• Op-Ed: I Tried To Buy a BlackBerry Classic at Wind And This Is What Happened

    I've never been accused of being technologically savvy. I personally like technology that is easy to use and doesn't slow me down. As a former iPhone and Android user I can safely say that BlackBerry 10 wasn't as easy to master as the iPhone was but it is much easier to use than any Android I've ever picked up.

    Before buying a Q10 I bought a PlayBook. I still use it today. Using gestures on the PlayBook makes sense and is extremely easy to use. I eventually bought one for my mother to video chat us since she lives far away from us.

    I've also been in sales for over 15 years. I know how to sell and what not to do in the sales process. I also know that most buyers know what they want when they walk into a store and stop in front of one product and specifically ask about that product.

    Imagine my surprise when I went to a Wind Mobile store to buy a BlackBerry Classic when the Wind representative tried to talk me out of the phone that I wanted.

    Wind Mobile Rep: "Welcome to Wind. Can I help you find a phone?"

    "Yes please. I'm very interested in the Classic."

    Wind Mobile Rep: "Oh. Have you ever used a BlackBerry?"

    "That's an interesting question. Why do you ask?"

    Wind Mobile Rep: "It's very difficult to use. You should look at one of our Androids. They are much easier to use."

    "Oh? What makes you say that?"

    Wind Mobile Rep: "The BlackBerry has no back button. You can't exit an app very easily."

    "The BlackBerry Classic doesn't have a back key? I see. Have you ever tried using a BlackBerry phone before?"

    Wind Mobile Rep: "No, I have an Android."

    "So you've never touched this phone."

    Wind Mobile Rep: "No, it's too difficult to use."

    My 12 year old son was clearly getting frustrated. "Excuse me, I have a BlackBerry. It isn't difficult to use at all. Let me show you."

    Needless to say I didn't walk out of the store with a new phone. The whole experience made me want to keep my current plan and my current phone. As a sales professional I'm very dissatisfied with the experience at the Wind Mobile store. Whether it is an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry product knowledge is a must in sales. Making up product knowledge is a sure-fire way to lose clients. Perhaps Alek Krstajic, CEO of Wind should star on the next episode of "Undercover Boss" to see for himself what is happening at the store level. I'm sure that sales training and product knowledge training would be brought up at at next board meeting.

    This is how the conversation should have gone:

    Wind Mobile Rep: "Welcome to Wind. Can I help you find a phone?"

    "Yes please. I'm very interested in the Classic."

    Wind Mobile Rep, realizing that the buyer has a phone in mind already: "Excellent choice sir. The reviews from former BlackBerry Bold users have been positive." Note that the salesperson’s personal bias is not in that statement and it can be backed up.

    The next question is designed to reduce returns. "Is this your first BlackBerry 10 device?"

    "That's an interesting question. Why do you ask?"

    Wind Mobile Rep, finding out what the buyer's previous experience level is: "BlackBerry 10 is quite a bit different than BlackBerry 7. The phones look similar but that's where the similarities end. I have a demonstration unit over here if you want to get a feel for the operating system before you purchase it."

    "No need. I've used BlackBerry 10 since it came out. I love the phone."

    Wind Mobile Rep: "Brilliant. I can wrap that up for you. Are you currently a member of Wind?"

    With a little bit of training and a bit of product knowledge at that Wind Mobile location, I'm positive that the retail experience for the customer and the employee would be better and I'd be typing this article on a BlackBerry Classic and not on my Q10.

    What have your retail experiences at mobile phone stores been like? Sound off below!

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