Pragmatic 44: Order a Steak and Get a Piece of Rat

8 November, 2014


Working in retail and in customer facing roles comes with its own set of challenges. We dive into coping mechanisms, closing a sale and identifying when you’re being worked over, Apple’s Genius Training manual and the effectiveness of tipping.

Transcript available
Welcome to Pragmatic. [Music] Pragmatic is a weekly discussion show contemplating the practical application of technology. Exploring the real-world trade-offs, we look at how great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives. Nothing is as simple as it seems. This episode is sponsored by is the easy and affordable way to learn, where you can instantly stream thousands of courses created by experts in their fields of business, software, web development, graphic design, and lots more. Visit to get a free 7-day trial. If you've ever wanted to learn something new, what are you waiting for? This episode is also sponsored by Harvest, new sponsor. Harvest lets you time your tasks wherever you might be doing them, them and then easily analyze your time sheet to track non-billable or hopefully billable hours then turn those into invoices for your clients with both PayPal and Stripe integration. Check out Harvest at and sign up for a free 30-day trial and start tracking your time and invoicing others simply and painlessly. Once your 30-day trial is up use the coupon code pragmatic at checkout and you'll save 50% off your first month but hurry because this offer expires on January 15th, 2015. So be quick. We'll talk about them more during the show. I'm your host, Jon Chidjie, and I'm joined once again by my co-host, Vic Hudson. How's it going, Vic? Good, Jon. How are you today? I am fantastic, which I also have recently someone commented is now becoming one of my catchphrases. Fantastic. You know when people point out you say things a lot and then you're like, "Oh, now I'm paranoid about saying it." - You get really conscious about it. - That's it. Guy English said to me, "You got to own it." So that's it. I'm going full guy and I'm owning it. Fantastic. All right. Once again, we're live streaming the show at You can join in the chat room there as well. We got some heated discussion going on there right now. So that's awesome. It's now possible to see the list of topics I'll be covering on the show in coming weeks and months at If you're not a member, you will be able to see the list, but if you sign up, you'll be able to vote on the existing list and suggest whatever topic you'd like to cover on the show. I'll be locking in episodes a week or two ahead of time and people can see the topic and co-host or guest hosts ahead of time so they can tune in and know what to expect. Go check em out. I've also started to release an equivalent to the After Dark/After Show/B-Side thingamadigs and I'm calling it Adenda. All that is is snippets from the before and after the show interactions with the chat room that I normally would remove from the episode, but several people have requested that I post. So I have started to do so. Go check it out if you're interested in stuff that is off topic. However, if you're interested in stuff that is on topic, then stick around because we're going to stay on topic. And the topic today is retail. Now, this topic came up kind of randomly and frankly, it was inspired by Marco. And Marco had, before we went live a few weeks ago, we started just, you know, shooting the breeze about stuff. And the topic came about both his and my time in retail. Now, I will play this live so that the chatroom can hear what's going on. I used to work retail. I used to work at a Staples. Yep, yep. and awful, awful store. I mean, everything about it was awful, but the more I learned about the retail world and I started asking friends who worked in different stores, I had friends who worked at like Best Buy and stuff like that. And the more I learned about the retail world, the more I learned that like Staples wasn't the problem, like just retail is the problem. Like all retail is that bad. - Yeah, exactly. - And there's nothing you can really do about it. - Over here they have, there's a chain of stores like Radio Shack called Dick Smith Electronics. and I worked there for the better part of a year and a half. It was casual pretty much as in a casual job. So Thursday night, Saturday morning, you know, some like 10, 12 hours a week, not huge hours. And yeah, it's rough actually. I reckon everyone should do a stint in retail to be honest behind the counter because it really does sort of teaches you a lot of patience. Like when I completely changed my view of being in a store as a customer, as a result of doing that, because you just get put through so much crap by customers that you're like, I swear to God, I'm never gonna be like that customer, you know? And-- - I think the worst part about retail, you might as well use them. - Yeah, we'll see. - For something. Sometime do a retail show and stick this in as, you know, follow down. - So there you have it, follow down. Just what Marco said. So that's what this is. That was some follow down. If there is such a thing, I guess that he has now coined that phrase. So there you have it. What I'd like to do as a result of that little discussion that I had a few weeks ago with Marco is I'd like to talk a little bit about my experiences when I was working in retail. And also want to talk about some of my pet peeves and getting your head around little bits and pieces like closing and seeing sales for what it is. I guess developing patience and not getting angry. I think it's interesting and worth discussing. So I guess I'll start off by asking you the question, Vic. Have you ever worked in a customer facing role? Yes. OK, can you tell me a little bit about what you did and where it was? Let me pick one. I think probably the worst ever was the drive through window at a Burger King. Wow. OK, I can't claim I've done that one. So how long did you do that job for? When was that? That particular job, maybe five or six months. I worked at Burger King off and on for a few years. Okay, fair enough. My first job ever was at Burger King. Okay. Now the same is true of a lot of people, although in Australia typically it's McDonald's. Yeah. Because they're far more widespread here. The McDonald's infection, if you want to call it that, has spread wide, far and wide. So I guess I want to start with my experience and I did talk about it just briefly but to expand on that, I worked for a company in Australia called Dick Smith Electronics and they've been around since I think it's the late 70s, early 80s, something like that. And I worked there in the last few years of my university degree because I needed the money basically and just through the last year and a half. And one of the most frustrating parts of that for me was when I was at the end, I finished my degree. And of course, there's a time lag between finishing your degree and getting a job. And I actually worked for Dick Smith's for nearly five months, four months, I think it was technically after I'd finished my degree before I actually landed my first job in engineering, I should say, my first engineering job. So, it was always difficult at that point in time because you've got this shiny bit of paper. Well, actually, it's not shiny, come to think of it, it's Matt. Anyhow, you have this sheet of paper that says, "Oh, aren't you so clever? Now you can go and get a really good paying job," and you don't because you're still working and you're still waiting for a break. And honestly, yeah, and that made it difficult for me personally. But honestly, I still enjoyed it because it taught me so much. So, okay, first of all, standing. Now, I have not worked in too many jobs where I've had to stand for such a long time as I had to stand in retail. Now, I know we've talked about this briefly, I think after the shows, but your job involves a lot of standing, doesn't it Vic? - Yeah. - And it is so hard on your ankles and your lower back and your legs. And I found that it got so bad and there were so few seats in the shop because they don't want to encourage you to sit down, you need to get up and serve customers. So, out the back in the office, there were essentially two chairs and we would