Greeting Your Customer: Tagging Leads to Higher Retail Sales
By Bob Phibbs
Shoppers are time-pressing and running in and out of your store not necessarily knowing what they want.
The average shopper, out of all the stores they walk past in a mall, only go into three. So when customers come in, you need to greet them different from other stores.
That's because anytime someone walks in to your store– you have at least a one in three chance they’ll be buying something for themselves or a friend.
Most stores allow people to ask if they need any help so shoppers are immediately on the defensive or the employee yells a greeting at the customer from over the counter.
Or ignores them.
That's not how people open their wallets to you...
When I perform retail sales training, I show that once a salesperson spots a shopper looking at all your great stuff, grab a prop, walk up to them with a cheerful greeting and walk on after mentioning something specific.
The prop gives you the reason to walk on. To the shopper it just looks like you are stocking something. That’s a tag.
The shopper won’t even have time to get their guard up.
If you are a gift store, when you see someone milling about in front of a display, get over there with a prop and greet them with something like “Welcome to (name of your store,) take a look around and I'll be right back”. Then go on with your prop to something else.
Too often salespeople hover or attach themselves to someone right when they walk in. Like bad commissioned salespeople; its like grabbing the fly swatter as the fly comes in the window.
Shoppers feel smothered and will avoid asking you anything. Especially Amiable personality styles. They say “no” they are “just looking’.
You let them land and get a sense of what your shop is all about. You control that by the statements you make to them from the outset.
When you’re ready to approach them a second time, don’t ask if they’re “finding everything.” Instead, walk past them and make a statement about a specific piece of merchandise. An example would be, “That sweater has a hidden pocket so you can put your iPod in it” or “We have some more giftpacks over here with Belgium chocolate in them” or “If you have a gift list, we can ship anywhere in the US.” You're just adding a bit more information, without the customer having to ask or become spooked.
The key is to make statements, not ask questions. That way, no response is required. The customer can’t say “No.”
The key to a successful tag is to convincingly have a destination other than the customer. That’s where your prop comes in. The customer will feel more relaxed, feel you are not solely focused on them, and eventually be receptive to your suggestions.
That way you won’t be seen as pushy, just helpful. Then they’ll feel they can trust you – even though you tagged them.
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