The term ‘counter’ or phrase ‘Counter Salesmanship’ has been derived from the original word ‘Counter’. A counter is the table is an establishment on which goods are presented and delivered to the buyer or his representative, in return for money.
As per Oxford Dictionary, the word ‘Counter’ means a table in a shop on which money is counted and across which goods are delivered.
As per Longman’s Dictionary of Contemporary English, ‘Counter’ is a place where you pay or are served in a shop, bank, restaurant etc.
Hence ‘Counter’ salesmanship implies performing the duties of a salesman by being behind or on the counter or being indoors.
Counter salesmanship is comparatively simpler task as customers come to him rather than he going to the doors of the customers. He meets mostly the regular customers and supplies them with the available stock of goods or else asks them to visit again after a definite time interval. In this sense, his work is neither creative nor competitive. His work is of routine type of order taking.
In other words, it means only an act of passing as goods to the needy customers in exchange for the appropriate value of the goods supplied. However, it is not only this. Counter salesmanship needs sizing up of customer, the ability to handle more than one customer at a time, clear insight and side imagination to identify the additional needs of a customer the art of display, above all tact and diplomacy in handling the customers.
The basic features of Counter Salesmanship:
The basic features of counter salesmanship can be narrated as follows :
1. He Attends His Customers at Counter:
Counter salesman does not move out of his store or shop or establishment. He welcomes the customers grates them and makes details of their needs — as to quantity, quality range, price range and answers all their questions, presents the product or products and strikes a deal as per the policies of the company and requests the customers to visit again.
In case, a particular product or products are not available, he proposes possible substitute products if they are interested or requests them as to when they are going to be available.
2. It is Neither a ‘Creative’ Nor a ‘Competitive’ Salesman:
It is because, within his limits he presents the wide range of products and convinces them. He does not create any new demand but to do what the customers actually want. There arises no question of creating any demand. Nor he is attracting the customers by price cutting or giving sops. These are done as done by the higher authorities or the owner of the establishment. In a sense, he has fixed hours of working and his work is repetitive type namely welcoming the customers, making presentations and booking the order or checking the order depending on the situation prevailing.
3. Comparatively Lowly Rewarded:
The job contents and requirements do not demand too much of hard work, and risk taking. As the work is very simple nature, his rewards are also not high. It is suitable for those people who do not like traveling, meet people, in convincing them by making calls, their health does not permit. Further, even the family obligations do not allow them to be away from their family. Such sales people lead stationary life as they find it safer and are happy with lower rewards given.
4. It knows the Art of display:
Even though the work of counter salesman appears very simple. It is not so. He has to satisfy each customer one by one or more than one at a time. That is, he needs rich imagination to identify the customer needs exactly as he is the purchasing officer of ‘the customers. He is expected to know the art and science of counter display. He has to take keen interest both in window display and counter display as he is to up date the latest arrives. However, these are more or less considered as a part of routine set of duties.
5. Its Job is not Thrilling and Challenging:
He has very little scope to use his individual initiative. His duties and responsibilities are such that require more presence on counter, regularity and punctuality. He has no opportunity to cross the frame work of duties and responsibilities. He might feel it quite boring and dull as it is highly repetitive. That is, even if he has the skills and capacities, re can not make use of them because he has reached a point of no return by selecting to be a counter salesman.