Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette Hell Classics => Topic started by: Asharah on January 15, 2011, 08:00:16 PM

Title: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Asharah on January 15, 2011, 08:00:16 PM
Like most brides one of the parts of the wedding I was most excited about was my dress. My roommate and bridesmaid Sarah took me on the weekends to various bridal boutiques and we had fun but no success finding the perfect dress. We were both students in a town noted for the laid back attitude of its inhabitants, and I admit that we dressed accordingly, nothing revealing but no pants-suits either. Regardless, we were treated kindly and respectfully wherever we went, until...the boutique from hell.

We made the necessary appointment and arrived on time, then we waited for fifteen minutes while the sales girl made her lunch plans on the phone, occasionally looking us over derisively. When she finished she stood and looked at us from top to bottom and sneeringly said to Sarah, "nice sweater." Asharah's comment: Now would be a good time to walk out and find a store where the salespeople have manners. We correctly interpreted her to mean, "you can't afford anything in here," but I had been looking forward to trying on dresses to we persevered and asked her to show us around. Whenever I commented on a dress she would tell me how much it cost and say, "we have some dresses you might like more over here, for less." Asharah's comment: Wouldn't that cut into your commission sweetheart? I particularly liked one designer gown and asked to try it on, along with a few others, and she very reluctantly agreed to bring them to the room. I'm a pretty shy and modest person, the number of people who've seen me naked, counting my parents and sister, are less then five, and so I usually asked the sales girls if I could get into the dress myself, of if Sarah could help me. Not only did this girl refuse my request, she also informed me that she would have to see me NAKED to fit me with petticoats and a corset, "store policy" Asharah's comment: I can't imagine any salesgirl wanting to see me naked, but if they did, I would probably just leave. (It's absolutely not store policy- according to other friends who've been there). She repeatedly told us we could not take pictures of the dresses, and my best guess is she wanted to make sure I was clean and that I didn't have a camera. umm... Sarah and I were so floored, and I was so intimidated, that I just complied. She of course brought me undergarments three sized too small, and refused to get me a larger cup size, although she could see (because she had demanded to) that it fit like a Dixie cup on a watermelon. I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable by the time I actually got the dress on that it didn't matter how beautiful it was. And there was the girl, talking over Sarah's compliments, telling me that she hated to see a bride fall in love with a dress she couldn't afford. Asharah's comment: Given that most people today own credit cards, I think salespeople who make assumptions about what people can spend are morons! What a jerk. As money was unexpectedly not an issue in choosing my dress, I bought from their competitors, and tell every bride I know about their terrible store. Asharah's comment: Is it still in operation?      Vendors0623-03
Asharah's comment: First lesson on wedding dress shopping: If the saleslady greets you rudely, find another store.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Bellantara on January 15, 2011, 08:06:33 PM
I would have walked out after the fifteen minute personal phone conversation, and gotten in touch with the manager to let him/her know WHY they weren't getting my business.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Iris on January 15, 2011, 08:10:24 PM
^ First rule of any shopping at all, I would have said. Having said that, when I was a young student I probably would have been intimidated by this behaviour.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: mariamousie1 on January 16, 2011, 11:27:16 AM
She stayed waaaaay too long. I agree, I would have been walking out at "nice sweater".
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Lisbeth on January 16, 2011, 11:31:49 AM
I think that after that obnoxious greeting, my first reply would have been to ask for the manager, and if the clerk continued to be rude, I'd walk out then and there.

Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Hushabye on January 16, 2011, 01:02:02 PM
Yeah, I would have been out of there at "nice sweater" -- just because I'd want to see if she really was being as snotty as the looks implied.  No way in this world would I have gotten naked for a stranger.  Much less one who insulted me.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Twik on January 19, 2011, 02:43:41 PM
Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on January 20, 2011, 02:52:04 PM

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?

Where do you come up with that stuff!? LOL! LOL!
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Yvaine on January 20, 2011, 03:01:11 PM
Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?

Yeah, I always wonder if they're thinking they don't need to worry about customer retention, since the wedding will soon be over and then they may never see that particular bride again--but they're not considering the possibility of the bride taking her business elsewhere in the first place, or the damage she can do by word-of-mouth. Congratulations, salespeople, you've just lost all the bride's friends' business!  >:D
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sel
Post by: Asharah on January 23, 2011, 11:32:43 PM
Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?

