Shopping woes

Do You Hate Being Pestered by Sales Staff?

I absolutely hate being approached and pestered by sales staff in shops, and wonder if other people feel the same way.

You know how sometimes you just want to browse.  Or you have an idea of what you are after and want to research the options in your own time.

Then you get a salesperson who approaches and asks something like:

  • Can I help you  (Fair enough, so long as they take the hint when I say “no thank you”)
  • Everything has 10% off today (when you have already seen at least 50 banners telling you this)
  • How are you today (why would they care?)

And then when you politely make it clear that you just want to look, they feel that they have to tell you about something you either already know or don’t want to know.

I do realise that these people are just doing their jobs.  In fact I worked in a clothes boutique for a couple of years, and the pushy manageress was for ever drilling it in to us how we must approach and ‘engage’ every customer who walked through the door.

But once they have made contact, surely it is obvious from the customer’s manner whether they want to be ‘engaged’, or left to browse in peace.  Surely they can tell when you just want to be left alone.

Perhaps I should wear a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign around my neck.



If a customer wants information, or help, or advice or even just wants to chat, then fine.

Of course what is even more annoying is that when you do actually want advice you can never find an available member of staff to ask.  They are either nowhere to be seen or they are too busy ‘engaging’ other customers.

And if you do ask for advice they frequently don’t understand what you are asking about the product.   Instead they try to sell you something based on benefits that are totally irrelevant to you.  Or you find out that you actually know far more about the product than they do.

No wonder more and more people are choosing buy online.



I actually went into a shoe shop this morning where a nice lady approached and asked me if I would like any help.  When I said “No thanks – I would just like to browse”, she said “That’s fine – I will leave you in peace then”.

Brilliant!  It’s not rocket science.

I often wonder who decides what the sales staff should be taught about shop floor policy.  And I wonder if they have any idea how many customers they drive straight out of the door.


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