There is a retail boom in India, but there are just not enough training schools to create the necessary Retail Force. Sadly retail is too big a word and too confusing. Let me explain. When a customer wants to buy bread or grocery he/she is only looking for good display, big and clean trolleys, quick billing – and thus a quick exit.

However while buying something like a diamond set, the expectations are – a young boy or girl will show the ware, explain the design, justify the price, play to the client’s ego…

When the customer is trying to buy say a Trek or Canondale  bicycle – she may be looking for the shop to just let her alone! She may try to take a test ride, change gears, speed,…she may find the salesman a pain. However if she is trying to buy a cycle for the first time,  she may need the help of a salesman. At this stage the salesman may also be able to sell her cycling shorts, helmet, gloves….etc. So how much to talk and when to leave the customer alone is not so easy.

Far more importantly for shops selling cars, cycles, mobikes, etc. you need to have very good people who know the vehicle and good drivers (riders) who may be called for help.

Upmarket cycle companies like Canondale and Trek do not consider India to be an important market, alas. This means you still need to buy high cycles in low end shops, and with poor tech support. At least these cycles are available in India, some high end watch manufacturers like Garmin do not have a presence in India! And there are more Garmin watch users in Mumbai than in many other countries!

Now when people recruit they make the cardinal mistake of saying ‘retail experience’. Yuck.

When a person who has been in retail business like say Reliance Retail or Subhiksha and he is asked to run a specialized store, he needs training. You cannot move a guy from Titan watches to a car showroom.

We desperately need a RETAIL TRAINING company so that each category can get a nice set of trained people…is anybody listening please?

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  1. Talking of cycles, reminded me of the visit I paid to two dealers dealing in imported cycles

    First one was for trek and trail dealer. Wanted to buy a Schwinn cycle. Dealer allowed me to test ride in narrow lane, but was insisting to buy a frame size not suitable to me. I wanted a smaller frame size which was not available. Sadly the deal didn’t happen.

    Secondly I went to Firefox dealer dealing in TREK located in first floor of a mall with no space to test ride. I wonder how people buy buy without any test ride. Dealer is simply taking advantage of being the only one to stock TREK cycle in that area.

    Another incident remind me of paying a visit to Maruti Showroom. The sales person was nice but again trying to sell wrong product. He was trying to pitch for the Model which is less in demand due to obvious shortcoming despite great looks and good engine. Any Guesses?

  2. Well it was A-Star. Its not a BAD car but just that has cramped rear space and very less boot space. Its one of the least settling Maruti cars due this reason.
    I just wanted to highlight that sales people always try to sell you the thing which is less in demand or gives him more incentives. That doesn’t mean that product might be wrong but just that its not suitable for you.

    Same goes with insurance . Having Insurance is not bad but having ULIPS in the name of insurance is plain wrong.

  3. Misselling happens everwhere., even our favourite hero comes on media before his film release and say that the film came out VERY GOOD., but then it will get bombed. Then after one year they will say they acted in that bombed film due to some commitments and they know the film is going to fail. If they know that the film is going to flop and still they boast in media before its release… is it not MISSELLING???

  4. speaking of garmin watches.i am an owner.but i believe its game is up. today’s phones have apps which exploit the GPS system much better.garmin’s business model is under threat from iphones and androids.

  5. Ajay:

    then when Decathalon comes and opens a 10,000 sft shop with a 5000 sft test riding space…FF will wonder whey Schwinn bikes sell and Trek does not! Respect for the informed customer is missing. The uninformed customer is doomed. I bought my Trek from FF..and got decent service bcoz the manager is a cyclist himself…but all accessories from now on will be from Decath 🙂

    Praveen: saying ‘my movie is the best’ is advertising, NOT misselling. Saying this fund will mature to Rs 2,44,56,712.45 is MIS-SELLING to the core, because client believes it is TRUE. When Sharukh khan says is risking Rs. 300..when a life insur co. says – it is risking Rs. 200,000 for 30 more dangerous.

    Pravin: try holding your cell to read the HR while riding on a bike at 42kmph. Garmin is still a must for HR, cadence, etc. seen apps and seen Garmin. Rest my case. The $ 410 Garmin 310 with all accessories is a beauty. But yes, somebody has to bring it from US..or wherever.

  6. ajay: while biking,you dont need to hold the phone to read your HR. the brigher,slightly larger display of the phone is a good replacement for the watch form factor.when on a bike,i always strap it to the handle why not strap the phone to the handle bar as well?
    it is all about the s/w.the apple app store has better analysis s/w these days than garmin’s own.anything:cadence or hr or altitude all can be loaded into the phone.

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