When Hiring Staff Who Serve, Steer Clear of ‘Types’ B, C, D, E & F!

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 by Rob Baumhover


This article is provided by John Lees, 2nd Gap Manager for Vionic Group:

I enjoy meeting different kinds of people…even though certain ‘types’ cause me to sleep with my eyes open. It’s the same when customers meet associates in retail outlets…in that just a few prove valuable while many perform a less helpful role. There are 6 ‘types’ that consumers meet… starting with the rare kind of server they prefer to encounter…

“A type”: Advantageous. This describes someone who is seen to be very helpful and beneficial from the start to the end of their store visit. They assume control from the outset in a way that is acceptable and welcome to people, just as they would expect a doctor to behave. They use a tell & sell way of doing things, meaning that they tell consumers what they are going to do…and then explain (sell) why their proposed action will help them. The tell & sell service manner involves bringing out products not requested, but possibly needed…and includes recommending what the staff member feels would be best. And when the consumer makes a decision, they will briefly show and explain (tell & sell) items that are complementary to the purchase.

This successful ‘type’ of server is not pushy; they engage in a professional form of service performance that people find both impressive and pleasing. They don’t take up too much time when serving; they don’t appear arrogant in the least…and they don’t use industry language. This doesn’t describe a perfect team member, it refers to a ‘prefect’ type…who looks after people very well. The A type is ambitious and a product of managers who lead by example, training and incentives.

Here are the minor league ‘types’ that customers see as being the usual…the harmless, the irritating…

“B type”: Basic. This is the type they see most of; a category of people who are very nice…but who do no more than what is asked of them. This a ‘safe’ position as they create reasonable sales with few complaints.

“C type”: Coercive. This group are disrespectful of customers and use tactless ‘sales techniques’ to create higher sales…forgetting that no matter how many words they use to ‘up-sell’, the consumer can win by using just 1 word!

“D type”: Defensive.  This involves servers ‘asking permission’ to do their work, with questions like…“Would you like me to show you some other products?”, or “Is there anything else I can do for you?” No one takes offense when faced with this ‘type’…and this bad habit occurs because the person doesn’t want to be pushy or controlling. That said, this conduct doesn’t bring customers back…and it doesn’t create high sales.

“E type”: Expansive. This type likes to talk a lot, go into much detail and cover a lot of ground…without actually getting anywhere, and their sales are average.

“F Type”: Futile. No need to elaborate here, this ‘type’ can’t serve or sell…and they have a toxic effect on colleagues.


John Lees is the ‘2nd gap’ manager for Vionic Group, offering free Skype sales training and coaching for Vionic retail partners. John has written 12 books on sales, leadership, and marketing, several of which are available free to Vionic retail customers. By way of background, John was the Australian & New Zealand marketing and sales director for a multi-national German company, and led those operations to market leadership and the most profitable subsidiary worldwide and was then appointed a global marketing consultant to the company. John conducts free Skype training on how to be an Advantageous server, courtesy of Vionic. Contact him today to arrange a session for your team soon: 916-577-3865 or [email protected].

To better understand how Vionic and John Lees can assist you, peruse the titles of John’s 12 books HERE or explore the free business ideas Vionic customers receive in their PS Club HERE.


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