There was a time in my life when I was looking for part-time work that I would actually enjoy. My search led me to a local video store. This particular video rental chain was hiring in my area so I decided to give it a shot. After acing the interview and passing the required test, I began my job as a sales representative at the store. This job was only a short term experience but it taught me a lot about sales and people.
While I’d worked in sales before, I’d never truly pushed myself to “drive the sales home”. This job paid commission. Unlike any other sales representative position I’d taken before, this led me to actually try to make sales. Often times, the trick to selling is the “up-sell”. I learned quickly that by attaching the words “more” or “only x-amount more” work rather well on customers. People always want more for less. By attaching more product for less money on their over-all bill, these customers typically jumped at the opportunity. The easiest sales are attached to other sales.
I’d never worked in such a professional environment before. While the idea of most customer service jobs is a polo shirt with a logo embroidered on the chest and khaki pants, this job called for a button-up and tie. I’d never so much as shaved for a job, let alone shine my shoes for one. The store wanted the best looking employees to represent them. I’d never really thought of it that way. I’d often just considered dress codes to be nothing more than annoying policies. Employers need their employees to look their best because that encourages the customers to continue their business with said store. If the employee looks their best, this will ultimately reflect on the company.
Despite my vast knowledge of film and television, customers rarely asked for my opinion. Instead of wanting help finding a good new film that they could enjoy, they often flocked to whatever was popular or known favorites. In the time I worked at the rental store, I rented out the same film to the same customer over twelve times. I’d often thought of video stores as way to expand my film knowledge while most seem to think of them as ways to watch favorites without purchasing them. Although I did give advice to some customers during my employment, I typically rented out the same films to the same customers over and over again.
Working in a video store is an experience I’d recommend to anyone looking for a job in the service industry. If you’re a film aficionado, this job may not be right for you. You’ll rarely get the chance to show your knowledge of movies and actors. However, if you wish to make some extra money via commission and enjoy typical store duties, this job is right for you.