[AMA] I am a former The Good Guys sales assistant. Ask me anything!

Hi all.

I have just wrapped up over five years at The Good Guys as a sales assistant. Happy to answer any queries with as much detail and information as possible. Anything from sales tactics, targets, warranty issues, customer complaints, management….

Cheers :)

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The Good Guys
The Good Guys

Comments

  •  

    Has anything changed since JB Hi-Fi bought The Good Guys?

    • +2 votes

      A lot has changed behind the scenes.

      Targets have increased now down to a daily and weekly analysis of each sales person. Put it this way, if you don't meet targets across three opportunities, you can possibly be made redundant. Our commission earnings also changed, essentially working harder and earning less.

      A broader range of stock is now available for Good Guys that was previously a JB exclusive e.g Apple Mac, Microsoft Surface, Gaming laptops. Weirdest thing we have now started selling is office and chairs, which we have sold none as of yet.

      Things like queue lines, banners in the store and our extended coverage on products we offer have all been morphed from a JB Hi-Fi.

      Ultimately the company has not been the same since JB Hi-Fi bought us. Expect more changes in the future…

      • +2 votes

        So in other words a salesperson will ask me if I need help when I'm looking to buy something. Last time I purchased a phone from TGG I had trouble finding someone to sell it to me. If it wasn't for the amex credit I would have gone elsewhere.

        •  

          Last time I went to The Good Guys (just last weekend), there were more staff behind the registers than on the floor. Took forever to find someone to sell me a microwave.

          It seems that The Good Guys no longer haggle - the price you pay is the price on the shelf, take it or leave it. Unless you're asking them to price match, and you have the proof with you.

          •  

            @pjetson: So we see different pricing structure in our system. We see the standard price of an item and in this case a microwave and we also see pricing we pretty much can drop it down too. If you a claiming a cheaper price elsewhere, we need management authorization to see that pricing and we're happy to price match as long as it's the correct model no, in stock and not a grey import / non competitor.

            On a microwave, the pricing off honestly sits about $10 if you're lucky. It's not that we don't haggle, pricing and inflation rise and the items honestly don't have much wriggle room as customers presume they do. As I said in other posts, be thankful TGG still offers the opportunity to alter pricing because apart from your big players, no one will.

        •  

          Not necessarily. The customers that have the biggest issues with not being served are the ones that stand in one area and don't even walk to the counter or a sales person on the floor and ask for help. They presume we can read they're mind and we can't. So it's best to actually find someone in the area, if not head to to the front counter. Good example, I often shop at JB Hi-Fi. I know if I stand in one area, no one will help me. So I actually walk around and find someone to assist me. Same can be said for places like Big W, even Coles.

          Bear in mind as well, if we are all with a customer, there is no one out the back that's ready to assist. We try our hardest to serve everyone and unfortunately we can't always do that. I would much rather lose a $20 customer on a kettle to a $2000 customer on a TV.

          • +2 votes

            @BTP1993: The problem was, literally, that there were no sales staff on the floor to find. There were four ladies behind the cash registers. By walking the length and width of the shop, we eventually found one sales person, who then had to call someone else to sell us the microwave, because that wasn't their department. Whatever way you want to spin it, that's not service.

            This was at 9:30am on a Saturday morning.

            •  

              @pjetson: Sorry to hear about the poor service. I can't vouch for what was happening at that store on that day. They may have had little staff on, could of been dealing with customer issues on the phone or in the warehouse or simply taking items out for customers. Each store has it's strengths and weaknesses, and service is paramount but sometimes it's overlooked or not a priority.

  •  

    What % staff discount do you get? Any other perks?

    •  

      I'm not going to disclose particular percentages but it depends on what you are looking at.

      Since merging with JB, you'll get better discounts on Whitegoods & Cooking at TGG. Computers, TV and Phones, JB does it better.

      Reps come into the store quite often. You may get their discount on a product which is often better then staff price and can often be up to 75% off. Pens, bottles, clothing, free vouchers etc.. are pretty standard.

      • +8 votes

        What is the point of an AMA if you won't disclose what the staff discount is! :(

        • +1 vote

          Since you kindly asked.

          Staff discount varies massively on the product.

          Put it this way, our own home brand products generally command the best discounts. Phone cords retail for roughly $20 but staff price gets you. $4. HDMI cables can be easily had for under $10.

          In my case, I bought a fridge that retailed for $450, down to $320 on staff. Miscellaneous items such as toasters, microwaves, irons only generally have $10-20 off.

