Retail selling tips

Set your expectations. Stop yourself and check your expectations before you clock in or even walk in the door. What's your focus on? Will customers be hostile, mean, penny-pinching or is it going to be a fun day to help you help people? One of the old sales pros used to say, "Garbage in, garbage out"so watch what you're listening to or watching before you get to work as it could trap you into a negative view of the world.

Look at what you're saying. It's a fact that we love talking about people. Gossip is more popular than ever, ranging from the craziest Internet stories to celebrities falling from grace. The danger is that it comes from a place where at the expense of someone else we feel better about ourselves. That's selling the opposite. As a result of coming into your shop, you should feel better about someone.

Don't make a judgment. I know, it's hard, but you can't judge a book by its cover or your customer's clothes. When we do that to try to decide who is worth our efforts when we can have the entire banquet, we are often wrong and settle for crumbs.

You hate to sell something. Find the ugliest thing you can find in your store. Determine to find five things you love about it using the "it has" feature to link to the customer benefit "so you." What you'll find is that once you give up your assumptions and personal bias, you can find several things to make a compelling case of why a customer should purchase an item.

Stop selling the easy thing. Sure, it's 30% off and has twenty years of free funding. But something like that is going to sell itself - you don't stretch yourself.

Be prepared to risk the sale. Things just don't go well sometimes. You are at odds with the customer and it just feels like you're not on the same page. Ask, "Excuse me, but have I done anything to offend you?" If you say it without sarcasm or malice, most will apologise and give you a reason that has nothing to do with you. But you're just frustrating yourself and the customer without getting that out of the way. You often make the bigger sale by addressing it head-on.

Make a friend, building relationships sounds so technical and de-personal and yet it's the heart of making a success of any human interaction. Finding something in common begins to build relationships with something not related to the merchandise before the customer. I call it opening a Contact Window that requires a salesperson to notice something physical like jewellery, clothing, and even the type of smartphone that a person has before them. The salesperson then comments with a question on that item and shares something related to itself based on what that customer responded to.

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