fashion up old boxes from stock as additional chairs if we needed them. And that was discouraged. So, and out the front, I think we had one stool and that was it. That was it in the entire store. Other than that, you could sit on the floor, I guess, but good luck doing that for long. So, yeah, that was the first one. The first thing. Then the next thing is the "always be smiling". Did you ever have... Were you ever told that one? Yeah. It's like you're dealing with customers, you need to make sure that you always have a pleasant demeanor. You know, and one lecture I got one morning is everyone has a bad day, but all the customers that come in, they don't want to hear about your bad day. You know, you are having a great day. Okay, I don't care how bad your day is, says the guy giving me the lecture, like the senior sales guy who'd been doing it for something like 15 years or something. And I came in dejected one morning for, I forget, I have no idea why, and got the lecture, you know. Always be smiling. And, you know, honestly, my memory of my wedding day was that my mouth was sore from all the smiling for the photos. And that's the most my face has ever hurt from smiling and I never really quite got the hang of smiling all of the time to the point at which my face was sore like on my wedding day. But, you know, it was still something that, you know, yeah. So when you're doing a custom-facing job, always, always the pleasant demeanor, always be smiling. Being courteous, you know, for me, honestly, I was brought up in a household where they they were very strict with manners. So, I tend to tend to that tended to come more naturally to me in that respect. Although, people that have listened to Tangential will know that yes, I am capable of swearing like a sailor but alas, no, I did not do that when I was working. So, you got to be courteous and that means no swearing and not because customers because half the customers that came in would swear no problem, you know, but you don't know if they're going to do that. So, you can't assume that they're going to do that which means you got to have be courteous all the time and make sure that you don't just in case they're not and if they let slip a few, you know curses then yeah, maybe if you want to risk it Maybe you could let a few slip. Just don't let your manager hear you anyway So, oh my goodness Dear dealing with angry customers. Good God dealing with angry customers So how often did you have an angry customer that you had a deal with Vic? And the Burger King drive-thru a lot hmm How often did you pull the manager card Probably not as often as I'd like Did you get in trouble for calling it for using it too often? Did you or? No, I reached or no. No you weren't discouraged necessarily. It's just Realistically speaking, there's only a certain amount of time that they have to to be able to accommodate that Right. Well, I it was actually that that's the way they preferred it I mean if you had somebody that was giving you grief or they were becoming a problem Then they preferred that you put them off onto the manager because they just didn't trust us to handle that appropriately, I guess Yeah, one of the problems that I faced was the attitude of the manager was that it was better for you to deflect to the manager rather than you deal with it as the employee because if you deal with it as an employee you get this kind of rage thing where they're like, you know, I'm talking to you but you're not as important as the manager, this is the customer thinking you're not as important as the manager. It's like, now I'm talking to the manager, oh now I'm going to get somewhere, now I'm getting somewhere, you know. It's like, yeah, subordinate - You're an important sales guy, you just go on, get sit in the corner, you're not important. Now I'm, I'm important. - The customer pulled the manager card a lot. - Yeah, that's it. And I had that card pulled on me a few times, at which point, we were told, don't argue, just get the manager, and that's fine. So we did, and sometimes, I think maybe twice, I think I actually pulled the manager card, said, look, I'm really sorry that you're upset about the situation. Let me go and talk to the manager see if we can sort something out, okay? And just sort of like skulk out the back and say, "Hey Chris, we got a live one." So anyway, dealing with angry customers, yeah. Or again, referring back to always being polite and everything like that. Goodness me. But still, it was a lesson in learning patience and trying to be understanding because, you know, you have to take the approach that nobody is stupid. It's just that people misunderstand and sometimes they want things that are not realistic. And sometimes they want things that are beyond your capacity as a salesperson on the floor to approve. Yeah. You know, like match this price from a competitor. I couldn't do price matching. I wasn't authorized to do that. I had to get the manager for that because I had the magic override codes. I didn't have that. Couldn't trust me. Anyway, memories. OK. Oh, my goodness. Learning selective hearing. Learning selective hearing. This is one of those things that I thought I'd never have to learn. But you know what? Jeez, you have to, because the low talker, you know, the whispers, you know, they they... I don't know what people think. I think it's like, because I haven't done this as a customer like very often at all that I can remember. And maybe I've got a false memory. Maybe I'm thinking, oh, John, you'd never do that. When in fact, maybe I have done it and I'm just blocking it out. But I like to think I've never done it. And what I'm talking about, what I'm ranting about is, OK, so you're in a queue. There's a bunch of people in front of you and there's someone in the front who's counting out 500 pennies. That is, of course, if your country still has pennies, unlike Australia, which doesn't. Five cent pieces then, whatever. So they're counting out their coins and you're looking at the watch, you're watching, you're thinking, you know, I really need to get out of here. You know, I'm in a hurry. And then you either mutter under your breath or you whisper to your partner, friend, accomplice, you know, doppelganger, whatever. And you say to them, "Jeez, I wish they'd hurry up. I need to go somewhere. This is important. You know, how long does it take to do?" Insert whatever is slowing you down, them down, you know, insert that there. It's like... And it's intended Not to be a whisper, not to be low talking, but to be just audible enough that someone else hears you. You know? Yeah. And what does that achieve? You know, it's a bit of venting, I guess. Maybe you think or hope that the guy behind the counter or the girl behind the counter is going to somehow magically speed up how long it takes to count 500 pennies. Yeah, maybe. I don't know. But when you're on the other side of that fence, there is it is one of the most irritating things to deal with because you're sitting there and you're, I mean, let's say it's not counting pennies. Let's say having problems with the point of sale. You know, you're trying to put through a check. Oh, God, checks. You're trying to put through a check or something like that. And you've got to tick boxes and sign forms and punch in numbers and it's not working for whatever reason, technological reason, probably not your fault, you know? Yeah. And you having these people, the low talkers and the whisperers in the queue and you're like, I am trying, I'm really trying. So what you're thinking, I'm trying so hard to serve this customer, I'm trying to get to you as soon as possible, you know, and it's even harder when you've got all the other tellers are all full, you know. So let's say that there's a queue of like four or five people deep and there's only one person on serving or there's two people serving and each of those lines is four or five long. Yeah, sometimes you get extra tills or you got till restrictions. Like we only had two tills at Dick's Mess where I worked for the longest time that I worked there. So there was no way to ring through anything else. You know, once I'm maxed out, that was it. So thanks for coming. And there's nothing you can do. So you got to grow that thicker skin, you got to sort of you know