Retail Sales Training: The 5 Words That Kill Your Sale

Two sales clerks waving hello

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"Hi, How are you today?"

You've heard it thousands of times when 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.

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.

Asking "How are you?" forces customers to be false

This is fine as a coping mechanism in a dysfunctional family relationship, but it's the worst thing you want them to do in business.

Retail sales training must emphasize building trust. Getting people to open up to their true wants, desires, and feelings, not settling for basic needs. So, when you force them to put a band-aid on their feelings, it also forces them to push those desires down.

Don't get me wrong...

I wouldn't want them to answer honestly with something like, "I'm scared 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."

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 customer interaction only has 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?'"

No exceptions.

When you consciously avoid that question, you'll choose what to say rather than parroting out what you always have.

You'll have control over your mind and, more importantly, your ability to sell your products.

And to find out how to greet your customer, view my lesson here. Try it and let me know your progress.