Sure-fire Strategy For Selling Retail


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Wondering how to sell better in your retail store? Begin by looking at your attitude toward selling...

  1. Do you think everyone who sells anything is like some carny at an amusement park?
  2. Do you think selling means you are pushy and aggressive and have to size up a customer as either a sucker or a tire-kicker?
  3. Do you think the salesperson needs the customer more than the customer needs the salesperson?

That the salesperson needs the customer more than the customer needs the salesperson?

Everyone hates that type of approach

You hear it when customers reference used-car salesman, say, "He could sell ice to Eskimos," or compare them to "Insurance salesmen, I don't trust the lot of 'em." But most salespeople are not like that, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman or Danny Devito's character in the 1987 film Tin Men.

Retail salespeople know it is a balance between talking and listening, presenting the product, and matching customers' wants. They know they have to build trust first, not after the sale.

How to use SW sales in retail

Remember the old American Express holiday radio commercials in the '80s? The couple was shopping in a busy store, trying to get attention, and finally held up their AMEX card to get service. That's not selling; that's opportunism. You treat the customer special because you know they will buy.

But not everyone you meet will want to buy from you today.

And not everyone you think is just looking truly is. That led me to the SW formula for retail salespeople: SW, SW, SW, N - Some Will, Some Won't, So What? Next!

Some will, some won't, so what? Next!

If retail is a game, SW sales are your sure-fire strategy

Being a salesperson is a lot like being a baseball pitcher. The more you pitch strikes, the more likely you duplicate them. The greats know the only way to improve is to practice how they approach the pitch. With sales, it is also a game. The more customers you meet, the better your skills and the more likely you are to close the sale on a regular basis.

But it starts with genuinely wanting to both meet people and move merchandise. Without both traits, you can have the nicest guy in the world who never gets around to moving the merchandise because they talk so much. This irritates owners and customers alike. And if he only looks at you with dollar signs in your eyes, you feel empty and used because they "sold" you something (you tell yourself) you didn't need.

The only way to build trust these days is to slow down and focus, silence your judgments, open your eyes, and see one individual in front of you. Not a prospect. Not a "guest." An individual. Only if we can afford the luxury of making a connection before we try to move the merch will we have any hope of making a sale.

Yes, you can find out at the register their daughter goes to the same school as you. But that's too late. Yes, you can share an amusing tale of putting together your kids' bicycles for their birthday while they sign the credit card slip. But that's too late.

Yes, you can follow up with a handwritten thank you note. But if you didn't establish trust initially with your attention to them, it rings hollow and is a waste.