Today my mum and I went to Pavilion and paid a visit to a retail chain in electronics and home stuff like furniture etc and quite impulsively bought a new DVD player, which cost about RM100++. Mum was looking around to buy my dad a new shaver but I wandered around and went to the DVD player section. Our previous DVD player has served us faithfully (and it was actually free - mum won from a lucky draw many years ago) and it's time to say goodbye cause there's some problem with playing certain DVDs. So, we were looking at a few DVD players and no comparing which to buy - Philips and Panasonic. Then, someone working there came over and offered us assistance. So we were asking - what's the difference between these two players?

Him: Which one?
Mum: These two *pointing* 
Him: *reading the flyers attached to the two DVD players*

After a while, there wasn't any response from the guy, and my mum and I berbisik-bisik about the two models and finally just decided to get the Philips one. Clearly, that guy had little product knowledge but he was very helpful.

Did I mention I was wandering around the store? So before I went to the DVD players area, I was at the camera section to kepoh cause you hands always itch for new equipment. I'm learning to have a little more self-control now. There were three tripods on display, wasn't cheap. :( But I decided to be more kepoh by asking the sales assistant at the counter about one of the tripods.

Me: Hi, how much is the maximum load capacity for this tripod? 
Sales Promoter 1: Max load capacity? Wait ah..
*Sales Promoter 1 walks away and checks with his colleague - Sales Promoters 2. She comes over*
Sales Promoter 2: Max load capacity? You mean if push down..the maximum weight it can hold?
Me: Yes. *trying to give a poker face*
Sales Promoter 2: I think should be 10kg.. 5-10kg.

I was actually quite interested in the tripod but the price is quite expensive, really so I wanted to see if anyone at LYN is selling at a cheaper price. So then, I took the time to write down what model it was and when I came home, I searched for it. And then I saw this - NGTT2 max load capacity is actually just 1KG. Okay....

So, on the same day, I came across sales assistants or promoters with little knowledge about products. For the guy who assisted us with the DVD player, I'm guessing he wasn't selling DVD players but just assisting customers - that was his job. However, the two people behind the camera counter - had little knowledge about the product they were selling and also gave the wrong information to the customer.

I'm not holding it against them. I know some of you think I'm overly critical of people and mistakes but no, really I'm not being overly critical, I'm concerned. I really look up to people who do good at work, regardless of cleaners or a CEO. I think that if you are on a job - and that being a sales promoter is their job, they should have enough knowledge of the products they are selling. It is their job, it's in their job scope - to sell something. To sell something you need to convince people. And to convince people, you need to know about the product you are selling! But can we blame them? I always look back into the company that they are working for.

You look at Starbucks and you know, most of their employees would have enough knowledge about coffee before they serve as a barista. Starbucks provides and ensures baristas have undergone at least a 2-week training before they are qualified. That's just for example.

I'm guessing that a lot of companies, they employ sales promoters who are untrained and not given enough briefing/instructions. And these companies expect them to have top performances yet don't bother to give them the push that they need. Imo, sales promoters should also be rated (as you would also rate a manager) whether they are performing on the job or not. If I am their employer, they are 'incompetent' as they lack the knowledge to promote a product to customers. Seriously, all these companies should give proper training to their employees (especially those in the service line) or employ people with experience.