Retail tales. Get it?
So at my counter, we are trying to re-train our customers. For the most part, the people I deal with are great. The one exception are the "party girls." These are the people that come in solely to have their makeup done for an event, and who have no desire or intention to purchase anything. Many of these girls have been doing this for years, and the majority of them come frequently enough to know exactly what formulas and products that they want. I realize that we do makeup and that we enjoy doing makeup. None of us would be in our field if we didn't. I will be the first to offer to sit someone down and demonstrate a technique, or just give someone a sprucing up! That being said, at the end of the day, we are retail employees, responsible for making sales goals. In order to cut down on the amount of free makeup we are doing, we are tailoring our questions and our verbiage to start to give broad (and some fairly direct) hints about our services, and potentially weed out the repeat offenders.
This new strategy has led to some amusing interactions. This was one of my favorites from the past few weeks.
Setting the stage:
Two women, early 20's, approach the counter on a Sunday evening. I am standing and cleaning with two of my co-workers. We have about 1 hour before closing, and are not terribly busy.
me: "Hi! What brings you ladies out and about today?"
T: "We want our makeup done"
Looking at them, I can see that they have foundation on, but nothing else. Noting that I say, "ok. What are your plans for tonight? How much time do you have?"
"We're going out. We just want our makeup done." F is looking at lashes, and T is staring at me while saying this.
"Fun! Let me get you started, then I can do your friend after," I say, guiding T to one of the chairs. "What made you decide to come in to see US tonight?"
T looks at me. "I just want you to do my makeup."
At this point, I'm feeling sassy. I smile, giving my best Stepford face. "Sure! Did you want to buy lashes and get them applied, too?"
T replies, "No. We aren't buying anything. We just want you to do our makeup for this party tonight."
Ah. I get it. "At this counter, we like to tailor our appointments to something we can show you that's new. What techniques have you been struggling with? What do you want to learn? Or what kind of product were you wanting to try?"
T squints at me. "There isn't any technique that you can teach me. I know everything that you could possibly try to show me. I know its free to get our makeup done. You just need to do it, ok?"
Now I'm well and irritated. Ninja time. "Oh ok! It sounds like you are pretty much an expert. I really want this to be worthwhile for you. Like you said, we can't require that you go home with any product, but I want to make sure you go home with something, even if it's just knowledge. There's got to be something that I can do that's different. What colors have you been wanting to try?"
"Whatever," T is getting irritated. "Do whatever you want, I just don't want to do my makeup at home. I figured you would want something to do tonight so I came in here."
I smile, "Of course! What colors do you want me to use? Reds, greens, what has been your struggle to use in your shadows at home? I will use that on you tonight to show you how to succeed with your makeup next time!"
I've done it. T stands up. "Come on, F! This is too much f*cking work. We're going."
"Oh, bye then! Have a fun night!" I call after them.