Retail Selling Tip: How To Engage A Customer

By Bob Phibbs

retail sales training tips salesperson how to engageIf you're looking to increase your sales, it will only come from mastering retail selling.

And that can be hard...

In the old days sales people knew how to be friendly because they were treated better in stores than they were on the street.

Nowadays with reality TV where everyone sees others belittled and the sitcoms where everyone is a wisecracking cynic, everyone is seeing the worst behavior modeled. Interacting with people has become harder and our sales associates have few positive role models to guide them.

As a result, the art of being friendly, of engaging a stranger has disappeared from most retail.

After a friendly greeting, it is up to the sales associate to look for something unique about the person standing in front of them. This second part of the sale is what I call the Windows of Contact.

You want to find something you like about them, compliment them and then find something in your experience to tell the customer about. Common windows of contact are jewelry, hairstyles, and clothing.

You begin by finding something you honestly like or notice about them – people will see through phoniness.

For example, a woman walks into your store with a “Soccer Mom” T-shirt and two small children in tow. The obvious window is soccer so you might say, Good afternoon, did they win today? Or Did you just come from a game? Bonus points if you asked the children something about the game.

Then it would be up to you to speak from your own experience about soccer.

Perhaps you played in school and could say, “I was goalie in college, I really loved it when we beat Ohio State” Or “I’ve got two kids myself that play in the soccer league at Greenville High school.” Or even “I never played soccer, my game was baseball. I was the MVP when I played at Hoover High school in '76.”

The second part of this is the most important because it lets you become memorable.

If you're not memorable, they won't return to you.

And my goal of a customer service is that when they leave they are willing to crawl naked over glass to repeat it. That's why they will drive past a bunch of your competitors -because they know someone at the store on a much deeper level.

Without that connection, you are a robot where people are asked what they want, they tell you, you fill out some forms and their products are either taken with them or delivered.

See also, Customer Service: Greeting Your Retail Customers

In Sum

Always remember we are in the people business, which means you must notice them and share something of yourself if you want to build loyalty. That loyalty pays off big when they talk to their friends about the nice people down at your store – something your competitors can’t even think about having their customers say!

This is based on just one of about 70 sales training lessons found in my interactive online retail sales training program Click below to take it for a test.

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