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Old 2012-09-15, 08:21   Link #21
Jinto
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fürth (GER)
Age: 34
I am hardly be influenced by soft skills when it comes to buying stuff. This might be attributed to typical non-skilled german sales personnel. But maybe I am just too technical with such decissions to let emotions influence me.

Of course I am not resistant to the emotions the product itself does trigger in me (for example a beautiful car).

In my regards soft skills are more important in your everyday life and whenever you have to engage in teamwork (be it work or hobby or sport).

People with good soft skills tend to take leader positions more easily, since they can in several ways communicate (verbal and non-verbal) things in a way that make others feel comfortable. This includes among other things, that such people have an aura of authority and decent hard skills.

Interestingly authority is primarily very much dependend on appearances, things that we would regard as rather superficial, like looks, vocal depth/strength/sexiness. Of course those superficial values alone wont work if the soft skills are inadequate, but soft skills alone only get you so far.

Having good soft skills but mediocre appearance you can still be an excellent team player, you are just not likely to gain any leadership position. You would need to have significantly better soft skills when you want to outpace someone with a far better appearance.

The next thing is, that soft skills need be sort of a natural talent (mere theory gets you nowhere since it doesn't communicate convincingly). Of course people with a nice appearance have it easier to socialize since they face smaller starting hurdles when interacting with others, this in turn gives them an adavantage in easily gaining/adapting new soft skills (however, the spectrum here covers the typical range of being a complete asshole to being a saintly socializer).

In school we were taught that primarily your hard skills (marks) decide how successful you are. But even before you leave school you will learn that reality is quite a different thing.
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Old 2012-09-15, 12:13   Link #22
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: R'lyeh
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
You mean a 23-year old woman wouldn't be impressive to 40+ old businessmen coming from Japan, Korea, and China? There are the added benefits of being able to drink most people under the table, singing at karaokes, and discussing politics.
then when they wake up they will pictures of themselves wearing women's underwear and/or bound in rope S&M style.
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Old 2012-09-15, 12:22   Link #23
aohige
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Somewhere, between the sacred silence and sleep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
I am hardly be influenced by soft skills when it comes to buying stuff. This might be attributed to typical non-skilled german sales personnel. But maybe I am just too technical with such decissions to let emotions influence me.
I don't know man, "Your Jedi tricks don't work on me" are famous last words.
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Old 2012-09-15, 12:27   Link #24
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Age: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto View Post
I am hardly be influenced by soft skills when it comes to buying stuff. This might be attributed to typical non-skilled german sales personnel. But maybe I am just too technical with such decissions to let emotions influence me.

Of course I am not resistant to the emotions the product itself does trigger in me (for example a beautiful car).

In my regards soft skills are more important in your everyday life and whenever you have to engage in teamwork (be it work or hobby or sport).

People with good soft skills tend to take leader positions more easily, since they can in several ways communicate (verbal and non-verbal) things in a way that make others feel comfortable. This includes among other things, that such people have an aura of authority and decent hard skills.

Interestingly authority is primarily very much dependend on appearances, things that we would regard as rather superficial, like looks, vocal depth/strength/sexiness. Of course those superficial values alone wont work if the soft skills are inadequate, but soft skills alone only get you so far.

Having good soft skills but mediocre appearance you can still be an excellent team player, you are just not likely to gain any leadership position. You would need to have significantly better soft skills when you want to outpace someone with a far better appearance.

The next thing is, that soft skills need be sort of a natural talent (mere theory gets you nowhere since it doesn't communicate convincingly). Of course people with a nice appearance have it easier to socialize since they face smaller starting hurdles when interacting with others, this in turn gives them an adavantage in easily gaining/adapting new soft skills (however, the spectrum here covers the typical range of being a complete asshole to being a saintly socializer).

In school we were taught that primarily your hard skills (marks) decide how successful you are. But even before you leave school you will learn that reality is quite a different thing.
You brought a point which I have seen rather often working as a part timer in many different jobs - leadership has declined much to a state where softskills have dominated so much that hardskills are lost.

No matter how much a leader can speak and encourage a team about a task, technicalities are still technicalities. "You want to try doing it yourself?" and "Got a plan B if XXX happens to plan A?" has become a more common verbiage as I grow older facing clueless leadership who are great and charismatic talkers, but have no idea how things function down to the last detail, or have absolutely no interest in getting things done qualitatively - just benchmark, benchmark, benchmark.

And they still hawk customer service - sometimes working with such common-function leaders makes me feel glad that the consumer end is made up of largely lazy people or complete idiots who have no idea (or even bother to get one) that they are nothing but fund sources for my next paycheck.

