Sunday, February 8, 2009

Booksellers Have Detective Like Skills

A lot of times customers will come in and they won't know the name of what book they're after or they only have a partial title. Now it is up to the bookseller to help them remember. In order to do this we must call upon detective like skills. Detectives use these techniques with witnesses to extract more information or at least those I've seen on television.

1.When trying to help a customer recall a title, booksellers must use a calming and smoothing voice, and not be condescending in order to gain the customers trust. Doing so ensures the customer will share even the smallest detail that may lead to the discovery of the title.

2.When trying to help a customer recall a title a bookseller can't push. If a bookseller ask a customer a question twice, like Is it fiction or nonfiction? And the customer can't answer, the bookseller must move on the next question. It only frustrates the customer and turns them against the bookseller, and making it the booksellers fault the customers can't remember the book they want.

3. When trying to help a customer recall a title a bookseller must take it nice and slow. Ease into the hard questions like do you remember anything about the title? The customers has already admitted to not knowing the title and those with a partial will share this information (though its usually wrong), So it makes no sense to ask about the title first. It will only customers angry that the bookseller can't read their mind. Start with something small like the shape or color, or where they heard about it. *

4. When trying to help a customer recall a title a bookseller must be encouraging and patient. Bookseller can't get angry. Bookseller must continuously tell the customers not to worry about not knowing the title. In doing this bookseller create a safe environment for the customer. Allowing them to remember what they thought they had forgotten.

5. When trying to help a customer recall a title a bookseller must search. No matter how wrong or small the clue is booksellers should type it into the computer. Customers like to see booksellers actively seeking their unknown titles. I've gotten lucky this way myself, and I know I can't be the only bookseller. So give it a go booksellers.

* Booksellers should remember to ask the customer when the book was published. If they say five or six years ago. Booksellers should use their own judgement about continuing or not. However if the the customer says the book may be out of print. I highly advise aborting the search for the unknown title.


teacherninja said...

Yeah, and half of them will think you're a genius for finding it or a utter moron for not being intimately familiar with the subject of their search.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

I have had a bookseller pull the title of a book right out of my mind while I just mumbled a nonsensical gibberish in front of him. Booksellers have a grace, I think!

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious. And #5 is so true. I love to see a bookseller typing away on the computer, even though for all I know she's IMing her fellow workers to meet her for a coffee break :)

Parker Peevyhouse