like you know learn that patience and man yeah so I like to think that I don't do that and I'm pretty sure that I haven't done that in a very long time as a direct result of it being done to me. Alright sales targets and quotas so did you ever work in a role where you you know where had to where there was a competition of sorts, you know, for sales targets and sales quotas. It wasn't a competition, but your your rate of pay was directly linked to it. Yeah, the department store I worked at. Yeah. So they would actually move your pay up and down. And I'm not talking commission. I mean, your hourly rate was determined by a sales per hour. Oh, that's terrible. Yes, it was terrible. Yikes. Okay, well, no, mine was not quite like that. And I think in Australia- It was a major department store here in America. Wow. Can you say which one or not? You don't have to say. Oh, yeah, sure. It was Dillard's. Wow. Okay. Yeah, I've heard of them, actually. Well, see, Dick Smith's didn't work like that. It was you got a fixed rate, but you got a bonus based on, you know, and every week there was a sort of a competition for bragging rights if nothing else but that a cumulative would add up towards a bigger bonus out of the bonus cut. So there's a there's a pool of money every year and it would be divided up by those who had the highest sales. So there was an incentive, not much of an incentive and it was a completely disproportionate incentive because the problem was that the sales targets and the quotas drove higher margin, sorry higher price products, not higher margin products and it also drove, so let's say a customer comes in looking for a computer, $2,000 down, ready to put down the table. If I spend an hour talking them through all the benefits of this computer and close it and sell it and I get $2,000 towards my weekly sales, that's fantastic. Now I go and spend an hour serving four different customers for for cordless phones, each worth $100. So, $400 for an hour's sale, hours worth of selling time versus $2,000. So, what ends up happening is the people that end up winning are the ones that just hang around and push, and they push on the higher dollar value items. And the problem is that there's only so many customers that come in with $2,000 in their pocket every day. Yeah. You know, so then this sort of... The rest of you are trying to nickel and dime it. Yeah. Well, I mean, someone's got to serve the other customers, right? So then the casual staff gets screwed over because what will happen is the Monday to Friday staff, the full timers, they would come in, you know, do the Monday to Friday thing. And a lot of people that come in with the money for the computer would typically come in with older people. And I don't mean that in any defamatory way. The reality was that if you look at the demographic of people that would come in to buy a computer, the younger people would never go to Dick Smith Electronics. They would go to a computer store or they would buy from Apple online or some other retailer online or they'd get a Dell or HP or something like that. They wouldn't come to buy it from Dick Smith Electronics because you would not get as good a deal typically. And of course, you can't say that to customers, "Oh, you can get cheaper down the road." No, no, no, no, no. Obviously not. still. So, generally, older people had more time on their hands, they could come in during the week as well as on weekends. So, I would serve some of these people and do the sale for like 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour sometimes. And I said, "Look, I'm going to go and think about it and I'll come back during the week." And instantly, your heart would sink because it'd be like, "Great." So, I've just spent an hour of my time selling a computer and the guy comes in on Tuesday... If she comes back at all, somebody else is going to get the sale. That's right. And do you think that there was loyalty in that place? The guy comes and says, "Oh, yeah, I was dealing with John on Saturday. Just want to make sure he gets the sale." Yeah, yeah, yeah. No problem. Right. Guess what? Nope. They lie. They bring it in on themselves. Yeah. They bring it in against their own, you know, their own ID, their own name in the system. So it gets credit to them, not to me. And they were there for five minutes. And that is so, that was so wrong and it happened to us casuals all the time. And the whole time that I worked there, I think one casual employee won once, just once. They got the highest sales total for a week because they managed to close a computer on the weekend and they pulled some extra hours that week and sold a bunch of extra products. So, you know, I found it to be so... Oh, what's the word? Unfair. I mean, the system was impossible to win at if you were anything other than full time, essentially. Yeah. Practically impossible. Anyway. And it also drove the wrong kind of attitude amongst staff. So I sort of mentioned closing and I thought it would be interesting to talk about, you know, like closing and insofar as, you know, what it is, how it works, how they do it. and I don't know, I guess, should I say tips and tricks? I don't know, but maybe something like that to be aware that it's happening to you and that you're being manipulated. So I thought that might be an interesting angle to look at. But before we get to that, I wanna talk about our first sponsor for this episode, and that's is an easy and affordable way to learn. You can instantly stream thousands of courses created by experts in the fields of business, software, web development, graphic design, audio and lots and lots more. Way too many to list here. They have an enormous library of tiles to choose from with new courses added every day to make sure their library is both relevant and up to date. 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But what I'm going to talk about of actually, I don't, I just want to say off the bat, I don't often quote Wikipedia word for word. And I'm not going to quite do that. But jeez, I tell you what, they had a list there that was truly impressive. And some of these I've heard of some of the naming is subtly different. But I mean, I tell you what, some of these is just, yeah, they mirror so many of what I've seen. I'm just going to read through the list that's up on Wikipedia because I think it's actually quite an impressive list. So closing techniques. Here we go. First one, the alternative choice. Sometimes it's called the positive choice. So as a salesperson, you present the prospect of two choices, but both of those choices must end in a sale. So, you don't... There's no option to not sell. So, you have to say, "okay, so would you prefer that in red or blue?" You don't say, "would you prefer that in red or blue, or do you want to come back tomorrow?" No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. You're leaving with something. Or blue. Okay, baby, red or blue. That's it. You come back. No, no, no, no, no, that. Red or blue. Two choices. Then there's the apology, right? I'm really sorry. I owe you an apology. Somewhere along the line, I've obviously left out some kind of something important information or maybe I've left some, maybe there's still a bit of doubt left in your mind. I think we both know that this product, it suits what you need perfectly. So clearly, I just, I failed to convey to you exactly what you needed to know. And it's like, I've had that done to me and it sounded so cheesy and even now repeating it, it still sounds cheesy. But still, maybe that works on some people. OK, next one, the assumptive, sometimes referred to and the way I've heard of it referred to as the presumptive, close. So, and that's when you jump ahead. So, as a salesperson, you intentionally, you intentionally assume that they've already agreed to buy it and start proceeding to wrap it up. Okay, just pass me the credit card and I'll start getting the paperwork ready. Yeah. I am presuming that I've made the sale despite the fact that there was no commitment made. I tell you what, I've had that done to me a few times and I have always reacted badly to that. Yeah. Because it really, really grinds my gears. Yep. You know? It's very annoying. It is. So there you go. I don't know how successful that one is for