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November 04, 2009

#45 The attack of the sales assistants!

Beauty Sales Assistants!?! What are they feeding them?

I recently had one of my beauty exploring days where I hunt out old and new beauty gems. First up, I wandered into House of Fraser and literally had to run for cover from the attack of the perfume girls! 10 minutes later following a session with the tissues in the ladies to try and clear my nose from the perfume onslaught – I thought I would check out a new Estee Lauder product, and this is how the conversation went

I spy the lovely looking brown bottle and veer towards it and just before I can pick it up, a very unenthusiastic sales assistant comes over

Her: Can I help you?
Me: Oh hi, I heard about the new Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and wanted to come and check it out
Her: Oh
Me: Yes
Her: Ok
Me: (slightly confused at this point) ermm, can I look at it and try it out?
Her: Ok
Me: Trying it out …..
Her: Standing in silence…..
Me: (hating the silence) so can you tell me a bit more about it?
Her: It does what it says on the bottle…then pauses for silence
Me: Oh right!
Her …more silence
Me: So what exactly is that?
Her: Repairs the skin
Me: Trying to enlist some enthusiasm from her – oooh in what way?
Her: Repairs the skin
Her…pause for silence again
Her: Are you buying anything?
Me: slightly taken aback at the turn to conversation….well I just wanted to….
Her: (spies a possible more lucrative customer and is off before I can finish my sentence)

Yes I know, I know….. I should have taken this as a sign but obviously a glutton for punishment I then wandered into Debenhams to the Decleor Counter to check out one of their skin essential oils a friend has been raving about

Her: Hello (woohoo, i'm thinking – friendlier greeting, this must bode well)
Me: Oh hello, I just wanted to find out your facial essential oils
Her: Take a seat and I will show it to you
Her: Returns with about 10 different items (note that only one is an oil)
Her: Tell me about your skin
Me: Well its combination …blah blah blah
Her: One second ….then she returns with even more items
Me: Now slightly alarmed at the number of things on the table, considering I just wanted to find out about the oils
Her: Starts talking and putting products on my hand
Fast forward about 15 minutes (yes I did stay that long)
Me: ok well these five sound quite good, do you have any samples I can take away to try on my face
Her: Suddenly not looking so friendly – are you buying any of them?
Me: Well I was hoping to try them on my face first so I can see how they feel etc
Her: book in for a facial that is £25 and redeemable on products
Me: I will think about it, thanks for all your help
Her: Painful Silence (I honestly think silence is meant to be their secret weapon to make you buy products)
Me: Would it be possible to please get the names of the five I liked and their prices
Her: Frowning…why?
Me: (confused at the response) oh! Well, it’s so I remember what products you recommended and know how much they are
Her: No I can’t
Me: I’m sorry, I don’t understand
Her: It is our company policy not to give out the names of products and prices
Me: huh!!! I’m sorry I have never heard of that before
Her: Well that’s how it is (positively snarling now!!)
Me: So you are telling me that you recommend something to a potential customer but unless they are buying it on the spot, you cannot give out the name or price
Her: You might try to go and buy it on the internet
Me: Its not really any of your business if I want to buy something on the internet or not – but it is your job to “assist” and provide information that could lead to a sale – it might simply be that I am waiting for pay day and planning to come back in a few days – you don’t know anything about me
Her: well…

Suddenly she is saved (trust me I was starting to see red now) by another and might I add, more intelligent sales assistant who steps in and says

New SA: I’m so sorry, she's new! And that is not our policy – please follow me to the tills and I will write up the items for you.

Me: glaring at the old assistant and wondering if my tongue still needs to roll…..Humpff!!

So that was my experience, needless to say I was highly un-impressed!! And needed a starbucks moment to bring me back down. I mean, honestly what is going on? If you cannot walk into a beauty hall and get some honest advice minus the hard sell, how are you meant to believe the products might actually work for you? And it’s not just an act to make their sales targets?
Has anyone else had any interesting experiences at a beauty counter? let me know...



Ashwini said...

Ugh I have completely stopped asking sales reps for help. I get all my recommends from blogs and youtube, and i just go and ask for a product. sorry to hear you had such a horrid time.

BTW I've nominated you for a lovely blogger award! (Hope that's like a starbucks moment for ya!) Come check it out over here:


àsìkò said...

I simply tell the beauty assistants to go away and not bother me, thank God I wasn't there to smack someone. Anyway is this what you do with your free time young lady? Get back home already.
Your ever loving husband

Anonymous said...

I am so scared to ask for help, i just relay on blogs and different forums I can find

BTW.. Loving your blog


lotionspotionsandme said...

Aww thanks Clearly - yay!!! thats my first award and it's more than a starbucks moment :-)

The Visualist - Stop pretending, you know you love my beauty products even more than I do. xx

Thanks Eni :-), im so glad you love the blog. from now on I think i will need to avoid the counters as well.

Abi Jones said...

I know... they are so obnoxious until they know you might not be buying anything. Anyway used to the painful silence and complete disinterest. Just go about opening stuff and checking it out. And if any of them irritate me - will just tip something over and say in my sweetest voice - 'Awwww.... am sowwy but guess that's why you are here right - to clean up after me! * :)

Anonymous said...

I've had the same lifeless comments from SAs and I simply say (eg if I'm speaking to Clinique), 'well maybe Dior might have something more interesting' and then I just walk away. I hate SAs with attitude!

lotionspotionsandme said...

@ Abi and Anonymous - Too funny!! Loving the attitude - i might have to try it out on them. xx

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