The nature of retail selling is such that retail salesman faces certain problems which are specific to his line. These specific problems call for detailer investigation and analysis because each problem has a solution or solutions and the best can be chosen. The more pertinent problems are discussed here:

5 bizarre retail selling problems

1. Problem of Lookers:

All those visitors who enter the shop cannot be called as customers. Good may prospects visit the retail outlet with no intention of buying. These prospects are the persons who are ^indulging in “delightful” shopping. Such casual lookers or visitors extend their keen interests in the display of goods.

Similarly, there are customers who move from shop to shop before buying. These shop hoppers are generally found in case of shopping and specialty goods where they want it compare price, styles, features, specialties and so on. These gouged can be hooked and lookers if the salesman a) shows these specialty goods openly without any hesitation allowing them to examine from different angles, b) proves with proof that the products are superior to others. c) Presents with all the possible sales literature for further study before they decide to boy. Under these circumstances, what is more important is service than sale. He should sell the name of the firm and himself before selling his goods. Even if the visitors do not decide to buy this time, they prefer this selling house and salesman during their next round of visit.

2. Problem of Simultaneous Serving:

It is not that a single customer is expected at the retail salesman’s counter. Movement of customers and visitors is on going and it thickens during peak period and sledges at off period daily, weekly bazaar days, festival days and so on. As he is all above on a particular counter or a section, suddenly second or third customer comes in waiting to be attended promptly. This adds to single-handed salesman work load. He can neither leave in the lurch the first customer nor forget the incoming second and third customer.


Naturally, all customers are important to him. He wants to serve all, but one by one. It is humanly impossible to deal simultaneously with ill of them at one stretch. Then how he solves this problem of serving all. He has to advisee the goal of “eating the cake and having too.” The possible solutions are: (a) He is to welcome the second and third customers, greet them, ask their kind permission to complete the deal with the first one on hand, (b) If the first customer is yet to decide, he can leave him to decide for a while and attend second and third customers, (c) Those of his colleagues on other counters, their services can be pressed in as it is natural pattern of working together, (c) He can deal with two to three customers at time by asking each what they want and presently them with the products. Depending on the buying behaviour and reactions, each one can be tackled as all three of them will not decide for no person is a perfect substitute for another. However, no customer should have the feeling that he has been neglected in rush. It is the situation and the ability of a salesman that go a long way in solving the problems associates with simultaneous serving.

3. Problem of Substitution:

There will certain unpleasant situations where the salesman is to sell a substituted product than the one asked for by the prospect. Such situation arises when the product is in stock or is out of stock. The first case of substitution is not a necessity and, hence it manifests his attempt? Of creative selling because, he is trying to win over the customer by his persuasive tactics as to why the customers should go in for a substitute though he has in stock the regular product. Some customers may accept his offer if convinced, and others may not as they insist on the regular product in stock.

Substitution becomes a necessity when the product is out of stock Here, he has two options : (a) To tell the truth that the product is out of stock and the customer is requested to visit the retail out after a definite interval of time, (b) He should establish that the substituted product is far more superior to the one existing and there is wisdom in purchasing substitute product without any hesitation and risk.

4. Problem of Selling on Phone:

There are good many customers who prefer to contact retail salesman on phone an; confirm their purchases. Selling on phone is now a common feature as these is telephony revolution Selling on phone is to be accepted when the purchaser is a busy guy and he can not come to the shop personally because there is no parking lot or the shop is humming centre filled with customers, the product is branded and can be easily and clearly described. In most cases, the salesman can appeal to the sense of hearing of a prospect; of late, vision phones allow one more sense – that is sight.


Other senses of touch, smell and taste are not possible. The success of sales on phone depends on hearing more from the customer and some cases selling. Normally, the order should be accepted in case of known customers. The partly may insist on door deliver and acceptance of rejected products. That is why, much care is to be exercised while selling of phone. A salesman can very well keep informed the customers of special offer sales or grand reduction sales on the occasions of annual stock clearances or special events or festivals. However, telemarketing is going much ground in these days of high tech.

5. Problem of Second Trial Deal:

Salesman welcomes his customers, greets him and sales talk is opened on his counter. In spite of his best efforts, he finds that he has not been able to convert the prospect into customer or he fails to hatch the egg. In such cases, another salesman who is seasoned or more experience tries his hands to hatch the same egg. That is he prevails upon the good sense of prospect and succeeds in convincing him. There is nothing wrong in trying this because; the aim of the firm is not to lose the valuable customer at any rate. Sales are the result of team-work.

However, this practice of second trial deal has psychological implications both on the salesman and the customer. The first salesman who tries and could not succeed, feels it as case encroachment upon him; again the second salesman who succeeded feels that he is really superior and, therefore, more efficient and effective than the first. This generates frustration heart burning between the salesmen which is really dangerous for the firm as a whole. Further, the custom also feels that he is being compelled to buy and may not accept the offer and even if he accepts now, he may not revisit. In both the cases, it the firm that loses. Hence, second trial deal should be avoided at any rate, which is better for all the three parties namely the customer, salesman and the firm.