Basics of retail selling

by Roy Prevost

Becoming a master retail salesperson requires a personalized approach to each customer in order to become a GREAT salesperson.

Here are 4 tips that will have customers wanting to buy from you personally:

1. Mirror the customer's energy level. When you are with customers, you gauge the energy level of customers and determine whether they have high energy or are low key. You ramp it up or down if needed based on the customer’s interactive style. Within minutes you could be at the almost same energy level as the customer, always remaining just a bit more energetic. You don’t just adapt how you speak to the customer but you adjust the speed you walk with them.

2. You always get - and use - the customer's name. This is one of those things we know will make us better salespeople but we simply don't feel comfortable doing it. Or maybe we've convinced ourselves that people don't like it so we don't do it. The reason most people don't like salespeople using their name is because it seems forced. This happens because salespeople are using a customer's name just for the sake of using his/her name. Simply, set the intention to create a relationship with each customer and if you're going to have a relationship you should at least know the other person's name.

3. Personalize the pace of the experience you deliver to the customer's own pace of shopping. It's always easy to see when a customer is in a hurry, but each and every customer wants to shop at his/her own pace. Some customers are slow and deliberate while others want to move the process along quickly. Don't confuse a customer's energy level with pace. To judge a customer's pace you should observe how he/she is moving between products and how focused he/she is. Customers who like a quick pace are often misjudged as in a hurry or "cranky," while customers who are slower and more deliberate are mistakenly labeled as browsers and non-buyers. The more you are aligned with your customer's desired pace the more likely you are to complete a sale.

4. Last but not least, always assume and ask for the sale. Spend your time working with buyers while the rest of the sales people wait on customers. The difference lies within our own thoughts and attitudes.

So try this out on your customers this week. Adapting to your customers might just get you adapting to higher sales.

Roy Prevost is a customer service activist, a futurist and a bestselling author who forecasts trends in distribution and retail. He has guest lectured at Simon Fraser University on the ‘future consumer’ and he is unique in North America in the area of preparing independent retailers for the new economy.

Roy will be a speaker at the Spring 2017 Alberta Gift Fair.