some people, but frankly, anyway. The balance sheet, sometimes referred to as the Ben Franklin close. Maybe that's a North American one, I guess, being Brent Franklin, but still, in any case. So as a salesperson, you build the pros and cons list for the customer on whether they should buy the product. And of course, you weight the list in the pros as opposed to the cons. You got to have a few cons in there, though, otherwise it looks like you're being completely transparent and stacking the deck. So, yeah, the whole balance sheet, you know, weighing it up for the customers if they don't have a brain for themselves, I guess. But never mind. Anyhow, no, I did not use that one ever. Okay. The cradle to grave close. I hadn't heard of this one, at least not referred to in that way. It's an interesting term. The interesting one. Yeah, that's the name that they have in Wikipedia for it anyway. So, in which the salesperson will undercut objections so like prematurely. And so like by telling them there's never a convenient time to make a major decision like this, I guess it kind of works more for big sales, like if you're selling a car or a computer or whatever else, like computer, you know? Perfect one for a computer. It's never the right time to buy a computer, you know, because they're always getting out of date so fast. So, you may as well just go ahead and do it now, you know, and get the most powerful one that you can. Yeah. See, I'd never heard it given a name, and I still don't quite agree with the whole cradle of grey thing, but that's what they called it in Wikipedia, but I'm not sure what alternative name I would give for that, but still, there you go. Okay. Obviously, it couldn't be a complete list without the direct approach. So you're going to buy it? Just straight at it. You're going to buy it? Are you in? Would you have a deal? The indirect one. So we feel them out and you select, say, "So what do you think? So, what do you think? Where do you think we're at with this discussion? Where do you think you are with the terms of the agreement? What do you think we're... What's your sense about where we're at? You know? Yeah. How would you describe that to me? You know, how are you feeling about this? You know, and it's kind of a... It's a softer close, obviously. and won't always work but still had to be mentioned. Okay, the minor points. Man, I have actually done this to somebody. Whoops. And anyway, the minor point. Okay, so let's assume there's a dozen things on the table. Maybe that's too many, maybe there's five on the table about of issues that you're trying to get resolved in order to close the deal. Well, let's just pick one and pick the simplest one to agree on and say, "right, so would you rather it painted red? No? Okay, well, we'll leave that, the colour that it is. Done. All right." And we move straight to the sale and you start progressing down that line. So it's like you agree on a minor point and therefore everything is all good with your sale and you're closing it now. Yeah. I'll just ignore the other four things. That's fine. And again, you get back to one of the early ones, the momentum, you're like saying, right, we're done. Anyway. But you like red. Yeah, well, you know, again, I apologize for lifting some of some of these one lifting word for word out of out of Wikipedia. Some of most of them I've I've come across, although not always by their names. Anyway, so there's a few more to go. to go. The negative assumption, so where you ask usually two final questions, all right, but you keep repeating them until you get to a conclusion. Yeah. Sort of like, do you have any more questions? Do you see any more other reasons why you wouldn't want to buy this? You know? What's it going to take to put you in this car today? Yes. Oh, yes. Perfect. Yeah, exactly that one. OK, the possibility of loss. Sometimes, and I've heard of this one as the pressure, the pressure tactic, right? Now, this is when you point out if you don't, you know, if you don't get this, this is going to this could be a missed opportunity. You know, I've had three other people on the phone interested in this inverted purple widget thing that has been sitting on the lot for the last six months. But you didn't need to know that. I mean, you know, but there's three other people, man. You don't want to miss it. Get it now. Get it while you can. Oh, my goodness. Anyway. OK, then there's the... I haven't heard of this one, the puppy dog. I've heard of this one as sort of a loaner kind of idea where you give it, either you loan a product or you give that as on a trial basis, or you get them to use it in a shop environment, in a controlled environment to get them to enjoy using it more such that they then are more likely to buy it. Yeah. You know, and hence the reason why a lot of players will have demo areas set up, you know, like they'll have a demo Xbox with the, you know, with the favourite one was when the Kinect came out, you know, there was a section of Dick Smith's I had cordoned off with an Xbox and the sensor and all that. And, you know, you could wave your arms around like an idiot and yeah. Cool bananas, right? So, yeah. And yeah, I have not ever because I mean, it's a rule generally in sales, you don't let them walk out the door without paying. Come on, really? So I don't know. That was what I said in Wikipedia. I'm like, yeah, my experience is that you get them the demo so you can pull it out of the box, get them to hold it, you know, get them to connect with it. And then they're far more likely to want it. At least you hope they are. Otherwise, you just pulled something out of a box that's not in condition anymore. Anyway, that's OK. Like I said, you can do wonders with sticky tape. OK. Two more, I think that's enough. The sales contest. OK, so you offer a special incentive, you know. What if I throw in this, like it's a phone, I'll throw in this free case, what do you think? You know? Yeah. Of course, the margin on that case, the case is worth 30 bucks, the margin on it is something insane, like $25 margin on it. So it's the things worth five bucks is your purchase price and the cost price. But oh my God. Hey, I'll throw in this extra thing for $5 so you buy an $800 phone outright. Yeah, I'm really making a sacrifice there. That's going to really hurt the bottom line. What's the profit on the phone? What's the profit on the air? Okay. Throw in two. Will that help? Anyway, and the other one of course is the is the competition. So you'll see this all the time where they'll say come in and if you spend this amount of money you go into a into the draw to win a free trip to Spain or Nairobi or somewhere, you know, wherever upper Mongolia, you never know. Maybe there is something nice up in Mongolia. I don't know. Anyhow, the point is it's a competition, you know, so all it takes is three, four, five thousand dollars, you know, from the parent company, put into a competition, into a big kitty, you know, and you can drag that out for months and that'll jack up your sales because people will be drawn in by that whole sales contest idea. Yeah, all right, last one, the sharp angle. And that's when you respond to a question with a request to sort of close it. And you're going to know this one as soon as I say it. So if I can guarantee you this point, do we have a deal? Yeah. It's kind of associated a little bit with the pressure close, you know. So why is all of this interesting? It's interesting because it's about manipulation. It's manipulating you. So I, the salesman, am manipulating you, the customer, into parting with your money. So why I wanted to talk about it is because I have been sucked in by good salesmen or salespersons, I should say. And, you know, honestly, if you, depending upon your... Yeah, honestly, can I just be blunt for a second? Okay. Sure. If you're a guy and you are heterosexual and there's a pretty lady and she's serving you, that makes it easier for her generally to sell something to you. Whether or not you want to admit that, you know, there is a part of your mind that is low as its guard, shall we say, to an extent. We're wired that way. Yeah. But, you know, you can mix and match your gender and your gender preference into that statement however you choose. OK. The point is that a "pretty