"Hi, How are you today?"
You've heard it thousands of times shopping in the mall.
You've probably heard your employees asking it hundreds of times.
In the course of a day you may say it dozens of times to co-workers, employees, friends and family.
But those words are the quickest words to kill a retail sale. Probably any sale.
Here's why retail sales trainers...
When that question is asked, it trips a switch in the listener to reply with false feelings so they answer, "Fine, how are you?"
Rarely genuine, it masks how the person truly feels. It forces customers to be false or dismiss their desires and feelings.
This is fine as a coping mechanism in a dysfunctional family relationship, but in business, it's the worst thing you want them to do.
Retail sales training must emphasize building trust. Getting people to open up to their true wants, not settle for basic needs.
So when you force them to put a band-aid on their own feelings, it forces them to also push those desires down.
Don't get me wrong...
I wouldn't want them to answer honestly with something like, "I'm scared as shit that my entire way of life could be wiped away from some nut with a bomb" or "I have a son as crazy as a loon from too much crystal meth that no amount of rehab seems to fix."
Trust me, they don't want to go there and neither do you.
The simple way to avoid any of this?
Don't ask the placeholder question, "How are you today?"
Look, an average interaction with a customer only has maybe a handful of opportunities to build trust. You can't afford to have one of those not move the sale forward or trip that switch for them to be false.
So this week, today, now take this pledge, "I will not ask anyone 'How are you?'"
When you consciously avoid that question, you'll find you will be choosing what to say rather than parroting out what you always have.
You'll have control over your mind and more importantly....you'll have control over your ability to sell your products.
Try it and let me know your progress.
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Since 1994, Bob Phibbs has been known as the Retail Doctor. With a track record of improving sales, growing businesses and effectively marketing businesses to drive the bottom line, Phibbs is second to none at helping retailers compete. His new book from Wiley & Sons, The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Businesses dispenses some of his most important tools to improve sales for any business.