Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to sell T Shirts in public

Today I was in a long queue at my local post office waiting to collect some registered documents. Being Christmas, I knew I was in for a long wait, though to be fair to the post office staff, they are very quick and efficient - hold ups normally being caused by customers who don't know what they are doing and expect rules to be waived purely on the basis of, "Oh I didn't know that". Well tough. You know now, (half the time they already know anyway!) so stop debating the point, get out of the queue and let those who do know, get served.

In front of me were two males who were obviously in the business of designing and selling T shirts. One was taking a call on his mobile. Immediately - I was impressed.

Most business mobile users - especially those in suits - consider it necessary to let everyone within a 200 meter radius know they are on a business call. There is also some sort of law that stipulates that the lower down the managerial ladder the caller is, the louder their voice has to be.

However this caller was different. He was able to conduct his business in a normal voice - and without disturbing anyone else. I was also struck by his professionalism, his confidence, and his awareness of the needs of what was obviously a potential, bulk-buy customer. He discussed design, availability, quotations, the necessity for haste if the items were required by a certain date etc. He was articulate and courteous.

On the floor were several packages, which he pushed along with his foot on his way to the counter. When served, he was exactly the same way with the customer service clerk. Well spoken, conveyed his needs clearly and precisely - and again, courteous.

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself, 'Yes, well that's all very nice - but so what?"

This wasn't a seasoned veteran of Sydney board room battles, nor was he adorned in the obligatory pin stripe suit that make wanbees look like some walking humbug mint. He was wearing board shorts, dyed blonde spiky hair, a very clever and out-of-the-ordinary political T shirt of his own design - and aged about 16!

I would have been impressed with the way he conducted himself whatever his age - but in a young person, just starting his way up, I was even more impressed.

Fortunately unlike some other countries we don't make a national sport of putting young persons down at every opportunity. Yes, it does happen, but mostly confined to the populist media catering for the beer-and-bingo mob and of course the good ole, "Didn't happen in my day" brigade.

Yes it did actually, but why use intelligence when selective memory and ignorance are so much easier.

Wherever you may be - be safe

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