As a retail store owner or manager, one skill you need to develop is making a sale. After all, making sales is the goal of your retail business.
Without sales, your business would not prosper. Even when you have the best products at the most competitive prices, if you fail to convince the buyer to buy, your products will stay on the shelves - collecting dust.
The reality is that in many segments of retail, buyers often need an extra push before making their decisions. Even as a business owner, you must also be a great salesperson, as understanding sales closing strategies is essential to run a successful retail business. And the good news is that there are several proven techniques you can use to close a retail sale.
Let's go over eight techniques you can implement in your business to help you close a sale quickly.
1 - Create a welcoming environment
The appearance of your store helps determine whether or not a buyer will buy. It is very important that your customers feel welcome when they walk into your store, and your customers must have a positive emotional response to your store.
Some factors you can work on to improve the look of your store are:
Color scheme: Differences in shade of color can have a significant impact on the emotional response of shoppers to your store.
In general, darker shades tend to be more relaxing, while lighter shades are more energetic. You can use lighter shades like red to draw buyers' attention to a particular product, and use darker shades like blue in the background to create an immersive effect.
The music: If you don't play music in your store, you should start playing. Additionally, the type of music you play matters. Most customers would be in a hurry to leave your store if you play hard rock (unless you're a store that sells rock products). Playing the hottest songs from your store can work. Customers are more comfortable hearing sounds they know.
Perfumes: Your store should always smell good and welcoming. Use air fresheners regularly to give it a good smell.
Your goal is to provide your customers with the best possible experience. The more they feel at home in your store, the more likely they are to spend money.
2 - Engage the buyer
If you are not actively involve the client, you may be missing out on many sales opportunities. From the moment a buyer walks into your store, you need to start engaging. The sooner you start a conversation with the buyer, the faster you can close the sale.
By interacting with the customer, you show that you want to help them solve any need or problem they have at the moment. A good rule of thumb to follow is to wait around 10 to 15 seconds before committing. This gives them time to leave the noise of the outside world and focus on what they're in your store for: shopping.
3 - Respond to buyers' concerns
The best sellers are those who want to meet the needs of buyers and customers, and focus on adding value to your products, not just price.
Buyers can sense when you want to help them solve a problem and when you just want to make a sale. Look at these two statements: 1) “This costume will be perfect for your graduation ceremony next week” and 2) “This costume is on sale. You can get it for cheap. "
In the first statement, the seller tries to help the buyer meet a need. The second sentence shows a salesperson who just wants to sell a costume.
You are more likely to make a sale when you use the first strategy. Physical retail stores can hardly compete with big brands like Amazon on price. The only way to get a positive ROI from your business is to treat your store like a community.
Address the concerns of your buyers and customers. Show that you care about them, not just their pockets.
4 - Demonstrate value
The biggest barrier that often prevents you from making a sale is presenting a price without relating the value of the product to the buyer. If you don't get it right with your sales pitch, most buyers will complain about the price of your product. An important part of your marketing mix demonstrates the value of the product.
Before you start discussing the cost of the product, first focus on the value the buyer will receive from it. When you show customers the value the product can add to their lives, then you can stand up for the price you ask for.
Demonstrate the value before discussing the price.
5 - do not denigrate your competitors
It can be very easy for you to disparage your competition to improve the appearance of your store. But you shouldn't be doing this.
Due to a phenomenon known as spontaneous trait transfer, buyers may begin to associate these negative traits with you, thereby killing off sales opportunities. You might think that bashing your competition would make you look good in front of the customer; but, often the reverse is the case.
Instead of talking badly about your competition, talk about what makes your store or products great. Focus more on your Value proposition and what the customer will earn by buying from you.
6 - hire the right staff
As with all industries that deal with customers, in retail it is essential that you hire the right people and train them appropriately. The staff you hire play a key role in the success of your store.
If you hire the wrong staff or the poorly trained staff, you are going to put your brand at a disadvantage. It is better to invest your resources in one or two properly trained employees than in several employees for a lower price. While an associate trained in sales and retail management may cost you more, the rewards you reap will be greater.
If you already have employees who are not working efficiently, you should train them better. The cost of training your staff shouldn't be too high either.
7 - Suggest complementary products
Never end the sale too early. Once a customer has agreed to make a purchase, always recommend products that complement what the customer has purchased to make additional sales.
For example, when a customer purchases a shirt, instead of just closing the deal, you can recommend a tie that matches the shirt. The customer is already in the mood to shop, so if you show the customer the value they would get from the tie, they're more likely to buy it too.
This strategy is known as suggestive selling. One thing to note is that suggestive selling is not just about making more sales, but also about providing value to the buyer. If the product does not add value to the customer, do not suggest it.
Point: Always recommended complementary products that are cheaper than the customer's initial purchase. Your goal is to make them feel better as a whole shopping experience.
8 - The last resort
In some situations, the above strategies may not work and you will need to save the sale. In situations like this, you may need to resort to some old-fashioned selling techniques to close the deal.
Create a sense of urgency: The customer may be prompted to make a purchase when they learn that a certain product may be available for a limited time.
Give a gift: Customers love free items. You can get a customer off the fence to make a purchase by offering them a free item. To be effective, you must have a good knowledge of your merchandise.
Practice the hypothetical fence: A proactive sales associate working on a hypothetical closure might say something like, “I'm going to wrap this gift for your wife,” as a Valentine's Day shopper walks through an aisle filled with seasonal merchandise. Even when a buyer hasn't completely made a decision, you can encourage them to make a purchase with a hypothetical close.
Be selective and rely on these strategies as a last resort. When you force a buyer to make a purchase, they may leave your store feeling like you pushed them to make a purchase, which could be bad for your business in the medium to long term.
Even if it is not added to the list of strategies, your payment system plays a crucial role in future business transactions. You need to provide buyers with a variety of ways to make payments easily. If customers have difficulty paying for the goods, they may not return.
You shouldn't worry about just making a sale now, you should also be thinking about future sales. One of your business goals should be to improve your customers' loyalty to your brand. The only way to do this is to give them the best shopping experience possible.
About the writer: Marvelous Aham-adi is a freelance writer and content marketer. He teaches individuals how to start a profitable blog, improve productivity and build a brand using marketing TheZeroed.
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 marche, 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 active 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 active 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 active 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 bermuda 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 sérieux 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 dysfonctionnement 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 forme 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 super sign. If your customer has taken this sort of forme 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 termes 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 génial 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 posture, 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 exact 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 esprit state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly styles 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 hard 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. to 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 marketing administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts business 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.