To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
Marilyn von Savant
A few years ago, I was shopping for a printer in a national retail store and salesperson walked up to me and asked,
“How may I assist you?”
Yes, my immediate inclination was to tell him that I was just looking. I also had to put my phone away since I was on Amazon looking at reviews and pricing of the model I was interested in (they hate that!). Since I was truly interested and going to buy in the next day or two, I asked,
“What can you tell me about this printer?”
He stood back a moment and put his finger on his chin as if pondering. He then reached down to grab the little “cheat sheet” product guide and proceeded to read it off to me…verbatim. After he finished reading, he looked at me and said politely and sincerely, “Do you have any more questions?”
I resisted the urge to say anything that I might regret and told him, “No, I think I have what I need to make a decision”. I decided to leave as I could get the knowledge I needed to make my decision from my smartphone….in private!
Information is not knowledge. Albert Einstein
A few days later, I was in the same store (hey, I had a $25 off coupon!) and was standing in front of the same printer. Another associate came up to me and asked, “How may I assist you?”
I wasn’t falling for that twice. “I want to buy this printer,” I said, trying to get it and go with as little interaction as possible.
He then said, “Great choice, but have you reviewed this model?”
He walked me down to the endcap where there was another similar printer from another company. He proceeded to ask me questions about usage and other needs. He demonstrated specific features that would be useful and how I could expand it later. He ran down the costs of printing between the one I wanted and the one he was showing me – it was 50% less for consumables.
“We just marked this one down $50 and I can give you an additional $15 off plus your $25 coupon. Would you still like the other one… or this one?”
Duh! Between his knowledge and the discount, the choice was easy. I found out, at the counter, that the first person who helped me was the assistant manager; and that the knowledgeable person, had just gotten out of training.
It made me think of the people that I was seeing every day and the volume of information that is being thrown at them. Like the new associate, to be effective in sales, we must translate information into knowledge, because…
Knowledge Captivates, Conveys and Converts