Knowledge and sales

I went to Walgreens late last night to pick up some more medicine. The lady at the counter asked for my last name and easily found my order, sitting all alone under the letter it was categorized under. She came over and told me the total was $89. I paid and asked her on how I should take the medication. She looked at the package name, repeated the name of the medicine and explained to me, while still looking at the package, that I needed to take one of the medications twice daily, with food or breakfast, and the other one every 6 hours, with or without food.

I thought she was knowledgeable, and thanked her after she handed me the package. While walking out of the store, I looked at the package and saw the following two lines in huge letters, one for each medication “to be taken by mouth, every 6 hours, with or without food” and “to be taken by mouth, twice daily, with food or breakfast.”

Then it occurred to me; do people really know about the things they’re selling, or are they simply following procedures? A pharmacist may be good at making medications by following the guidelines set in front of them; you can see that yourself at any pharmacy, where people in the back are making bottled of prescriptions while reading something at the same time. What good is one pharmacy over another when the only thing that separates them is the special knowledge of some extreme conditions and symptoms, and even then people ask questions about them rarely.

How about care salesmen? They tell you everything that’s on the big sticker on the windows of the cars they’re selling, yet they’re supposed to be experts. Did you know that in order to be a salesperson, you don’t even need to know anything about cars when you apply? How about the time you go to a big computer store to buy a computer? The sales people there tell you everything that is on the sticker, and no computer is bad for your budget. If you have a budget of only $500, anything that is available in the store is always good. If you have a budget for $1000, anything that is available in the store is always good. Very few times at a computer store do you see someone giving you advice like not buying a computer at that store because it’s not good for you, but then that person won’t have any luck working at that store [like me…].

This same trend is noticeable even online; Valerie over at saw the same thing when having an issue with Yahoo. You can read the response on that page to see how Yahoo responded by simply copy pasting from their help files, which everyone can read themselves without contacting support.

If only we can be passionate about helping other people through whatever we do, we may actually end up interacting in way that we devised ourselves, and not in ways that come under the label of “ISO-9000 certified” or something similar. When this issue is tackled, the huge issue of dealing with people in particular, and efficiency and management in general, will be treated.