This Blog was produced by the eMoov CEO Russell Quirk.

I took our sales team on a trip yesterday.

It’s nice to get out of the office especially as the sun was shining. But there was another reason for the outing.

We went to find a salesperson. Sound odd? Wait and see…

The eMoov team is a mix of male and female, older and younger and with varying personalities. But they are all, in effect, sales people. Whether it’s negotiating an offer on a flat in Islington to get it over the asking price or talking a buyer into not pulling out of a house sale in Bridlington, sales is what we do.

We are all acutely aware that our high street competitors speculate as to how the online estate agency approach works. Do we work hard to secure a deal? Do we troubleshoot like crazy to keep a chain together or to placate anxious movers?

You bet we do. But we can always learn more and do better.

So, off we went to find some salespeople to learn from. I wanted to see the good and the bad. To establish to the team what comes across as worthwhile and what tactics and attitudes should be best avoided as far as the consumer is concerned.

We visited two car dealerships, an electronics superstore and two furniture retailers. All of these employ sales teams. Or so we thought. Each of these industries has faced a number of big online competitors in recent years as consumers move online.

I will spare the red faces of those individuals we met and their firms’ names but here’s a run down of what we found:

First car dealership: A very pleasant salesman but who seemed more concerned about filling in his mandatory forms than finding out what we wanted to buy, when and for how much. He’s since followed me up and was a really nice guy but didn’t help us along the sales process to any meaningful conclusion at all.

Second car dealership: A brash lad with his tie undone who didn’t even get our contact details. Rosie, one of our top sales people was infuriated that of those of us he spoke to, he didn’t acknowledge the presence of the female contingent at all. Totally uninspiring.

Electronics superstore: At first, an approach by a helpful and knowledgeable sales assistant. Who walked off half way through his pitch. And didn’t come back. We walked out.

First furniture superstore: Ignored by several salespeople loitering at the door talking about their children’s schools. No other customers yet they didn’t even approach us.

Second furniture superstore: Ignored again despite no one else being in the shop except us and three sales staff. For good measure I walked out waving my credit card above my head. Just to make a point.

My guys certainly saw how NOT to deal with customers this week. A useful lesson. But what on earth happened to the sales process as I used to know it that was predicated around helping the customer to buy something they want?

Sadly, it seems to have all but disappeared in the offline world.

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