3 Key Retail Selling Skills to Help Your Business Grow

Get good at these activities and you will be able to close more sales and drive more revenue no matter how the economy is doing.

Retail Sales Skill #1: Qualifying Quickly and Effectively

Have you ever completed a presentation and closed the sale only to find that you spent the last ten minutes demonstrating a product your customer was not interested in?  What a waste of time and effort!

There are many things in selling that may be out of your control, but understanding your customer’s needs is not one of them.  To understand your customer’s needs you must be able to ask lifestyle questions that help to discover their specific requirements, explore additional needs based on their lifestyle, and then narrow down their choices.  You will use open and closed questions to accomplish this.

QUICK TIP: If you are struggling to determine which product to recommend, tell your customer you have two models in mind but that the deference is a specific feature.  Then ask them which one they would prefer to hear about!

Retail Sales Skill #2: Motivating Customers to Build “Yes” Momentum

You likely have dozens of customers entering your store or department every day and you get into conversations with most of them.  If more than half of them do not buy, the problem may be one of motivation.

Through your qualifying conversation you should have learned about your customer’s lifestyle and how your product may fit into it.  So after presenting a feature of your product, make sure you mention the benefit – of how the feature will improve their lifestyle by making them look more fashionable, saving them time, or saving them money.

QUICK TIP: After you explain the benefit, confirm that the customer agrees with your point by asking a “tie-down” question like: “I am sure that you would agree that a better product saves money in the long term, don’t you?”

Retail Sales Skill #3: Don’t forget to Close the Sale – Twice

When you ask for the order It is not unusual to hear customers say things like “I want to think about it” or “Maybe I will come back later.”  Don’t fall into the habit of accepting this first “no,”  Usually it simply means they really do need to think about it…so ask them “What do you need to think about?” to handle the real objection.

QUICK TIP:  If you qualified your customer effectively AND presented a product that would meet their needs, a great technique for handling an objection is called the “Boomerang.”  Simply turn the objection around on the customer by saying “I understand…but didn’t you say that you wanted a product with ________ features and benefits?”

Bonus Retail Selling Skill: Approach Your Customer More Than Once

A study by a major national retailer found that when a customer was not greeted upon entering their stores the customer only made a purchase 32% of the time.  But if they were greeted the conversion rate went up to 53%. But it gets even better, because if a customer said “just looking” but was then re-approached after a few minutes, the success rate for closing a sale went up to over 70%!

QUICK TIP:  Greet your customer and build rapport by making small talk.  If your customer is wearing a sports jersey, talk about that team; if it is raining outside, talk about the weather; or if they have children with them, ask about their ages.  Casual chit-chat shows your customer that you are not threatening and that you care about them as people!

Would you like to learn more ways to improve your retail selling skills?  Contact us to inquire about our retail sales training seminarsand on-line retail courses

–          Retail Advocacy Groupoffers consulting services for retailers and also offers retail training solutions through its Retail Training Services subsidiary.   You can also learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingservices.com.