Do You Tell Them What They Want to Hear?: People Pleasing and Selling Out
In my teens and early twenties, I worked a fair amount in retail. The jobs themselves weren't difficult, especially compared to the farm work I did. (I'm from what's known as the Tobacco Belt. I've had many interesting conversations explaining to city folks my experience working in tobacco planting and harvest since I was about eleven years old. Insert the widest-eyes-ever).
So, retail. Warm, dry, and clean place of employment. Not having to get up and be on the farm before sunrise. Not being covered in thick, sticky tar by the end of the day. Check, check, and check. (Ah, I actually do have fond memories of farm work, believe it or not. It wasn't so bad!)
One thing that I never did feel confident in while working in retail was the actual act of selling.
Yes. I really said that.
If someone came in wishing to purchase something in particular, or fell in love with an item on their own, my conscious was clear. But as soon as I was expected to actively sell them on something, my guilt skyrocketed and I felt like a phoney.
At one point in time, I worked for a woman who happened to be the most deft at not only selling, but up-selling as well. I still believe that given a burlap sack, she would have been able to convince a customer that it was the outfit for them.
This particular shop was an upscale boutique. The clientele were a little out of my league, to be sure. At this time, I was a young teen selling to older women in their fifties and upward (for the most part).
I would watch in amazement as my boss would swoop into the shop to check in, begin chatting up a browsing customer, insist that they try on whatever piece they were checking out. From there, she'd sweep them into the change room with said garment. Out they'd come, and let's say that the piece was less than flattering on them. "Oooooooh it's perfect!" my boss would gush.
In the moments to come, she'd excitedly hand them a pair of shoes, or a scarf, or a handbag, and assuredly promise them that this completed the look! "Stunning!" "Magnificent!" "See how it flows?!" She was SO fast. Sometimes I think her speed short-circuited the customer's ability to stop and process.
I would watch silently as the customer was boosted higher and higher. They'd go from not-quite-sure, to no-really?, to yes-you're-right! in an unbelievably short amount of time.
Now, I share none of this to speak ill of my old employer. She always treated me with respect, and it was a job I never minded going to. She had bills to pay, a shop to run, and she clearly felt okay doing her job the way she did it.
I would also be remiss if I didn't add that she never held anyone at gun point. We've all free will. The customers she wined and dined certainly could have put the goods down and walked away.
That style or selling, however, was not me.
The knot in my stomach over even considering that style of retail was enough to make me promise myself to stick close to my truth. If someone wanted to hear that a particular garment looked fabulous on them when it didn't- in my opinion- then they didn't want me as their sales gal.
Thankfully, I never worked on commission in that shop!
I had a similar experience in my early twenties working for a well-known clothing company. I'd originally signed on because I thought they were in alignment with me. (It didn't hurt that I was newly pregnant and needed a job!) In the end, their nauseating (to me) way of patronizing their "guests" with "educating" them on their products as a means to sell was exhausting and felt less than honest. I never went back after I gave birth.
The point of this post? To slam my ex-employers, or judge the way a particular brand does business?
It's to put into your realm of thinking two things:
a) Do you tell folks what they want to hear? Do you sugar coat it until even your stomach turns? Or do you bite the bullet and give them your truth as you see it?
In other words, do you people please and in doing so compromise your integrity? Or do you walk straight through the fear of potentially facing the fall-out of disagreements to stand in your full worth?
b) Do you listen to your own truth? Do you breathe and slow down enough for that inner voice to speak? Or do you allow yourself to be swept up into the current of another's suggestions and promises?
Are you the customer who looks to outside validation before making your purchase? Or are you brave enough to walk your own walk, regardless of what those around you say?
As a public blogger, a medium, a healer, a conduit of truth as I experience it, I pledge the following to you as my reader:
I will never knowingly endorse a product, person, or service that I don't personally believe in. I say this because recently, I was approached to write a post wherein my blog would be sponsored. In other words, I was asked to endorse another site or product here on Roots for Wings Healing's site or on any of my social media.
The kickback was enticing, I will admit. I'm being honest, as a relatively new entrepreneur.
When I made some inquiries, I was denied the amount of information to satisfy me. And so I turned the money down. I can't compromise my integrity and the trust of my readers. No amount of money is worth that to me.
When you read this site, when you follow me on social media, you can trust that what I personally endorse, I stand behind.
One such product that I am willing to stand behind is Sarah Petruno's From Broke to Baller Program. I am a huge advocate of re-writing patterns by bringing them to awareness in a compassionate and honest way. At the time of writing this post, I am personally taking the Program so that I might improve my earning habits as an entrepreneur, spiritual blogger, and professional intuitive. This is why I can stand by recommending Sarah's work, because I am in it right now.
It's worthwhile to do market research, as well as stay on top of personal healing as a professional intuitive. Those layers are always calling to be peeled back, and it's important to me that I walk the talk.
And so I invite you to deeply consider, to you walk your talk? When push comes to shove, are you doing your best each moment to stay true to what you feel in your core? It's work, yes. It can be challenging. It can even be enraging. It can feel as if you're walking a ledge alone.
Freedom comes from busting out of the chains of another's expectation of you. You do you.
(*Please be sure to read the Disclaimer on my site regarding the sharing of outside links, as I cannot be personally responsible for what another says or does on their sites and social media. At the time, I also do not have any Ads on my site. That may change in the time to come. I will not be personally endorsing each advertisement that does run here when and if the time comes).