It may sound peculiar, but I genuinely love the process of selling, when it is executed well and prioritises the customer’s needs. Unfortunately, there are countless examples of poor selling practices occurring every day, which not only frustrates customers but also puts undue pressure on team members who feel obligated to do it.
I advocate for a mindset shift among managers and team members, encouraging them to let go of the pressure to sell and instead view the process as an opportunity to inform customers about relevant options they may not be aware of. This change in perspective brings immense relief to many team members, and customers can sense the difference. Consequently, their guard comes down, facilitating the initial sale and potentially leading to additional purchases as well.
Here are a couple of techniques that work exceptionally well:
1. For impulse items, a powerful approach is to use the phrase, “Have you seen our special?” This simple question focuses solely on making the customer aware of the special offer without pressuring them to make a purchase. The beauty of this technique lies in its subtlety, and even if the customer declines the special, the worst response you’ll receive is often a polite “no thanks.”
This technique proves effective by minimising the amount of unnecessary information customers receive. Customers become annoyed when bombarded with unwanted details, making this approach ideal for avoiding that frustration. If the customer shows no interest, simply let it go and move on.
2. To successfully sell additional items on the floor , it all boils down to asking key questions and attentive listening. By understanding the customer’s needs, you can respond with tailored suggestions. For instance, if a customer mentions their morning runs, you could say, “You mentioned that you go running in the morning. We have a fantastic headlamp that could enhance your experience.” This approach is powerful on multiple levels, as it demonstrates that you have listened attentively and that your suggestion is a logical fit.
Many customers enter a store with the intention of purchasing a single item, believing it to be all they need. However, when a team member connects and listens intently, it opens up a world of opportunities that the customer had not considered. This type of add on selling, driven by genuine customer needs, often results in customers embracing the additional options presented to them. It’s a fantastic way to boost sales!
In both of these situations, active listening and a helpful demeanour are key. By truly understanding and catering to the customer’s requirements, you can provide a personalised experience that goes beyond mere transactions. Remember, selling done right is about enhancing the customer’s journey and meeting their needs, leading to a win-win scenario for both customers and the team.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.