Yeah, I always wonder if they're thinking they don't need to worry about customer retention, since the wedding will soon be over and then they may never see that particular bride again--but they're not considering the possibility of the bride taking her business elsewhere in the first place, or the damage she can do by word-of-mouth. Congratulations, salespeople, you've just lost all the bride's friends' business!  >:D
Not to mention the bridal party. One bride who's story is here somewhere told an equally rude saleswoman who made presumptions about her financial situation that she was having a huge wedding and the bridal party and family added up to more than 20 people buying and renting formal attire that would NOT be using her shop.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sel
Post by: HonorH on January 24, 2011, 02:04:14 AM
Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?

Yeah, I always wonder if they're thinking they don't need to worry about customer retention, since the wedding will soon be over and then they may never see that particular bride again--but they're not considering the possibility of the bride taking her business elsewhere in the first place, or the damage she can do by word-of-mouth. Congratulations, salespeople, you've just lost all the bride's friends' business!  >:D
Not to mention the bridal party. One bride who's story is here somewhere told an equally rude saleswoman who made presumptions about her financial situation that she was having a huge wedding and the bridal party and family added up to more than 20 people buying and renting formal attire that would NOT be using her shop.

Yeah, this is really what it's about. One bride isn't necessarily that big a deal (though I know from someone who used to work at a bridal shop that they get a sweeeet commission for some of those gowns); a bride, a MOH, three bridesmaids, one junior bridesmaid, a flower girl, a MOB, a MOG and rental tuxes for the entire groom's party (and FOB and FOG)? That's an awful lot of potential money you're letting walk out your door with a disgruntled bride.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: LadyR on January 25, 2011, 09:43:43 PM
I had a great experience buying my dress, but trying on BM dresses was a nightmare. The sales lady was so dismissive and in the end, while we loved one dress, my girls all ordered it from the other store in town (5 dresses x $200), my mom and FGs also went elsewhere.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: norrina on January 28, 2011, 03:50:31 PM
Somehow, I've read a lot of stories about wedding vendors who behave really obnoxiously-it seems like they think that they have the right to hold brides and grooms hostage emotionally and get some kind of stupid kick out of it, just because the couples are in a hurry to finalize the arrangements for their weddings.

I agree - the most egregious stories about sales clerks always seem to be in wedding stores. I don't know, is there some sort of secret training for them that teaches "keep 'em keen, by treating 'em mean"?

I ran into this yesterday trying to look at white sapphires for an engagement ring. I went into two stores where the clerks were more than happy to show me their white sapphires, until they deduced that I wanted this stone for an e-ring. As soon as they gleaned this bit of information, they became very pitying and patronizing. "Oh, honey, no. Wouldn't you rather have a diamond? Just a small diamond dearie, that won't cost too much. Or if he can't afford that, they have done amazing things with moissanite, you can't even tell it isn't a diamond."

I finally got frustrated, went home and changed from my jeans, snow boots and grungy down coat into slacks, Italian leather shoes and black wool coat, and tried again. Perhaps it was just coincidence, but the third shop didn't seem to feel the need to make presumptions about my financial situation.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Iris on January 28, 2011, 06:48:33 PM

I ran into this yesterday trying to look at white sapphires for an engagement ring. I went into two stores where the clerks were more than happy to show me their white sapphires, until they deduced that I wanted this stone for an e-ring. As soon as they gleaned this bit of information, they became very pitying and patronizing. "Oh, honey, no. Wouldn't you rather have a diamond? Just a small diamond dearie, that won't cost too much. Or if he can't afford that, they have done amazing things with moissanite, you can't even tell it isn't a diamond."

In this case it's probably because the one time in people's lives that they've been completely conned into spending more money than they can reasonably afford on a piece of jewellry is the engagement ring. They try to push eternity rings, they try to push maternity rings, but by far the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing.

If you go about the place, spreading evil propaganda that you DON'T have to have a diamond, and it doesn't have to be huge, and he STILL LOVES YOU (gasp) then what will happen? Won't somebody think of the (De Beers) children?! [/overdramatising]

I'm not that old, but am still old enough to remember when it was one month's salary. I am actually curious as to how far they can push it before we all wake up.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: norrina on January 29, 2011, 08:58:59 PM

I ran into this yesterday trying to look at white sapphires for an engagement ring. I went into two stores where the clerks were more than happy to show me their white sapphires, until they deduced that I wanted this stone for an e-ring. As soon as they gleaned this bit of information, they became very pitying and patronizing. "Oh, honey, no. Wouldn't you rather have a diamond? Just a small diamond dearie, that won't cost too much. Or if he can't afford that, they have done amazing things with moissanite, you can't even tell it isn't a diamond."

