How to Greet a Customer & Avoid the Hell Zone
I've got something to talk to you about, which is how you greet people. Now, a lot of people don't know about the hell zone, and I'm here to tell you the secret.
Do you know where the hell zone is in your store? You sure? No idea? Think about it.
Where does your employee hate to be?
Where do your customers hate to be?
That's right. It's the first eight feet of your store. Some call this the decompression zone.
Customers don't want to go there because they know your employee's going to go up to them and say, Hi, can I help you? And then, they're going to say what? No, thank you and leave, and they'll never see them again.
Employees don't want to go there because they're going to ask, Hi, can I help you? to the customer, and they're going to say, No.
And they're going to retreat because they feel wounded, and they're going to go back to the castle of the counter where they'll never be seen again.
Here's a way to get past that. Find a prop. Now, a prop can be anything. In my case, I'm using my book, "The Retail Doctor's Guide To Growing Your Business." Shameless plug, but that's not the point.
If I was here in the store... And I can't move out of the frame here, but if a customer walked into me, into my store, I would just walk over. I'd say, "Good morning. Welcome to Bob's Gift Store. Feel free to look around, and I'll be right back."
Now, by me having this prop in my hand, it looks like I have a reason to go past them. So, it would kind of look like, "Good morning. Welcome to Bob's Gift Store. Feel free to look around, and I'll be right back." And I would continue walking past them, and the customer would be going this way. If you try this in your store today, you're going to hear the shopper say, "Thank you."
Now, why do they say thank you? Because they're acknowledged, you're moving on, there's something more important to do. They don't have to worry about you coming up and saying, Can I help you? and then having to decide, and it relaxes everybody. And then, you can stand over there, and you can notice what they're picking up, and then go back and have some more information.
A prop gives you the way to deal with that hell zone. You greet them at about a 45-degree angle, letting them move past. Now, some of you are saying, But what if they've got something? Well, if they have a real need, they'll stop you, and they'll say, Can you help me? I'm looking for... and that's great but a lot of times, particularly in a gift store, we want people to feel free to look around, not be bothered, and then about two minutes later, we come back and have further information.
This is just one of the many parts of the sale you'll discover in Bob's on-demand interactive retail sales training that is helping grow sales across the world.