Selling is the lifeblood of retail, especially local small business retail.
It takes skill, stamina and creativity yet it is often treated as one of the lowest roles in an organization. Smart retailers help their sales staff improve their skills to better serve the business and its customers.
Some salespeople are naturals while others work hard to learn the skills. Everyone, no matter how experienced can improve. Take a moment to consider these five steps to better selling.
- Be in the moment. Focus on the customer in front of you, listen and respond to their needs. Genuinely care, don’t just act like you care. The personal connection they feel from and with you is more likely to bring them back into the store than almost anything else including product and price. If you are not comfortable with developing such a personal connection then maybe retail is not for you.
- Understand what you sell. Knowledge is king, even more so in retail. By knowing everything there is to know about the products you sell you make yourself more valuable to the business and to its customers. Good employees spend personal time learning about the products and how they are of value to their customers.
- Enjoy yourself. Smiles and laughter are infectious. If you are happy your customers are more likely to be happy. Happy customers are more relaxed about spending money. But don’t fake it as fakes can be spotted. Know what makes you happy about your job and embrace this. Never be afraid to bring i bit of your personal self to the shop floor or the sales counter.
- Know when to be quiet. Some shoppers like to be told what to buy but most prefer to make their own choices. It is important to spot the difference and know when to leave a shopper to make their own decision. Provide the information important to the decision but leave them space to make the decision for themselves.
- Selling is a service. Too often, especially in busy retail environments, selling is seen as production line work. If this is how it is treated then the experience will be less personal and memorable for the shopper. If you treat it as a service and understand that service does matter, you focus on the service as the point of difference. This change in mindset alone can lead to considerable change in a retail business.
So how to these steps increase retail sales? It all comes down to the service delivered being better than elsewhere: more personal, friendlier, more knowledgeable and genuine. Combined, these attributes make for a unique shopping experience in today’s cookie-cutter obsessed retail world.
Retail employees who see retail as a career will do well for their businesses and for their careers by embracing these steps.