I survived my first weekend of my new part-time weekend job as a "pet nutritional consultant". I have to take several Advil, but I survived.
I can also honestly say that, for the most part, being a PNC is actually quite boring. Let me tell you why. It's a lot (and I mean a lot) of wandering around the store.
On Saturday, I showed up at 10am for my first 4 hour shift at a local pet store. I met the store manager and he showed me where the vendor log book was so I could sign in and out and where the pet food I was representing was.
I was already armed with the exact amount of coupons I was allowed to give out, brochures, business cards - all cleverly attached to the tablet so I wouldn't lose a thing. Now, the deal with my "demos" are that they are "roaming demos". Meaning, I meander through the entire store and talk with folks and perhaps switch them to the brand of food I'm representing.
There was a lot of foot traffic on Saturday because a local rescue group was doing adoptions. However, I'm guessing the rescue group feeds Blue Buffalo, because every time a dog got adopted, one of the volunteers would walk the new dog owners right over the Blue Buffalo aisle and place a bag in their hands or their cart. Hmm.
I greeted folks and if anyone looked like they were overwhelmed or it was obvious they were "looking", I politely asked if they had any questions regarding pet food. Most people were receptive and glad I asked if they had questions, because then they wouldn't stop asking questions.
One gal saw me and said, "Do you work here?" Saw the food brand on my shirt and went on with, "No you don't." And put her hand up in my face and walked away. Biatch. I didn't wanna talk to her either. After watching her (aka spying), she had an empty bag of cat food and was trying to find it in the store and then because the store didn't carry it, was comparing labels with other brands of cat food. Sigh.
Mostly I wandered. I meandered. I moseyed. I felt like I walked 10 miles. Very slowly.
I did more walking than I did talking. I did manage to give out all but one coupon and sold a couple of bags of dog food.
On Sunday, I awoke to being very, very sore from the hips down.
But I soldiered on. Sunday was much slower for business, so I was even more bored as I meandered about the store. Most of the associates ignored me, even though I'd smile at them. I think they're just pissed they have to work for minimum wage. (However the dog trainer and a couple of associates on Saturday were very nice).
I spoke to a few people. One young (and rude) couple asked if I had a puppy food. I showed it to them and they said, "Yeahthatsgreatthanks." And was gone. I could have handed them a bag of Ol Roy and they would have said the same exact thing. Sheesh.
One elderly couple asked me where the clipper oil was and I showed them. (I've learned where a few things are) and then they asked about shampoos and then about food. The entire time they thought I was a store employee (happens a lot, even though my shirt is black and employee shirts are blue). I visited with them for probably 20 minutes or so and when they found out I wasn't a store employee they were so shocked. But they thanked me several times for my help.
One gal I spoke to had a dog food bowl for a huge dog, and it turns out she recently adopted an English Mastiff that had been in a bad home. She has two other female Mastiffs and a Lab. A half hour later I knew her entire story. But that was okay. She may never buy the food I'm representing, but in my humble opinion, it's just as important to have a rapport with the customers as well.
Most times these people are repeat shoppers. I don't want them to know me as the pushy food rep. I want them to know that I truly do care that they gave a dog a great new forever home. That they want to find a shampoo that won't make their dog itch. Which cat litter I would recommend for their brand new kitten, Quentin Tabbytino. I want them to know that I am more than just a food rep. That I know other things as well.