Today’s modern retailer understands the importance of resources and why coming up with creative programs to improve foot traffic is important for growth and to convert those leads into sales.
While a business will not grow without taking some risks, it is important to establish solid sales techniques that are proven. In the information below we will address four vital items of focus, multiple sales techniques, and insights from experts that will set you up for retail success.
First Impressions and Engaging with Customers
Here is a pop quiz question, how do you engage a new customer?
It’s possible you have heard that it only takes 1/10th of a second to make a first impression. At some point everybody experiences the pushy and uncomfortable salesperson. But there are also positive sales experiences that leave us feeling relaxed, assisted, and ready to spend money. What is the difference between these two sales experiences?
Here are a few simple tips that will help improve that first customer interaction.
First, always listen to your customer. While it is natural to take charge of a situation, this type of communication does nothing if you don’t first comprehend the actual problem. By listening first, and allowing the customer to fully explain their issue, you can better resolve the situation, and improve the customer experience
Making a Positive Impression
Years of research has indicated that a simple 5-minute conversation prior to any negotiation, starts the relationship off right. Case and point the best way for a waiter at a restaurant to increase their tips is openly welcoming their customer. The simple act of engaging in positive conversation starts any sales experience off on the right foot.
However, starting a conversation with negative content can be detrimental. Here is a simple tip, never begin a conversation about how horrible traffic is, that bad rainstorm, or other negative encounters. This creates a negative vibe instead of a positive one. Anytime you start a conversation with positive information, you will gain instant trust from your customer.
Staying away from the Negative
It’s common for customers to assume that a charming and charismatic salesperson is the best one. However, research indicates that there is no correlation between solid sales and an individual who is an extrovert. In fact, five different studies have concluded that those who fall between extroversion and introversion are the ones who generated the most sales. This is the happy medium that all sales associates should strive to achieve.
It is also critical to be cautious about the way you communicate with customers about your competition. Remember, beginning a conversation or introducing negativity into one is not a positive sales technique.
Speaking negatively about your competition is referred to Spontaneous Trait Transference. Social scientist indicate that recipients of negative feedback often associate similar traits and attributes as the person engaged in conversation.
Here is a tip, instead of talking down about a competitor, use the opportunity to compare your products or services in a positive light. By elevating your own valued proposition, you will naturally improve your opportunity for improved sales.
It is also important to consider the verbiage you use to answer all customer questions.
Using Body Language Effectively
Focusing on verbal communication might constitute 10% of conversation, but it seems that we focus most of our sales techniques to this medium. However, body language and other non-verbal forms of communication is just as important.
Positive body language is crucial in retail businesses that depends on positive customer interaction. So, what is the secret to effective body language? Let’s look at a few, non-verbal tips to consider anytime you are active in the sales process.
Being confidant is tough to do when you meet someone for the first time. Maintaining energy levels to close sales can also be a challenge. To combat both, increase your posture by standing tall or maintaining a “power pose.” By simply standing with your arms and legs stretched, you increase blood flow, elevate testosterone, and reduce the production of cortisol (which is a popular hormone related to stress levels.)
This tip is not only helpful for improving sales confidence, but research indicate that it is also effective in all inter-personal communication.
Appearing Open and Engaged
Across the globe a consensus is that crossing arms is considered defensive. Standing closed-off and with arms folded displays an uninterested and unwelcoming individual.
To appear completely engaged with any potential customer, simply do not cross your arms! This will help you maintain a positive and welcoming appearance.
Making a Connection
It is said that the most potent non-verbal skill is the power of touch. In fact, research indicates that a simple touch on the hand, shoulder, or arm, for less than a second establishes a bond between two people.
Typically, in the sales world physical touch begins with a handshake – a simple action that produces long-term, positive results.
It’s also interesting to note that people who shook hands are likely to remember that individual 200% better than a non-handshake experience.
Being Spoiled for Choice
Did you know that shoppers sometimes prefer simplicity over selection? In fact, it has recently been shown that customers preferred buying products from retailers that offered 6 variants or less, especially against retailers that offer more than 10 choices.
While this may seem contrary to what we may have been taught about proper merchandising techniques, sometimes less is more. Since our daily lives are filled with multiple decisions, sometimes having fewer options to consider is the easiest choice to make.
The “rule of three” is a powerful retail sales technique. Since most people can only process fewer than three bits of information simultaneously, simplifying the decision process entices them to buy. Instead of overwhelming the customer with too many choices, keep it simple and provide your customers with fewer choices that may be more tailored to their needs.
We hope the information above will provide you with the confidence to elevate your sales floor success. By following these scientifically proven sales techniques, you will improve your sales potential.