Trial Shift Objection Handle

What is this, a trial shift at Nandos?

I can hear that said in meeting rooms throughout the land following the shocking revelations that retail, mainly food serving, operations are getting in teens only to discard them within hours for their next “costless” worker on the false promise of an actual job.

There’s a long and chequered history surrounding the sales tactic often referred to as The Puppy Dog Close.

Under its more official-sounding label, The Evaluation Close, it can be a precision-landing arrow in your sales trick quiver.

Just as the pet shop owner of legend would insist the little child could take the puppy home for the weekend – safe in the knowledge that even the steeliest of parental hearts would likely melt before Monday came and so kept the pet – when deployed right an “Eval” gets you across the line. Far removed from the ancient favourite, ‘Sale or Return’.

Though getting the conditions right is not always a straightforward task.

One key I’ve found is that the level of prospect (evaluator) commitment must be at the appropriate level. Sadly this is not a commonplace occurrence. The resources you know need to be sanctioned to make your product sing and dance can be frustratingly absent.

Consider when someone requests such a pre-sale test. This century, try-before-you-buy has happily become offered more and more. So much so that for many a tech-related item or service it can be central plank of procurement.

Yet when what you sell hinges on actual physical real people on the ground, rolling their sleeves up, getting in amongst it, for possibly more than the odd hour or so, then our cost of sale rockets.

Just as evil buyers wanting speculative work up-front faced a backlash from the middle of the last decade (particularly from the rightly indignant #nospec movement, typically from designer-style creatives) in many cases the tech equivalent of a costless run-out cannot be provided.

I’m reminded of the classic negotiation stance I’ve stuck with over the years. (Admittedly learned the hard way). When facing the onslaught of aggressive demands for discount – with the only justification provided being it’ll smooth the signature – you’re always best sticking to your guns and defend to the hilt; “the price is the price”.

Listing all the subsequent ‘value’ justifications you’ve rehearsed.

So this week (mainly, but not exclusively) retail operations have rightly faced a media battering in England for the practice of Trial Shifts.

Millennial favourite, the super-successful S African grilled chicken chain Nando’s seems to bear the brunt of the flack.

Yet trial shifts can be an integral and useful recruitment tool.

The idea being you turn up for a short stint and get assessed on-the-job.

The problem comes – whether you’re being judged as a waitron, cook, or manager – when this becomes an unpaid trial.

Many hours of commitment by you yet the big corporate gets your efforts for free.

This Is Not Right.

So next time you’re up against an intransigent buyer – you’ve met the kind, knows the cost of everything but value of nothing – then now you can help begin to knockback their unfair demands;

What is this, a trial shift at Nandos?

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