Picture perfect for trade fairs
I needed a new digital photo camera. Nothing special. Just one of those handy pocket models. One that takes great pictures, of course. So on to a large store, where I walk straight to the photography department. After browsing a little, while waiting my turn, I address an available salesperson and explain to him what I came for. I tell him I’m no expert and I haven’t explored the options in advance. Eagerly, the salesperson starts. I am presented with one model after the next and soon the flood of features makes my head spin. And to think, I really only need this camera to take pictures. Overwhelmed by all the offered options, I decide I don’t want to make a decision in this store. “I’ll keep looking for now”, I mumble.
I venture into the shopping mall and come across a small shop. It seems a very little fish in a big ocean, fighting the establishment. I don’t know them and I don’t expect them to be of much help. There are three salespeople in the shop. Two young men and a young lady. “You don’t see that very often”, I think to myself, “a lady selling technical equipment.” They’re all busy, but the lady nods to acknowledge me and let me know she’ll be with me shortly. I can’t very well up and leave now so I patiently wait for her to come to me.
“Hello”, she says. “I’m Sandra”, and she shakes my hand. “What are you looking for?” “A digital pocket camera”, I reply, expecting to be presented with the entire range again. Instead, she asks: “Where have you been so far and what have they shown you there?” And after I reply, she continues: “What did you like and dislike about what they told you?” She listens attentively to my extensive reply and when I’m done, she says: “Okay, now I have an idea of what you’ve seen and what you make of that. Is it okay if I ask you some more questions, in order for me to understand exactly why you need a new camera and what you expect from it?”
Sandra: “For business or personal use?”
Me: “Mainly business.”
Sandra: “Can you elaborate?”
Me: “I mostly use the camera to take pictures at trade fairs.”
Sandra: “What do you use the pictures for?”
Me: “Mainly for presentations and training sessions.”
Sandra: “Do you photograph static or moving scenes?”
Me: “Both, but often moving.”
Sandra: “What do you struggle with when capturing moving scenes?”
Me: “That you are trying to capture the moment, but before you know it, the situation has changed and then you don’t have the image you really wanted.”
Sandra: “Would you say it’s important to you that the camera can be turned on to take a picture very quickly?”
Me: “Yes, that’s very important.”
Sandra: “At trade fairs, so mainly with artificial light?”
Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”
Sandra asks some more questions, walks to the display cabinet and takes out three cameras. “These three cameras suit your needs. But they aren’t the same. I suggest we try out all three, so you know exactly which camera you prefer.” She continues: “I’ll walk into the shop – so I’m moving in artificial light – and you take pictures.” And that’s what we did. Together we compare the pictures and agree on which camera to choose.
There is no doubt I am buying the camera. Not with me and not with Sandra. It doesn’t even occur to me to keep looking.
Last Friday I went looking for a new suit. I complain to an acquaintance that the salespeople never really asked what I wanted. They just went out of their way to make all sorts of design suggestions. My acquaintance replied: “But Ton, what could you possibly ask about a suit?” Well? Ask Sandra, I’d say.