face", irrespective of your gender preference and your own gender, doesn't matter. A pretty face can make a difference beyond any of those things that I just listed. So, what's the point of this? The point is, educate yourself about the techniques that they use to manipulate you, to separate you from your money. If you are aware of it, you have a chance of intervening. You know, it's like the whole Stephen Covey thing, you've got action, so you got a stimulus, a choice and a response. Take control and choose to react differently. Educate yourself, you know, no matter how nice, no matter how attractive, no matter how pleasant, no matter how friendly or positive, ego-stroking, charming, lovely, insert, whatever damn adjective you like, the salesperson is not your friend. They're not. Unless, of course, they are your friend and you knew them before they were a salesman. But, you know, statistically unlikely. They're not your friend. Don't make that mistake. They are being nice to you because they want your money. They don't want anything else. And you know what? Someone is going to come... I'm waiting for some feedback right now. You know what? They're going to come in and they're going to say, "You know, John, I actually made a really good friend who I met over the counter who was a salesperson. You know, they sold me this Mac or something and now I'm best friends with them." Okay, there are going to be exceptions. Fine. That's okay. Please, please email me. It's all good, really. But seriously, for the vast majority of the time. And I have no statistics to back this up but I think I'm pretty safe in saying 99.999999% of all your sales transactions, they are not your friend and they're never going to be. Okay, that was closing. Something that grinds my gears. Yeah. Yeah. I think it grinds a lot of people's gears to be honest. It's not, I'm not special in that way, that's for sure. Okay, a few more things to talk about before we get to start talking about about Apple and then we'll start talking about, and then I'll like to talk about some of my personal experiences, specific experiences being in sales. Some of them are interesting. Anyway, so I just want to quickly touch on promotion. So this is a problem across the board in all industries, right? And there's no difference in engineering. So in engineering, just because if you're a good designer or a programmer, if you're a good programmer, that does not mean you're going to be a good manager. And I found it's even worse in sales, in a sales environment. What makes a good salesperson does not make a good manager. In fact, generally what I found is the better salesman you are, the worse manager you are. You know? Yeah. And, you know, the path for promotion is questionable and just dubious at best. So, you know, I find that to be quite frustrating. And again, it was frustrating for me because I knew a bit of the background of the guy that was my manager at the time, and it was very difficult for me to swallow. But you know what? He was my boss. So, you know, I did what I was told because I had to. that was that's what I was being paid to do and that's fine. But geez, you know, sometimes it's hard. Anyway. So when you're doing sales, there's a there's a there's a balance and perhaps you'd say a fine line between showing an interest in the customer to not just not really necessarily gain their trust, although you could look at that cynically. But, you know, being friendly with a customer is all part of the rules. and frankly you should be like that with people generally anyway. I mean, unless you're going to be a cranky old bugger, I guess, but you know, assuming you want to be nice, then, you know, being interested in them and what they have to say is important. But there's a fine line between that and being and harassing them. Did not happen to me, but happened to one of the other sales salesmen in the stores who was who was being interested in one of the customers and she did not like his interest and made a formal complaint. So, yeah, I don't think it's safe for me to repeat the details of that. I'll keep that to myself. But suffice to say, there's a fine line there, people. Oh, dear. I guess it's all about how you word what you're saying, you know, just use positive and supportive language and don't cross the line by being too personal. Oh, I don't know, I sound a bit, a fair bit weird anyway. OK, and that brings me to the Apple Genius Training Student Workbook Manual. Did you see this when it came out? It was in, I think it was mid 2012 and Gizmodo got their hands on it. a copy of the Apple Genius training manual. There's a link in the show notes. Did you see this when it happened a couple years ago? I did. First impressions before I get stuck in? It was interesting. That's it. Well, I know it's kind of vague, but I remember being very fascinated with it. Okay. All right. Well, it was fascinating and they didn't publish the whole thing. and they only published excerpts of it. Screen, screen dumps and so on. I searched for a PDF version or any kind of version that showed the whole document and I came up blank. If anyone has a copy of the full thing, I'd love to see it. But just going on the Gizmodo article. And it has plenty of good stuff in there, plenty to talk about. I'm not gonna go through the whole lot of what they even published, the thing's huge. So Gizmodo got their hands on this Genius Training Student Workbook Manual thingy from Apple a few years ago and it was big news at the time. Now nothing that they've just showed in that book really surprised me but I tell you what, it is an object lesson in soft manipulation. So you think all those closing things were bad or rather irritating or annoying or I don't know what you might think but still interesting, nothing else. So Apple's, man, I just love this bit. The Apple, A-P-P-L-E, right? So, they expand that out into five guiding principles. Apple. A is approach customers with a personalised warm welcome. P, the first P, probe politely to understand the customer's needs. Ask closed and open-ended questions. Hmm. OK. Next P, present a solution for the customer to take home today. Yeah. L is listen for and resolve any issues or concerns. E, finally, is end with a fond farewell and an invitation to return. Isn't that lovely? Anyway, so more little excerpts from that manual. I love invitations to return to the Apple store. Now, y'all come back, you hear? You should do that with your accent. Go. Y'all come back now, you hear? That's much better. Yeah, see? I did play it up a little bit, though. I know, but you're the genuine article and I'm just a pale imitation. OK. When it comes to that expression now, OK, I'm going to say "g'day". Now you say "g'day". G'day? Yeah, see, I got that one. OK. All righty. We're off topic here. OK, you can shoot me later. OK, so there's more from this manual. So, "did your computer crash? No, it stops responding. Never say crash." True. Yeah, this was the part that I found the most fascinating. I remember it now. Yeah, that's it. So, the next one was, "what if some Apple software has a bug. Wrong. There's an issue, a condition or simply a situation. Yeah. Now, you don't eliminate a problem, you reduce it. And Apple products are not hot. At most, they're warm. Hmm. Note the language, right? Now, here's another thing that's not in the manual that really, really pisses me off. And yes, I am going to beep that out. It really, really does. You get the same stuff from Phil Schiller. Okay. And only happened in the last few years. And I think it may have started with when, when Steve Jobs, uh, was on stage in one of the keynotes. I don't remember the exact moment it happened, but I do remember it starting a few years ago. So we're not going to talk about how thick our product is anymore. It's not 6.1 millimeters thick. It's 6.1 millimeters thin. Yeah. That is a sound of me breathing out anger. So from now on, I currently weigh, um, for anyone that cares, and I'm not converting this into pounds is 94 kilos. That's how I currently weigh now from now on. I'm not, I don't, I'm not 94 kilos heavy. I'm 94 kilos light. That's right, people. Because by saying the same mass in a different, like saying I'm not heavy, I'm light, that makes it sound lighter. Yeah, it's a spin. It's 6.1 millimeters. It's not thick, it's not thin. It's a measurement. It's a distinct, bloody measurement. That it's not it's not thick, it's not thin. It's a distinct measurement. God damn it. Anyway. That one really bothers you, doesn't it? Yeah, slightly. OK, I've got that out of my system. OK, good, lovely. So before we go on any further, I would like to talk about our second sponsor, new sponsor for the show, and that is Harvest. Now, many people listening to this show spend their time working on home projects and work projects too and you lose track of time. Now we've talked about this on the show before about being realistic about how much time you've got available to you. But one way you can track your time is by using Harvest. They have a simple to use web app where you can create tasks. They also have mobile apps for both Android and iOS and it's easy in any of those to select a task or an activity, start or stop a timer from any of them. 