After a career in public relations for a major insurance company, i retired to Tucson Arizona to enjoy the sun and warm weather, a big change from our life in cold Philadelphia. Our first home in the city was a lovely apartment on a golf course at an area called Ventana Canyon, in the mountain foothills overlooking the city.
To keep in shape, every morning I would walk up the street / driveway that led from our apartment complex, about a mile towards to mountains, past the timeshare and condo units, past the golf course and clubhouse to the main hotel and resort. I would take a seat in the beautiful lobby and relax for a bit, while the world went by. Sometimes it’s nice to be retired. After a bit, I would walk back down to our apartment and then sit down at my desk and begin working on my writing or whatever other fun project was on the agenda.
After a few months of this, you get to know the people on your route and I began to become friendly with the guys in the golf course pro shop. Now I don’t play golf, never have, no desire to ever to. Walking around all day trying to hit a little ball with a stick doesn’t sound like fun to me, but to each his own.
As this was a few years ago when the economy was booming, the course and the resort were always packed, the pro shop was expanding and even served the local community as a great golf shop. It sold all the usual golf stuff and also had a wide array of clothing. My new friends who managed and worked there, also retirees, one day asked if I wanted a job as a sales associate, working at the counter, helping ring people up, handling returns, ordering and also selling the clothing, which I was already buying and a fan of.
I think I possess two good qualities for being a sales associate, I am honest and I like people. I like talking to them and getting to know them. I also like making them happy. Add to that the fact that I was retired and just doing it for fun, made me perfect for that job. I enjoyed talking to people and getting to know them. People go to golf shops for fun, not because they have to. Most also have disposable income, price is important, but so is utility and quality.
I took many things away from the experience. Customers just want honesty. If you are making a commission, that’s not wrong, that’s fair. Don’t take a job where you have to be shady or dishonest, be true to yourself and you will succeed. This is a good lesson for life overall, not just for being a sales associate. Also put yourself in the other person’s shoes, figuratively of course. I’m nice to sales people always, because they can help tell you things you would never know about. Like getting you something from the new shipment in the back, or applying a sales discount even though the sale ended yesterday or doesn’t start until tomorrow. You would be surprised at the nice things they can do for you, if they like you because you have been courteous and respectful.
Other tips I can offer would be to ask for discounts and always do your research. A knowledgeable consumer will always come out ahead, know your options, both product-wise and other stores or online sites where you can get the same thing cheaper. Amazon.com has an amazing selection of every kind of thing, usually with no state sales tax and free shipping with a low minimum order. For example, maybe your local store will match this net price.