          The biggest misconception at TGG is sometimes the sale price of an item that a customer gets it for is the same price I get it for. Big brands like Samsung and HP in particular have zero margin in their prices. You can guarantee a 10% or 20% off sale on these items is what I will get it for too. So if a salesperson is telling you the price on the ticket is what they get it for, you best believe they are actually telling the truth.

  •  

    What was the commission structure like before and after JB bought The Good Guys?

    What was the average commission earnings of a full-time sales rep? edit; If you don't mind me asking

    •  

      Essentially the commission structure didn't change till earlier this year.

      It went from a specific target designed for yourself on the days you work on a fortnightly cycle, and if you met that sales figure with an attached warranty percentage, you would get a commission bonus.

      Now, it has changed from that to a daily store target divided between the workers on that day. Your performance is coded on a daily, weekly and monthly summary. Different days command higher numbers, some can be lower.

      Personally the average commission earnings is a tricky one to explain. You can earn a lot on a agency brand such as Asko or Miele. Installation services also command a high commission earning and particular products that have a high profit. Plus selling extended protection also aids you a bonus.

      It can be anywhere from $100 to $1000, even $1500 during the Christmas period.

      •  

        Interesting, cheers.

        So the commission is not based on individual products profit however generally it's more of a bonus if X target is reached?

        •  

          Since the commission has changed, you earn commission on anything you sell.

          Clearance items will give you a bonus earning then a normal product. Things like ink, batterys, brackets, washing powders have decent profit as the mark up is huge. Some products as I explained before such as agency or higher end items also have decent commission earnings towards them.

          If you sell a product, sell a service or coverage protection and an add on product in one docket, you can earn a decent amount of money.

  • +1 vote

    Where do you see yourself in another five years?

    •  

      Hmm good question. I have nothing set in stone as of yet, maybe look at purchasing a house, having a family.

      In the meantime, I'm happy to unwind and relax in a different career and travel for the next couple years.

  •  

    Does anyone ever recommend to customers that 4GB ram is enough? I went to a jb hifi early this year, and they kept pushing that all I need is 4gb ram when I told them that I need a computer that can run 50 chrome tabs, 5 word documents, spotify, adobe acrobat running along with some a bunch of passive background processes. Good thing I had an inkling of knowledge about computers so I dismissed what they said and got an 8gb.

    • +1 vote

      It really comes down to who you're speaking with. Some sales people will just say yes to anything to get a sale but the repercussions of a customer coming back with an issue or problem is inevitable. So speaking to someone that knows the product is generally a the better option if you can.

      Personally, I give customers a choice and advise them that product A is going to work better then product B. If they choose the second option, I make a note of putting comments in the receipt which saves both TGG and my own ass. It does help, the amount of customers that come back claiming they were sold the wrong product or it's under powered is high.

  •  

    Commission-wise, what happens with the customer that just picks up an item and walks to the counter? You guys get nothing?

    Do you get commission off every product? Ie is it nicer to get a salesperson's name against that purchase?

    • +3 votes

      If you walk to the counter, it gets processed through admin and no one gets any of the earnings. The amounts of walk ups can be crazy, Dyson V10's are very common, even 40-inch TV's. So if you ever see a salesperson running to grab you before you head to the counter, you know why.

      Putting it through at our terminals makes it easier for us on the floor, as all pricing and contact details are finalized. All the customer then needs to do is just pay for the item at the counter and they're done. It makes it easier for admin to just process the already completed docket, especially when it gets busy. But it is a nice gesture as we all have intense targets and every little bit counts.

      You get commission off every product essentially but ink might get you 5c, toaster might give you 30c, maybe $5.00 on a fridge. It depends on the item really.

      • +1 vote

        Car salesperson here so thought I'd ask :) I know how to spot the good and the bad staff lol

        Was once at HN looking to get a printer, walked up to the first sales guy I saw who was on the work computers browsing Facebook… I ended up getting him in trouble 😂 served him right for not being attentive (I had been there for a few minutes).

        • +2 votes

          Good to know man. In saying that, sometimes it is quiet and sales assistants aren't mind readers. If you're on your phone, we won't go near you and if you need a hand, just approach a staff member or the front counter.

  •  

    What were your best and worst experiences with customers?

    • +1 vote

      There's so many experiences that all blur into one. Not so many bad ones, more just customers who have an attitude ofr want everything done for nothing or at ridiculous pricing.

      Good - I can't pinpoint anything good exactly but generally if I have a really conversation about the product and other things with customers, that's always a highlight. Anything to steer away from the whole selling and commission that goes into our job is always welcome. I've been hugged, kissed on the cheek, slapped on the ass, given a massage (all in good fashion) and even offered chocolate for my efforts as a sales assistant.