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So once you get through your 30-day trial, it's not long after that. So be quick, get in while you can. And thank you to Harvest for sponsoring Pragmatic. Okay, now then, I realize that there's actually another subtopic I want to talk about just at the end, tipping. I'll get to that at the end though. That's what we'll wrap up on. Okay, so a few of my personal experiences and observations as a result of serving behind a counter, customer service and sales. When I walk into a shop now, if a salesperson comes over to me and I'm just browsing and I know I'm just browsing and I'm not going to buy anything today, I don't want them to waste their time waiting on me or chatting to me or doing any sales, anything to me. Because their time is precious. If they've got 10 customers in the store, they have to pick who's going to be the most likely to buy something. And they come to me for whatever reason. I don't know, maybe I look like I'm a sucker or I've got a lot of money or something. I don't know. I don't know. Whatever. I'm always up front. At least I am now, you know, because I've been there, right? And I don't want to say I mean, I've I've spent like 10 minutes talking to someone about stuff when other customers have been trying to get my attention. And then they stay up and they say, oh, yeah, I've got to run anyway. I'll just browse. Yeah. Well, you can do yourself a favor too because a lot of the times then you're left alone. Well, if that's what you want. Maybe you're lonely and you want to talk to someone. But I don't know. Well, there is that. I guess. But, you know, generally speaking though, I like to respect the time, the salesperson's time. I like to respect that because I've been there. And they're busy and other people need their help. And other people will be far more likely to lead to a sale. to a sale. Spend your time working on them, not working on me because I'm not going to get you anywhere and I'm going to be upfront about that. Yeah. And I think that that's important to keep in mind. And if they're struggling at the checkout, like that example with the 50 pennies thing that I was talking about before, if there's any reason, you can tell pretty quickly if they're experienced or not, like if they're a trainee or if they haven't been there very long. If they're a trainee, my heart just goes out to them because I know what it's like, the pressure, you're still learning what it's like to be in that kind of a job. It's hard. It's really hard, you know. So, I have nothing but empathy for them. So, I'm- I don't get concerned. And if I actually have a time commitment and I have to go, I don't mutter about it. I just leave the queue and walk out of the store. You know, I don't do it like I'm not grumpy or anything. I'm like, you know what, that's fine. I can come back another day. This other thing's more important. Because that's the truth. You know, if something really, really is that much more important, do you really need to buy that thing that you are there to buy right now? I guess there may be times when, you know, the two mutually are required at the same time and then you can't actually do that. But, you know, make a choice. Don't get angry about someone else's... if there's an issue with the point of sale terminal and they can't put through whatever they're trying to put through. And that's not their fault. Yeah. So it's taught me that patience and I understand and I can empathize now. And, you know, so many people, I think, can't or don't, which is a shame. And this brings me to an experience that I had a few weeks ago. So I was in line, I was being served and he was having trouble with the FPOS, you know, for whatever reason. FPOS, you know what I'm talking about, say FPOS, yeah? I do not. FPOS is Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale. So FPOS is essentially your swipe card reader for your phone or your Apple Pay terminal if you're in America at the moment, or if you're in any other part of the world with an American credit card and you don't mind paying currency conversion fees and all that other rubbish. Coming to a country near you without currency conversion fees, Apple Pay. Whatever. Yeah, like Google Wallet hasn't been doing that for a while yet. Anyhow, so, although admittedly I would probably trust Apple Pay more than I would trust Google Wallet. But then I have other trust issues with Google, so, you know, Google, me, trust, it's not a happy relationship. Anyway, okay, so, I said out loud, okay, so having trouble with the EFTPOS machine, machine, putting the card through, processing the payment, and he apologized for taking so long. Yeah, good courtesy. That's fine. No problem. So, I happened to say out loud to him, and I didn't think this was an issue at the time. At that moment, I said, "Oh, that's no problem. I'm not in a hurry." You know, I thought that was fine, right? Casual. I just, I wanted to impart to him that I was not concerned. And there was a guy in the queue, a few behind me, and he says, not whispering at all, Well, some of us are, mate. Wow. And I'm like, well, okay. So I turned around and I'm not big on confrontation, okay. So I generally don't do stuff like this, but that really got my back up. And I sort of like said, I turned around to him and I don't remember the exact words I said. But I said to him that it wasn't this guy's fault. and I should cut him some slack and he should cut him some slack. Yeah. You know? I mean the guy just sort of like fumed and muttered a bit and you know went back to his knitting as they say. There's one in every crowd that just messed up. Yeah I know and it's like I'm going to bet real money, because you know how big gambler I am, I would bet real money that he had never worked in retail. Yeah. Because someone who had worked in retail could not have gone through even a few weeks in retail without having some kind of issue. Because you know you fire it up in the morning and you go and punch it in and some of these systems you have to have this, you got to do things in the right order otherwise the point of sale terminal won't come online or it won't unlock the tray and you're trying to get the put the cash in in the morning and you, there's always something. You know and when you start there there's oh you lose power or someone trips over an extension lead or pulls that out or this particular till is a bit sticky, you got to bang it the right way to get it to release or whatever the hell it is. It's always something. You know, you've got five checkouts and one of them is dodgy. Oh, I'm on checkout five, great, I've got the dodgy one. Roll your eyes. Yes, can I help you sir, knowing that you're going to be there for twice as long because you're on the dodgy terminal. You know what I mean? All right. All right, so I just want to wrap up talking about tipping. So what do you think about tipping? Actually, hang on, know what? It's pretty common here. I don't know. Yes, it is. I know it's not common everywhere and a lot of people are really taken aback by it and they don't understand it. So how would you describe tipping? And when I say describe tipping, I mean, how would you describe tipping to someone who has never tipped anyone before in their life, has never heard of it? How would you describe it? And