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By | Mark Ballard 24th March 2006 11:26

PC World de-commissions sales floor

Group hugs instead of arm-twisting

Sales staff at PC World are being encouraged to help customers rather than twist their arms into buying things they didn't visit the store to buy.

They have had their commission axed by their employer to encourage them to help customers instead of bemusing them with technical patter, piling their arms high with gadgets and shoving them off in the direction of the checkout.

PCW's 6,000 sales staff in 150 stores will still get a commission to be shared amongst their "One Team" sales squads, but it will be based in part on that most ephemeral of metrics, customer satisfaction.

They will be trained in the art of "interpersonal communications" - which presumably means listening rather than rhetoric, compassion rather than coercion.

Keith Jones, managing director, PC World Stores Group, painted a glorious picture of a World in which sales people put the needs of others before their own.

"One Team is building teams that pull together and win - and the ultimate winners are our customers," he said.

Reports of the announcement have said the computer retailer was forced to make the changes in order to head off competition from online retailers who, by their nature, don't deploy high-pressure salesmanship which will put off many potential customers.

However, the "One Team" staff commissions will also be based on another measure, "overall store performance", which usually means sales and profits.

The PC World statement failed to mention whether sales staff would be discouraged from persuading customers into buying their warranties, the profitable insurance policies that are the cause of many sour faces among consumer campaigners.®

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