2016.