Retail Selling Skills Step Two: Greeting and Building Rapport

We have all heard the old saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  But do you know why it is repeated over and over again?  The short answer is that this saying has staying power because it is true!  And it applies to your retail store operations as much as anywhere. 

Enticing customers in your door is hard enough, but what happens if they are turned off by how they are greeted, or worse yet, by being ignored? It only takes a few seconds to make an impression, so why should a bad one make all that work and effort, down the drain.

Every day you have  customers entering your store and studies show that they form an impression – either good or bad – about your business in as little as 20 seconds.  Therefore, in our retail sales training courses one of the areas we focus on is implementing the “Stop and Drop in 15” Rule. 

This simple rule defines how your retail associates should act in those first few crucial seconds.  Let’s take a closer look:

Step One:  Take action within 15 feet or 15 seconds.  That is whenever you see a customer enter your store or department, complete steps two and three within 15 seconds.  The same goes whenever a customer comes within 15 feet of you while browsing.

Step Two:  Break the ice and let the customer know that you know they are in the store by STOPPING what you are doing, making eye contact, and giving them a big smile.  These simple acts will go a long way to making the customer fee at ease and help them be open to your approach.

Step Three:  Now that you proven your attentiveness and broken the ice with eye contact, DROP whatever you are working on and approach the customer by taking a few steps in their direction and giving them a friendly “Hi!”  Make sure to open you posture by giving them a casual wave as well.

By enacting the “Stop and Drop in 15” rule you will be well down the road to creating the positive first impression that is so important to getting your customers in a buying mood.

If you would like more information on retail sales training courses, contact Retail Training Services at