It is not difficult to make a place of work such as an office or shop 99.9999% safe from all risk. Especially when it comes to Man-Made Direct risks such as violent crime, robbery, assault and so forth. This might have the effect of making the premises and thus the business completely customer unfriendly. It won’t be long before all the precautions are no longer necessary as the business will no longer be in business.
The objective is to analyse the potential for harm and do a risk assessment that will help develop workable systems and procedures that enhance both safety and sales. Protection and profit. It might be a fine line at times but it is achievable and the first place to start work is with the staff and management, inside their heads to be precise.
Training is essential in all businesses and industries, in fact in most avenues of human endeavour. We say when the chips are down we will rise to the occasion but sadly we tend to fall back to the level of our training. When we examine personal safety from a sales point of view we see all too often unnecessary risks being taken in the mistaken belief if they don’t they will lose the sale.
I know of a car salesman who felt uncomfortable accompanying a woman for a test drive but he really wanted to sell her the car as he needed the figures. She was looking for a way to commit suicide and during the drive aimed the hatchback at a semi-trailer, ploughed across a roundabout and managed to jam the car under the bed of the trailer. The car salesman spent weeks in hospital and never again felt 100% comfortable during test drives.
A real estate agent agreed over the phone to meet a potential buyer at a property she had advertised online. She had never met the client before and when he arrived at the property she said later how she felt uncomfortable, something about him didn’t quite gel. When they were in a walk in closet the man turned on her with a knife, bound, gagged and raped her before cutting her throat and stealing her car. The woman, Joan Malone, was able to call for help and survived to testify against her assailant at his trial. She is still in the real estate business in Texas but too many of her colleagues either never lived to make the decision to return or did and can’t bring themselves to work in the industry ever again.
In both instances the sales professional felt uncomfortable but put the sale before their own safety. We have all done something similar at some stage in our lives. Over ridden our own alarm bells for some more ‘important’ motive. There are cases of retail sales clerks being assaulted by angry customers during sales because there are no more items left of the kind they came to the store for. Some occupations attract anger more than others and even within the sales arena there are situations that are more risky than others.
Selling cars, insurance, door to door or MLM services can often leave the sales person further out on a limb than even a bank teller. While a bank teller might face the risk of an armed robber threatening them with a loaded gun, they do have procedures in place to manage the situation and by this time it is pretty clear what is going on. For a lot of sales people the warning signs are simply not picked up or if they are, they are ignored because the primary motivator is making the sale, not staying safe.
“Talking To Strangers” is an innovative, entertaining, often hilarious presentation that helps sales professionals blend great customer focus and sales results with increased levels of personal safety and reduced risk. The bottom line is the sales professional is in better control of the sale, themselves and their safety. The company enjoys better sales and much lower risk of incurring costs due to injury and staff turnover and the genuine customer is blissfully ignorant of the process.
For any business or organization that has face to face interaction between its staff and the public/customer, “Talking To Strangers” is an investment that will produce returns far in excess of the dollar outlay. Peace of mind and profit margins can both be improved through the application of effective training that at the very least proves to the employee that the company does care and that their personal safety is important.
“Talking To Strangers” is a four hour presentation suitable for up to 30 attendees, $1,000 plus travel and accommodation at cost outside of Metropolitan Sydney.