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  • Writer's pictureSu Guillory

No, Mall Shark, We Do Not Want Softer Hands or: Why You Should Know Your Audience

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

So Wendy Piersall and I were strolling through an outlet mall in Orlando last week, and the mall sharks were circling. You know, the people who stand at the kiosks in the middle of the mall that squirt you with perfume, take your picture, massage your head or otherwise molest you in the vain hope that you will buy their product?

“Look away, Wendy, look away. Do NOT make eye contact,” I hissed.

No, Mall Shark, We Do Not Want Softer Hands or: Why You Should Know Your Audience

I didn’t check to see if she obeyed, but at least three vendors aggressively tried to stop us as we sprinted away. I said to Wendy, “Boy, how do they expect to sell with that technique?”

She looked at me knowingly and said, “Blog post!” So here we are.

I assume these people are paid commission. I know my 3 days working at a mall kiosk in 1994 netted no sales and no effort from me to sell name definitions in picture frames (ah, I’ve come a long way, baby).

So here’s why this technique is wrong, just in case you don’t know:

1. It’s in-person spam. Annoying and unwanted.

2. It’s targetless.

3. It’s offensive.

4. If I want your product, I see it there. In the middle of the mall, for all to see.

5. It’s usually to hawk something that’s not that good.

In the end, we did stop at a kiosk in the middle of the mall. Wendy bought her daughter a present. But guess what? The employee didn’t even approach us. And she got our business anyway.

So why should you know your audience?

1. They have different needs.

2. Not everyone is ready to buy at the same time.

3. They like being approached in different ways (sticking a poky head massager probably appeals to about .0001 of the population).

4. They like to think you know them.

5. You’ll sell more.

#aggressivesalesperson #CustomersandNetworking

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