<snip> In this case it's probably because the one time in people's lives that they've been completely conned into spending more money than they can reasonably afford on a piece of jewellry is the engagement ring. They try to push eternity rings, they try to push maternity rings, but by far the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing. </snip>


I think "they" have managed to catch my boyfriend in their net too. I told him from the instant he started talking about rings that I didn't necessarily want a diamond, and if we did go that route, I only wanted a small diamond because I have small hands. He has persisted in taking me to look at diamond encrusted settings with large diamond solitaires. Even now that we're looking at white sapphires he has an eye towards replacing the stone with a diamond for an anniversary.

Well, bully for "them," because I have absolutely fallen in love with an antique style ring channel set with diamonds but with a blue topaz main stone, and I don't want to replace that unique colorful topaz with a run-of-the-mill clear diamond later! (Which is not, please know, any sort of disparagement at all against diamond e-rings, I just really LOVED that ring with topaz and it feels like me.)
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Jan74 on January 31, 2011, 07:53:46 AM

I ran into this yesterday trying to look at white sapphires for an engagement ring. I went into two stores where the clerks were more than happy to show me their white sapphires, until they deduced that I wanted this stone for an e-ring. As soon as they gleaned this bit of information, they became very pitying and patronizing. "Oh, honey, no. Wouldn't you rather have a diamond? Just a small diamond dearie, that won't cost too much. Or if he can't afford that, they have done amazing things with moissanite, you can't even tell it isn't a diamond."

<snip> In this case it's probably because the one time in people's lives that they've been completely conned into spending more money than they can reasonably afford on a piece of jewellry is the engagement ring. They try to push eternity rings, they try to push maternity rings, but by far the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing. </snip>


I think "they" have managed to catch my boyfriend in their net too. I told him from the instant he started talking about rings that I didn't necessarily want a diamond, and if we did go that route, I only wanted a small diamond because I have small hands. He has persisted in taking me to look at diamond encrusted settings with large diamond solitaires. Even now that we're looking at white sapphires he has an eye towards replacing the stone with a diamond for an anniversary.

Well, bully for "them," because I have absolutely fallen in love with an antique style ring channel set with diamonds but with a blue topaz main stone, and I don't want to replace that unique colorful topaz with a run-of-the-mill clear diamond later! (Which is not, please know, any sort of disparagement at all against diamond e-rings, I just really LOVED that ring with topaz and it feels like me.)

I love topaz. So your ring sounds fantastic.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: gmatoy on January 31, 2011, 07:47:41 PM
My ring is an aquamarine, which is a color that I love! Diamonds go flat when placed on my hands. Really, when I was young, the bride-to-be didn't believe me when I said diamonds went "flat" on my hands. So she put her ring on my finger and almost dislocated my finger trying to get it back off when the "shine and sparkle" disappeared. Some kind of weird chemical reaction, I guess.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Doll Fiend on February 04, 2011, 08:03:30 PM
Amethyst here! I had to leave a couple of places as well cause of the whole "Push the expensive diamond" bit. Ironically, found the perfect (for me) ring at one of the big box stores.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: flowersintheattic on March 04, 2011, 08:57:17 PM
I wonder if part of the rudeness we see/read about on e-Hell from the sales people in bridal boutiques with regard to budget is because bridal boutiques get so many girls coming in with no intention of buying, they just want to try on the pretty dresses. I bet designer stores have to contend with a lot of that, and it could cause a lot of unwillingness to help people that they assume won't be spending any money.

It's not an excuse for their behavior in any way, but it might be the cause of it.

I don't know about jewelers, though. If a couple doesn't want a diamond, they don't want a diamond. If you belittle their choice, you're not going to get ANY commission from them. I remember when FH and I were looking at rings, I mentioned to one national chain that I wanted an Asscher cut, and the saleslady said they didn't carry them and showed me a stone with the same shape but a radiant cut instead of a step cut. When I told her that the step cut was what I liked, she told me I didn't really want one because they get dirty so easily, and I clearly wanted something that would sparkle no matter what. In fact, she had a woman in the store just last week getting her Asscher-cut ring cleaned, and she hated it because it got dirty from the lotion she put on. That store didn't get our business. (FWIW,  I love the cut of my ring. Three and a half months later, it's still as sparkly as it was in when he gave it to me...I take it off when I put on lotion.  ;))
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Hushabye on March 05, 2011, 02:48:37 PM
I think if it does come from that, flowersintheatic, it's a shame, and it's not practiced by all designer stores in the slightest.