also, what percentage or fraction or dollar amounts would you consider for good service or for bad service? OK. Tipping, I usually explain it to people. It's a little extra gratuity. It's a way to just kind of say thank you for good service and to acknowledge that somebody, you know has a difficult job in retail or service and it's just an extra little thank you for for doing a good job and taking good care of us kind of thing. I think the pretty much understood standard here is usually around 15% of the bill and as far as a percentage for for bad service most of the people I know around here I think it's pretty common here it just if we get bad service we usually just don't tip at all. And then there's a side issue related to tipping that I don't know if it's an issue everywhere, like probably definitely not an issue in cultures where tipping's not really a thing, but like there's actually some legislation as far as payroll concerned here where an employer can actually pay you less than minimum wage if you receive a fair amount of tips as compensation for your job, they get to account for that, which really annoys me. Because the tipping is, like I said, it's an extra supplemental gratuity, and it's not guaranteed. And from my point of view, it doesn't relieve the employer of their obligation to pay you for your time there and services rendered, but somehow they seem to think that it does because the customer's taking part of that bill, I guess. I don't know. It's just, it's shady to me. It's called a tip wage. Yes. Yes, exactly. And thank you for summing that up. And I think you did a great job of that because frankly, that pretty much mirrors my notes. So, thank you. Good to go. Now, the interesting thing is that there seems to be a narrative of sorts, a prevailing wisdom, perhaps you may want to call it that, that environments where tipping is predominant, that service, customer service is better. And the thing is that I encountered this when I went over, because in Australia, we don't tip generally, we just don't. A few places have tried to introduce it, but, you know, it's generally not the done thing. And as when I was growing up, nowhere did it at all. So, it's a sort of a North Americanism that's sort of they're trying to sort of pick it up here. But most people in Australia generally don't tip because, well, you know, it's just not the way it's done. Yeah. Anyway. And there's also labour laws and so on in place saying that, you know, you can't have a tip base wage, like you can in certain parts of America, I believe. So, like you were saying. So, anyway, there were some consultants that I worked with in North America, and they were very, very well-travelled. And I mean, very, very well-travelled. They were also very, very well-paid consultants. Mind you, the- It was a husband and wife team and I won't say his last but Jim, wonderful man, he very very sharp and had also worked on some really cool defense stuff and had, sometimes, although not often, yeah, after a drink or two he would sort of loosen up a bit about some of the stuff that he'd done. Never anything, you know, classified but yeah, he'd sat in the cockpit of like a, I think it was an SR-71 or something, I don't know, which is something that not many people can say. But in any case, he was telling me about his travels around the world, and he was firm, absolutely firm in his belief that tipping provided better service and that he had had much worse service in countries that did not have tipping. I think there's probably some merit to that. Yeah, this is what I mean, right, is that this is a prevailing... Anytime we order pizza, we always give a really good tip. And I don't think it's a coincidence that I don't usually have to wait too long for pizzas to get here if I'm ordering from a regular place. I think if you're a repeat customer and they know you and they know to expect that from you, then I think that there would be merit in that because that is a you know, that's the the food palette idea, right? I'm going to give you a food palette if you push the button, you know. So if I give you a good tip, then you're going to keep coming back and do it promptly and you're going to get a good tip, you know? Yeah, which is the whole point, right? But the problem is that that presupposes two things. First of all, the amount of money that people tip is based on the individual. So the individual might be a good tipper or a bad tipper, you know, or just normal tipper. Some people will just say, I'm going to give you 15% no matter what, because I have to give your tip and I really don't care that much. And I've met plenty of people like that. Unless it's really, really, really horrible service like you order a steak and you get a piece of rat. In which case, you might complain about that. I would. Anyway, I'm going to give you a 5% tip. The rat was tasty but-- It's not 15% tasty. I don't know. All right. I'm going to stay on coffee for that one. Sorry. Okay. Okay. So, the point is that, what is the point? I've lost my point now. God. Goodness gracious me. Right. So, tipping is based on the individual and you cannot tell just by appearance whether someone is a good tipper or not. Now, people that have been in service industry in North America will tell you that they can actually tell reasonably well, you know, who is a good tipper and who isn't based on how they dress and how they talk. But the truth is that's still not an ironclad guarantee. So if you get to know an individual who frequents a restaurant, you will know if they're a good tipper or if they're not. And, you know, that's a reinforced behavior you can guarantee on. However, the law of averages would suggest that the more people that you statistically churn through a restaurant, the more random variability you have in the distribution of who is and who is not a good tipper, you should therefore on balance, it should even out for the vast majority of servers, unless you are truly exceptional at what you do. And the restaurant is truly consistently exceptional at what it produces. Because remember, your tip is also proportional to the quality of the food that you're serving. Let's say you're a waiter or waitress, you're going to bring out that food. Now, is it your fault if the food is cold, if it's been badly cooked, if someone's put arsenic in it? Well, guess what? You know, you aren't. You just you're just carrying it to the table. Yeah. You know what I mean? So but your tip is now is now linked to the quality of that food, despite the fact you've had nothing to do with it. Yeah. So I find that to be, you know, somewhat tenuous link. So anyway. All right. Beyond all of the statistics, probability and so on and so forth and the conjecture, there have been studies done on this. So, I found a really interesting one called "Tipping and Service Quality, a Within Subjects Analysis". It was by two people, Michael Lin and Michael J. Sturman from Cornell University in 2010. And it talks about, well, okay, here's the, I'm going to read verbatim the introduction. It's a little bit verbose, but I think it sums it up. Restaurant tips are supposed to be an incentive reward for the delivery of good service. In order for tipping to service function, consumers must leave larger tips in response to better service. Numerous studies have found a relationship between evaluations of service and tip size, but these studies have involved but these studies have involved between subjects correlational designs that mean the observed relationships could be due to extroversion, friendliness, generosity, or other stable dispositional differences between tippers that affect both service ratings and tip sizes. The current study attempts to rule out these alternative explanations by examining the tipping behaviour of 51 people across multiple dining occasions. Results indicate that tip sizes are reliably correlated with service ratings after controlling for the identity of the tipper and therefore all potential stable dispositional difference confounds. So what that translates to mean is that they think their study is better than every other study because they were less biased. Yeah. Anyway, it's an interesting study that's linked to the show notes. Have a read through if you're interested. It does go