It isn't just about improving the goddamn service, it is about improving the bloody product too - customer relations consist mainly of these two, with the other being beating the crap out of your competitors no-holds barred to make them look uglier.
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Old 2012-09-15, 21:09   Link #25
Urzu 7
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New England
Age: 31
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Originally Posted by Asuras View Post
Dunno about that. I've found BestBuy employees to be some of the most helpful and warm employees out there. Just to note, this is my experience (so maybe you all just don't know how to make nice with BestBuy ) I know for a fact that customers praise -and even mention- employees who are especially helpful.

To be honest, the only locations I've ever encountered a 'persistent salesman' is on the streets of India.
In fact, I've met plenty of people in BestBuy who recommended we go to another store for a better deal or to find something they themselves didn't have.
Okay, for starters, this is one thing that bothers a lot of Best Buy shoppers; something exemplified by Endless Soul's post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Endless Soul View Post
Slightly unrelated, but the last time I was in a Best Buy, I was literally approached by 11 different employees (I counted) in 10 minutes to see if I was "finding everything OK" and getting more annoyed each time I was asked. I left without buying anything.

Endless "You're bothering me, kid" Soul
A lot of Best Buy shoppers end up getting annoyed by the people that do the 'hawk customer service' as SaintessHeart calls it. It isn't just this, though. It is how Best Buy employees, when selling products and services, aren't about just getting down to what you want, but playing the role of a salesman and pestering you to consider preordering this or that, or getting this additional service or that additional service, or buying this bundle or that bundle, and so forth. All these things combined have led to more customer dissatisfaction with Best Buy, and this is leading to less success for the company. Best Buy officials who run the company think these ways are the ways to treat and interact with their customers, and they tell their employees to be like this and hammer it into them when they train them and they will penalize their employees if they don't engage in them, and the thing is it is just turning off many customers from wanting to shop at Best Buy stores.

Like I've said, I've read an article that talked about multiple things which are causing Best Buy to have less and less success and is making them struggle. The customer dissatisfaction due to the reasons discussed above, and probably even other reasons, is one of the things the article talked about. Again, it is only one factor out of many that is hurting Best Buy right now, and it isn't the biggest factor that is hurting them, but it is a factor.

It works against Best Buy, and when it happens with other businesses, people hate it with them as well. Employees at the video game retail store GameStop are made to really push deals, offers, and preorders on customers, and over the years, I've seen many people on video game message boards say how much they hate it, and say it is one of the reasons that they hate the company.
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Old 2012-09-16, 02:43   Link #26
relentlessflame
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 32
I guess I just want to say that I'm sort of sad that the OP has become so... callous and disillusioned with the world.

I think real "soft skills" are actually very important. If we're using the term as it should be used, we're talking about human traits like kindness, empathy, compassion, honesty, courtesy, consideration, respect, and so on. You're also talking about the communication skills needed to embody these traits, and be a personification of your company's goodwill towards their customers. People who don't have these sort of "soft skills" can really damage the company's image and the relationships with the very people who pay everyone's salary. There may be some cases where it's okay to have some employees who lack in these areas -- perhaps if they're many layers removed from customers and just doing a job where direct interaction isn't a key requirement -- but generally speaking this is a critical area that tends to be a weakness among people who are more technically-skilled.

Now, of course, all this implies that you work for a company that actually does legitimately care about their customers, and not an organization full of soulless drones who only care about exploiting people. And if you do work in the latter sort of company... I hope you can try to get out.

I guess the whole thing has to start with whether you actually legitimately believe in what you're selling. If you don't, and you're in some sort of sales position, then you'll spend your days living a lie, and that's just soul-numbing and horrible. If you do legitimately believe in the product, then it matters if the company you're working for also legitimately believes in the product and in genuinely serving the customers.

Now, of course, most companies have some sort of metrics to benchmark performance vs. objectives. Sometimes the metrics seem stupid, but they usually have some basis in something that matters. That doesn't mean people along the chain won't implement it poorly; sometimes that's just a reflection of poor expectations from above being passed down to them, and then onward down to you. If you do believe in the product, and you do believe that the company believes in the product and in serving the customer, then there is hope that these sorts of issues can be worked out.

Anyway, all that to say... if you're in a job where you really feel you have to manipulate people to get ahead, I'd say you're probably in the wrong job. I realize of course the job market is hard, and you may have to take what you can get for now... but I'd keep my eyes open for something better. I think life's too short to sell your soul in exchange for a meagre paycheque.
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