5 Ways How to Raise Your Retail Sales Associates' Conversion Rate
By Bob Phibbs
Brick and mortar retail stores face the daunting challenge of getting their retail associates to convert customers who are lookers into ones who are buyers.
Fortunately, the brick and mortar retailer has one significant advantage, the customers are actually standing in front of her or his employees and not just remotely connected via the Internet.
To make the most of this advantage, a retailer must use a variety of techniques in retail sales training to raise the conversion rate of their retail associates.
Here are 5 ways to raise your retail associates' conversion rate.
Facilitators, Not Just Greeters
Saying, “Hi” is good but being interested in a customer first before getting them to their desired destination in a minimum of time is great. Most customers have a buying agenda and will move on to another retailer if they do not perceive that your establishment cares about them. No amount of upselling can overcome a customer who is frustrated. So the soft skills of building rapport need to be taught and role-played regularly.
Demonstrators, Not Just Pointers
We’re all familiar with the stores that mandate that their employees bring a customer to the exact product that the customer is looking for. It’s a nice idea but usually poorly implemented. Mostly, at the end of the short trip, the employee (a pointer) merely wags his finger and says, “It’s right there. Have a nice day.” What a missed opportunity!
Instead, retail employees who should remove the product from the shelf, demonstrate it to the customer using features and benefits and, if appropriate, suggest more than one. It is a simple add-on selling technique but one that works wonders on your bottom line.
I'm told the experience at a Victoria Secret is awesome. That's because they put their focus on getting a customer to a fitting room, so they can show her everything that will fit perfectly. Putting your least trained employee to clean up and watch for shoplifters ignores the fact customers who use a dressing room are 70% more likely to buy. The best retailers station their best employees at the fitting rooms to build rapport and sell the merchandise at the fitting room.
Personable, Not Just Cashiers
In case it’s not obvious, the cashier is the final place where an employee will touch the customer. As such, they still have influence over the customer’s actions. The customer is generally relaxed and impulse items are easier to sell.
The idea that cashiers are only paid to take your customers’ money and say thank you is a big gap in your training. As your brand's last touch-point, your cashiers must be personable or they can actually take away value from your brand. In many stores, cashiers can be adding additional items to an order just by pointing them out.
Expect more and you will get more.
Sales Trainers, Not Just Managers
By the same token, a manager is not just a person who can fill a void left by a no-show employee. A retail manager must understand the retail sales training concepts mentioned above and create an atmosphere where these concepts come to life. Be sure that you have chosen the right sales trainer for your retail location, not just an inventory manager. A trainer is always connecting performance to measureable results i.e. your key performance indicators.
The majority of a brick and mortar store's customers are looking to buy. Do not waste the opportunity to transform your lookers into buyers by utilizing the above concepts.
Increasing your conversion rate by selling at the dressing room, always suggesting additional items and training your employees to deliver it all with a smile makes the difference between barely surviving and having a thriving business.
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