into a lot more detail as to exactly what they did, how they did it, and so on. But drawing on that, I found a blog post by a gentleman by the name of Jay Porter. It was done mid last year and he runs The Linkery in San Diego. They moved recently to San Francisco anyway. And I think he'd been running for eight years or something like that, his restaurant. And they switched from a tipping system to one without. There was just an 18% flat rate applied across all of the bills. So they refused to accept tips. They just said it's 80% flat rate when you came in, they made you aware of it, it was on the, you know, and it was one of... because this is in America, it was extremely unusual, so it was one of only a handful of places that had that sort of policy Now in Australia, that sort of a service fee flat rate is normal, right? But it's buried in the cost, you don't split it out It's just buried in the cost. So, anyway, now he noted, and again, blog post is linked in the show notes, I encourage you to read it, it's a very interesting read especially if you live in North America, it's very fascinating and noted that profits increased and service improved overall and it goes into a whole bunch of reasons as they thought as to why but I'll let you read through that yourself and honestly it makes you question who tipping is really best for and really how much of a motivator it actually is because well, if you were to go flat rate flat rate and you getting increased profit and you know your services improving overall and honestly I would suggest one of the conclusions that I draw from that so just to you know throw this in the ring is that I think profits increase predominantly because people would tend on average to under tip than to over tip and by setting it at 18% which is 3% above what you quote 15% as an average guideline. Well, you know, the majority of people, especially in tough economic times, they're going to tend towards 15% or lower. So by fixing it at 18%, you are already guaranteeing that all of your undertippers are going to essentially be tipping at a fixed rate that is above what they would ordinarily tip. Yeah. Now, when you say profit on that, is this going to the business or does it filter down to the service staff? What they do is it's fixed salary. It's not tip based. Okay. So, so, so what I'm saying is that essentially they have no tipping, right? Their model is just like we have here in Australia and a lot of places in the world, frankly. Okay, so you're basically paying for the goods and then you've got a service surcharge on top of that. Yeah, yeah. Pre-factored in. Yes, exactly. But it's broken, it's broken out as a service charge. But it's not, I don't know if they called it a tip on the bill. And I can't remember that he says that in the in the post, but apologies if it does say that in the post, but anyway, again, as I say, it's in the show notes, have a look if you're interested. But honestly, I think that that's a fascinating experiment because that's done within US borders where tipping has been commonplace for, well, as far as I could tell, for forever, for a very long time, hundreds of years. Yeah. And just on the topic of that, actually, when I went there on one of my many trips, there was one occasion where early on, I think I was in Los Angeles for a conference, actually. And anyway, I I noticed that the guy in the foyer got annoyed when I took my own bags. Because I would always take my own bags. Why would I not take my own bags? Then my bags. You know what I mean? But that's his job. And I didn't realise that, you know. It's like, oh, so I have to let you carry my bags, which I am perfectly happy to carry, and then I have to pay you to do something I don't actually want you to do. Yeah. I see how this works. So I think we might wrap it up at that point, unless you've got anything else you'd like to add specifically about. No, I think that pretty much covers it. Cool. Well, that was easy. One of these days, you're going to surprise me and say, "You know, John, you completely forgot this. You completely missed this. I can't believe you didn't talk about DRM or something." Well, I was going to, and then I realized you were going in a direction that I'm cool with. That it should be a separate show of its own. So there you go. Because there's so much to say about that. There is. There is. And that's, yeah, we talked about it. And I definitely wanted to mention the tip wage thing once you brought up tips, because that's something that's really always annoyed me. Yeah, exactly. So there you go. There you go, whole episode about retail. Who would have thought, huh? And I know that some people will think that this is a weird topic to cover, but frankly, you know, it's something that I realized that I thought about it. It's something that affects everybody. That buying and selling things is just part of life. And it may not be directly about technology, but it's certainly something useful to get your head around tipping, get your head around, particularly sales pressure tactics and so on. And frankly, why I think everyone should serve behind a counter in customer service in a sales role, potentially something like that in their lifetime, preferably early, so that for the rest of your life after that, you won't be such a jerk to people that are doing that job. And I have nothing but respect for people that serve behind a counter each and every day because I tell you what in many respects it's a harder job than what I do for a living. Oh yeah. So I have nothing but respect for those people. Yeah and the original premise was absolutely correct. Everybody should have to experience it at some point because it really gives you a whole different perspective. Absolutely. If you want to talk more about this, you can reach me on Twitter @johnchugee. If you'd like to send any feedback, please use the feedback form on the website, that's where you'll also find show notes for this episode under Podcasts Pragmatic. If there's topics you'd like me to cover, you can suggest and vote on them at Once again, you can sign up for a free account at You can follow Pragmatic Show on Twitter to see show announcements and other related stuff, like when we're broadcasting live if you want to join in and we certainly hope you do. I'd like to thank our two sponsors of the show. Firstly, for sponsoring Pragmatic. If there's anything you'd like to learn about and you're looking for an easy and affordable way to learn, then can help you out. Instantly stream thousands of courses created by experts in their fields of business software, web development, graphic design, and lots and lots more. Visit to get a free seven-day trial. If you've ever wanted to learn something new, what are you waiting for. And I'd also like to thank Harvest for sponsoring Pragmatic, a new sponsor. If you want to track your time quickly and easily with the ability to quickly turn those timesheets into invoices for your clients with built-in support for both PayPal and Stripe, then Harvest has what you need. Check out Harvest at and sign up for a free 30-day trial today. Once your 30-day trial is over, use the coupon code Pragmatic at checkout and you'll also receive 50% off your first month, but hurry because this offer expires on January 15th 2015, so please be quick. Thanks as always Vic, and thank you everyone for listening. Thanks everybody. Catch you next week. Yeah. Although not physically, because if I were to do that and I were to catch 11,000 people then it would probably kill me, or crush me, or crush me and kill me. It would take considerable effort. You're damn right. [MUSIC PLAYING] (upbeat music) [Music] (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) [Music] [Music] (dramatic music) (thunder)
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    Vic Hudson

    Vic Hudson

    Vic is the host of the App Story Podcast and is the developer behind Money Pilot for iOS.

    John Chidgey

    John Chidgey

    John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

    John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

    Described as the David Attenborough of disasters, and a Dreamy Narrator with Great Pipes by the Podfather Adam Curry.

    You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.