Two doors down

This was a store that had a smorgasbord of items…so many, in fact, I stayed for a good 30 to 40 minutes just trying to take it all in.  The items ranged from refreshing, fun summer table linens, trays, candles and  high-end clothing to colorful quilted bags.  There was even a small room in the back dedicated to everything baby.

If you were claustrophobic, you might have bolted out the minute you stepped one foot in the door….but, not me.

I was pulled in, intrigued with the “chaos”

and wanted to see more.

The  woman I assumed was the shop owner was behind the counter ringing up a customer.  I  made my way to the back of the store in turtle like fashion, looking at all the items she offered as if I was a child in a candy shop trying to decide how to spend my dollar.  In fact, I was trying to deduce if she carried anything I might be able to purchase for two of my sisters who had birthdays approaching.

I was not acknowledged as I walked in and browsed.

Another customer walked in the door.  The shop owner warmly greeted her with: “How are you??”  What ensued was a brief conversation about the woman’s health.  They knew each other.  I tried not to eaves drop. However, not doing so would have been a challenge in that store. The next part of the conversation I heard  (after I held up a linen dish towel to examine it closer) was the customer claiming responsibility for sending 5 to 6 people to the owner’s store to shop for a bridal shower.

I thought….Wow! How nice!

I bet the customer is a business woman  herself. That is very cool that she did that.

The next thing I heard was the shop owner telling the woman that there was a baby shower for the daughter of a woman they both knew and not ONE person bought from her shop.  Instead, they purchased everything from Target!  The  friend/woman tried to show her support of the shop owner by whispering loudly: “What a slap in the face!”

By this time, I was two-thirds of the way back through the store and and gasping at the price of of the robin’s egg blue stretch jeans ($165).  At that moment, I noticed to my left there was a young woman  arranging a new display of quilted colorful paisley and flowered purses and bags of all sizes and shapes.

I hadn’t noticed her when I first walked in….and she didn’t notice me.

She was busy busy busy going back and forth from the stock room to the display area.

I continued looking at the jeans and tank tops along with the “spendy”  price tags.

Then I spotted the Asian style silk pajamas with the mandarin collar and contrast piping.

They were displayed showing all of the yummy colors in which they were available. Immediately, I imagined myself in either the classic navy blue or maybe the white for summer.

Just my cup of green tea!

The tag indicated: 100% silk…an important feature for me (natural fabrics).  I lifted the hanger, put the PJs up to me as I looked  for a mirror amidst the chaos.  I looked all over for a price tag but could not find one anywhere on any of the 7 pairs of pajamas hanging on display.  The young woman who was busy busy busy whisked by me as she was coming from the stock room.

I timidly asked (even though I knew the answer):

Do you work here?

She said she did and looked me in the eye and smiled, as if it was the first time she noticed me. I asked her for the price of the pajamas.  She couldn’t find the price either (that made me feel a little better about my eye sight) and then she spotted it on a shelf WAY up above my line of sight, hanging from a teeny tiny tag …. $49.

$49…not as bad as I thought it would be. The words I said were: “That’s not so bad.  I have two sisters who might each love a pair of these pajamas.  Their birthdays are coming up.  That’s a reasonable amount to spend on a birthday present, don’t you think?”

She nodded in agreement and went on to let me know the larger sizes came in the more colorful choices … went back to her display.

I wandered farther into the other pajama and night gown displays to see what else the store carried and then ventured back toward the front of the store.  The shop owner was alone and had stepped out from behind the counter.  As I approached her I said, “You have a very nice store….quite a smorgasbord of things!”   She looked me in the eye (for the first time) and said: “Yes! That’s the perfect word for this shop!”

I then said: “I think you have what may be perfect gifts for two of my sisters who have birthdays coming up.  Do you ship?”

She said: “Yes, we do!  Just bring in their addresses and we’ll take care of the shipping for you.”      “Okay”…. I said.


I started to walk toward the door and noticed the fun and brightly colored aprons.  I commented on how pretty they were and how reasonable the price was ($12)….and followed up with:

“I am always getting something on me when I cook….do you have the aprons that tie around your neck?”

She pointed them out to me….and went back to her perch.

I walked out and went on to the next shop….

thinking about the pajamas…

~:: ::~What are the messages this shop is sending? What went well? Where were the opportunities?If this were your shop, what would you have done different?
How many buying signals did I give (verbally and non-verbally)?
I invite you to participate!
Lee, having you as my coach over the last 15 months has given me a valuable resource – you served as my trusted, supportive, focused, knowledgeable guide/Sherpa who simultaneously led me and let me find my own way to addressing the issues I wanted to focus on. You always let me be the guide, which is not only your professional style, but was one of the things I was needing to learn, too! You used an amazing combination of support and “growth” techniques. Over the course of our time, your coaching techniques and your warm, supportive, and very knowledgeable approach, instilled in me a fundamental, treasured sense of worth and of self. I went in to this coaching partnership thinking I would focus just on “work/career” stuff, but came out with a wonderful and powerful new approach to my life. I am forever grateful. - Sheri Schwab, Raleigh, NC, 1 November 2015
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