Recently I finished up a series here on my blog entitled SELL OUT! It included tips on hand-selling homemade work without losing your soul or compromising your integrity. It was mostly aimed at crafty business sorts who were gearing up for craft show season. At the end of the series I mentioned I might try to offer additional tips on a monthly basis (on, or near the first Thursday of the month) for a while, and this post is a part of that promise. For those interested in reading previous tips, click here.
It's the beginning of a new month, and as promised when I finished up my recent series, SELL OUT! Tips on hand-selling homemade work without losing your soul or compromising your integrity, I'm bringing you the first of a few monthly bonus tips in the series. I hope all crafty folks out there who are taking on craft shows are having a good season! Okay, onto tip #10.
Tip #10: When you are a sales-person, or working in any sort of customer-service role, avoid saying the words “No problem.”
I worked at a retail pottery store for a number of years and this was an absolute must that my boss drilled into me. It seems sort of silly to put so much emphasis on it, people say “No problem,” all the time. Especially in response to phrases like, “Thank you!” or “Wow, That was so helpful!” But “No problem,” comes across as suggesting the other person was kind of actually causing a problem. Like, “Ya, I had to get off my butt and help you find the color of product you were looking for, but really – don’t worry about it; it was no problem.”
My boss at the pottery store also was insistent that “no problem” was also a generational phrase. In other words, it belonged only to a younger generation. He said it sounded one step higher than a crass, “no sweat,” to an older generation. He insisted it was a turn-off, and while I didn’t hear it as such at first, I grew to agree with him whole-heartedly.
Consider a few of my favorite alternatives:
“You are welcome.”
Don’t they sound better than “No problem?” Yes they do. “Thanks,” is one of the most beautiful words/sentences/phrases in nearly any language, responding to it in such a crass way isn’t exactly tacky, but it’s still kind of cringe-inducing. So rid your vocabulary of this pesky and prevalent phrase, at least while you have your sales hat on.
I'll try to remember to post another tip in the beginning of August. Happy July!