Some time ago Emily Rookwood wrote Why so many CEOs get on their bikes (2014. Spear Magazine). The article was about the big change in cyclists. Today in an amateur race you can find entrepreneurs, CFOs, CEOs, doctors, etc. Even Damian Lewis rode a Passoni bike at Billionaire, a clear example of what a social symbol is in our societies.
Cycling is the new golf, a sport that improves business communication and networking, and executives ride expensive bikes and clothing, status symbols replacing the traditional ones. Even luxury watchmakers see how their customers wear Garmin or Suunto watches.
Sure Fashion Retail Safari I commented Sports and fashion from a sociological approach, giving a historical overview of the evolution of sports practice in our society and the way in which brands have adapted to it. Regarding social symbolism, Pierre Bourdieu (French sociologist) wrote the following comment:
"Class habitus defines the meaning given to sporting activity, the benefits that are expected from it ... In short, to the 'intrinsic' benefits (real or imaginary, that makes little difference) that one expects from sport for the body itself, we must add the social benefits, those which flow from any distinctive practice, which are very unequally perceived and appreciated by the different classes for which they are, of course, very unequally accessible ”(How can we being a sports lover, Bourdieu, 1978).
Bourdieu could not analyze in 1978 how globalization would change the sporting heritage and the evolution of the influence of multinationals. Despite this, sport still expresses socio-economic status. The proportion of obese individuals in industrialized countries is now inversely correlated with median household income (Bentley, RA, Ormerod, P. & Ruck, DJ Recent origin and evolution of the obesity-income correlation in the United States. Common Palgrave. 2018) and fashion is there to help people express their identity and lifestyle.
Cycling is a popular and accessible sport and over the last decade many niche players have changed the way cyclists wear in relation to its design but also in terms of their willingness to pay. Many niche brands are positioning themselves in the upper fashion segment pyramid, selling exclusive and fashionable clothing not only for the road but also for urban cycling. As in other fashion categories or brands, the more the customer looks for “fashionability” and “sale-realization” or social inclusion, the more the brands or sub-brands are elitist.
Bikes are the new toilet paper
In 2020, the world was hit by a new threat, the world first after WWII: Covid-19. During the lockdown, Spain banned outdoor exercise (the only country in Europe). When the lockdown ended, the cycling boom emerged, but not just in Spain, but in many countries in the northern and southern hemisphere.
“We're the new toilet paper and everyone wants a piece of it,” Grant Kaplan, director of Giant Sydney, a bicycle shop in Sydney's CBD, tells Guardian Australia.
Fitness junkies excluded from gyms, commuters fearful of public transportation, and families going mad inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic have created a bicycle sales boom not seen in decades ... bikes in the past two months saw their biggest peak in the United States. since the oil crisis of the 1970s, said Jay Townley, who analyzes trends in the cycling industry at Human Powered Solutions… In the United States, places like Walmart and Target have been cleaning bikes (2020. Markwatch).
COVID-19 causes 'bike explosion' as Germans yearn for ride says Deutsche Welle (DW)
Coronavirus: `` Your new bike will not be in stock until 2021 '' - The Cycle Search Frenzy (June 2020. BBC News)
Soaring bicycle sales among Americans wanting to get moving again. Bicycle stores are showing growth of 30% to 300%. Even unpopular colors like orange and turquoise are sold. (May 2020. Bloomberg)
during Coronavirus period, sales are booming in all customer segments, but depending on the business model, brands even suspend discounts during the sales period that begins. The sportswear fashion pyramid meets the same criteria of luxury fashion. There are many positioning levers ranging from functional attributes (eg elasticity, breathability) to intangible or ambitious attributes (elegance, status).
Not Normal Studios - Stories
Casual and sportswear categories and brands see sales increase due to Covid-19, while gyms and offices remain closed or people are afraid to step in. Are we living the suit and tie apocalypse? Gym enthusiasts are discovering outdoor exercise and investing in new materials or updating their wardrobes. This may not be just a consequence of Corona, but a trend that is accelerating depending on sustainability or the economy of experience, but also health.
Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?
You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can assure you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.
Check out the tips below, put them into action, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :
The most important part of réactive listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. tera become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.
Practicing réactive listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.
Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with réactive listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing réactive listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a short list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re working with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell trouble if you don’t pay attention.
Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this posture reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an excellent sign. If your customer has taken this sort of positionnement in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of. )
Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the expressions you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial expressions. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an super sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.
That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :
Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.
In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar forme, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make juste replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.
According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly looks relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.
Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.
When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several types of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. tera help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common variétés of customers in retail. Check it out below :
More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.
What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a digital administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts software buyers in touch with business software vendors ! When she’s not at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.