When I was in college, I was in DC at one point staying at the Watergate for a conference.  One of the other girls from school and I went walking along a series of shops nearby which happened to include a Vera Wang store.  We weren't dressed super-nicely, and I think it was apparent we weren't looking seriously, but we were still treated extremely politely when I saw a dress I fell in absolute love with in the window and went inside to look at it more closely.  (Southern Honey and I weren't engaged at that point, although we did get engaged about a year and a half later.)

The treatment we received that day actually led me to strongly consider buying the dress once I was engaged -- if it hadn't been so darned far out of the budget, I probably would have because I managed to track one down at a local boutique.

Honestly I think it's lack of training, snobbery, and just plain poor salesmanship, or some combination of the three.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: jenny_islander on March 16, 2011, 03:37:04 AM
The only other venue I can think of where the customer is expected to eat such a ration of you-know-what is pregnant women dealing with birth providers.  (You don't want that/you don't know what you're talking about/you're too stupid to make decisions/we don't let people do that here/we expect you to believe whatever we say without checking the facts/give us your money.)  Perhaps there is something about being in (apparent) control of things that are very important to a woman during a very stressful time of her life as a deadline approaches--?  Or do men also get smacked with this nonsense when shopping for wedding clothes and rings?

During my brief stint in sales, I was trained to be polite to everybody regardless of appearance, because you can't tell the window shoppers from the people who are thinking about putting down a large amount of money until they either come back or don't.  So you want to make darn sure they feel like coming back!  The smelly guy in the stained Carhartts may have just come off the best fishing season of his life and you want him to drop some of his six-digit paycheck with you.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Twik on March 16, 2011, 08:29:46 AM
If there's any business rationale behind it, could it be that they're trying to impress potential customers that "we're so high end, you barely qualify to get in the door - but we're feeling generous today, so we'll condescend to sell to you"? That they hope that the customers will be properly awed and grateful?
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: irish1 on March 21, 2011, 06:40:32 PM
The thing about her needing to see the OP naked really freaked me out. I want to say I wouldn't have allowed it if it were me, but I probably wouldn't have said anything :( I'd suggest the OP talk to a senior staff member about this treatment.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Clair Seulement on March 24, 2011, 06:44:43 PM
Sheesh I almost walked out of a bridal "shop" that will remain nameless because they wanted my fiance's full name and e-mail address to hawk bridal-industrial items to him. Thinly veiled allusions to perceived low SES and insisted-upon naked-seeing would nary have flown with me.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: wheeitsme on March 24, 2011, 09:50:01 PM
My DH had to tell the saleslady that I was ethically against diamonds before she'd show him the pearls..and that was at a Hilo Hatties (Hawaiian shop) fine jewelry counter!
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Omega Mu on May 06, 2011, 04:51:09 PM
It appears that the saleslady is making assumptions about the OP's budget, but wouldn't that have been the first thing they discussed?  On "Say Yes to the Dress" budget is one of the major determinations as to what dresses they bring to the bride.  They STRONGLY discourage the bride from even trying on a dress that is outside her budget to avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a dress she can't afford.
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sel
Post by: Asharah on May 10, 2011, 11:06:50 PM
It appears that the saleslady is making assumptions about the OP's budget, but wouldn't that have been the first thing they discussed?  On "Say Yes to the Dress" budget is one of the major determinations as to what dresses they bring to the bride.  They STRONGLY discourage the bride from even trying on a dress that is outside her budget to avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a dress she can't afford.
There is nothing wrong with asking a bride if she has a budget range she's shooting for, but saleswoman in OP was making assumptions about bride without asking and cost herself a commission and her store some business.
And some brides may not have a budget for specific items when they start out. They might be thinking "Hmmm, can I afford to have X, Y and Z for my wedding, or should I cut out Y to afford X and Z. Do I really want ice sculptures at the reception, or would I rather spend more money on the flowers? If I give up the chocolate fountain, I can add a little more to the dress budget. If we do a buffet instead of a sitdown dinner, I can hire limos for the entire family." So it could be a case, "Hmmm the dress is a little more than I planned to spend, but I can probably cut a few corners somewhere else if I REALLY want it."
Title: Re: Wedding Vendor: Some Salespeople Don't Understand The Job Is To Actually Sell
Post by: Reuth on June 15, 2011, 07:07:38 PM
Quote
the most successful case of collective brainwashing has got to be the "three months salary" on an engagement ring thing.

Three months??? I could buy a new car with that much money! OK, not on the salary he was making when we got engaged. But it would have been way more than the down payment on our house. I would have killed him for spending that kind of money on a ring. Our whole wedding cost less than that. Including the honeymoon.