      Worst - Early last year, I had a gentleman that had brought in a computer that had issues loading up the free version of Windows 10. So we had it in sitting on the table in the tech booth. Anyway, it was charging into a powerpoint inside the booth's cupboard. As I went to open the cupboard door, the cord yank causing the computer to fall to the floor. Let's just say the damage was decent and the computer was a write off. I had to ring the customer up, which he then blatantly accused me of purposely damaging his computer. I stood my ground and he continued demand we do this and that for him. Anyway, we managed to source the same model from another store and I avoided him whenever he came in.

      Worst - I had a customer once bring in a Samsung tablet that clearly had been damaged at the USB point who wanted a replacement. We stated we weren't going to replace it as it was customer induced damage. She then proceeded to cry and stated "I have cancer" to myself and my manager as customers looked on. I thought it was so inappropriate so I walked off and continued my duties for the day and she walked out.

      Worst - A father purchased a HP laptop for his son for $2100 last christmas, to then bring it in six months later with a bent stand, cracked screen and the unit itself was had a kink going through it. After receiving a quote from HP to fix it, it totaled $1100. The father turned around and had the audacity to have a go at me about the damage that was done to the product. I told him he might want to actually ask his son how it happened and to look after his product a little better next time.

  •  

    How much is the most % off items can you haggle?

    And what is the best way to haggle?

    •  

      Look, it depends on a matter of different things.

      As I mentioned in previous comments, if you come in with a chip on your shoulder and an attitude towards wanting the "best price" or "cash price" or "less for cash" comments, you generally won't get much off. TGG has a pricing structure and sometimes we can't meet a price online for obvious reasons such as stock availability, grey imports and our bottom line cost price. I generally would recommend buy it at your own risk, but online can bite you in the ass. Think delivery cost, return of faulty items that cost you as a customer.

      My biggest gripe towards haggling is that customers want everything for nothing. I get that is part of thr job but there's better ways to go about it then having an attitude towards staff members. Be thankful that a company like TGG allows us to price match, negotiate and package pricing competitively because not a lot of other companies will. You don't go into Woolworths and Coles and negotiate pricing on groceries. My best advice, don't ask about a price reduction and most sale people will knock money off the item anyway.

      The biggest discounts will generally apply if you're buying a package. If it's a decent amount of products with a higher price tag, we generally sweeten the deal to ensure we get the sale and you get the price. We're always happy to price match. Ensure it's someone we price match, they have it in stock and it's the correct model.

  •  

    Have you memorised each store to their store number? Eg Store 3 - Essendon?
    Wasn't really necessary for front line i suppose though

    •  

      Haha, not quite. Generally only the stores around me if I'm lucky. I don't take too much notice.

      • +1 vote

        There was a bloke in corporate who if you asked him to tell you the store allocated to any number from 1-150 he'd be able tell you usually in seconds lol

  •  

    What portion of people haggle vs those that just buy at the ticketed price, particularly for larger ticket items?

  •  

    Which items/category have the most profit margin?

    •  

      Hmm it's quite varied across the board.
      Brands like Fujtsu and Panasonic have a good margin in Seasonal.
      Surface and Dell aren't too bad in Tech.
      Samsung / LG in TVs.
      Dyson / Miele in Vaccumns.
      Samsung / LG / F&P in Fridges
      Asko / Miele / Bosch in Whites.
      Asko / Bosch / F&P in Cooking.
      Kitchen Aid / Weber in Smalls.

      It can be quite varied and often the ticket price is our staff price, which mean's we're literally bleeding money from the manufacturer. Samsung's recent 10% off store wide mean't phone and tablets were under cost to the company, no more room to negotiate

  •  

    How do you get your training for new products and brand? Do you get paid for it?

    •  

      Sorry for the late reply.

      Training is generally done through multiple ways.

      1.) On the floor as products roll through. You may just do some search online, read the box or talk about with your colleagues.
      2.) Reps are often great for rolling out a new product. We'd see dozens of reps come through our store each week, either merchandising and rolling out new products. It's here we speak to them and learn about the new products. On top of that training is also provided through some brands. it isn't paid but often it will be a morning training before the store opens with free breakfast involved. Some reps will offer staff discounts onto us if you participate in training, learning modules or surveys. There's some good perks you can get if you wanna learn about new products, particularly cooking and tech areas. My training involved a 30 min talk at Gold Class Cinema of the product, followed by Gold Class tickets to the film Rampage, unlimited drinks and popcorn and a complete entree, main and desert offering. Easily a $50 night out.

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