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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Retail assertiveness with a soft assertion

Today I went with my daughter to buy an outfit for my new grandson to wear for his christening. We went to a nearby baby store and searched through the available outfits.

Our goal was to find something more masculine - not like a dress. We found an adorable boy-looking one that we both really liked. It was the only one in his size. As my daughter looked at it she found a spot on it right in the front of the shirt part. It was small but wouldn't come out by rubbing it with a fingernail. We really wanted this one, though, so we took it up to the counter to check out.

I handed the outfit to the clerk and said in a nice voice, "We noticed this has a spot on it. What advice do you have about how to get that out?"

The clerk looked and took the outfit to the store manager.

She came back and said, "We're going to give you 20 % off on this."

This is what's known as a soft assertion. I didn't expect or demand anything of the clerk, but commented on the facts in the picture - the outfit had a spot; we wanted to buy it; we didn't want to have the spot on it for the baby's special day.

My daughter was very surprised that they offered the discounted price with my being nice and not demanding - but that's what a soft assertion will do for you.

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