Although not everyone is born with the talent to sell, learning and understanding the most effective retail selling tips and techniques are just as effective in generating leads and closing deals. Here, we’ll go through a number of retail selling tips and techniques that you and your team can adopt to become a top one-percenter in this risky and overly competitive landscape.
1. Greet your customers
When it comes to retail selling, the importance of a good customer greeting can’t be overstated. This is largely due to the fact that your first impression is heavily reliant on this small gesture—it sets the tone for the entire shopping experience your customer will have. A warm greeting also shows that you value their visit, which increases the chances that they will make a purchase and do business with you again.
Breaking the ice with small talk is a great way to start a conversation with your customers. It can also help you form a more personal connection with them, ensuring a comfortable shopping experience as they walk through the store. Just one thing to keep in mind — make sure to avoid asking them questions that can only be answered with a yes or no, as this will simply lead to a dead-end greeting. Nurture a relationship with your customers by initiating a conversation that will progress with a response or follow-up question.
EdApp’s free elearning resource on Selling Strategies and Interacting with Customers will walk you and your team through some retail sales tips and techniques on properly greeting and welcoming your customers, ensuring a more effective sales play. Accessible via mobile devices, feel free to take and complete this anytime to your best availability.
2. Know your products well
Product knowledge is, without a doubt, a vital skill that every retail salesperson should master. It’s hard to persuade someone else to buy your product if you, yourself, don’t know what exactly you’re selling. After all, customers prefer talking to sales representatives who can answer all of their queries. They are more likely to acquire confidence in buying from you if you know how to confidently present your products and communicate their benefits to them. Knowing everything there is to know about your product will also help you carry a comfortable and wholesome conversation with your customers, making it easier to sell and seal deals with them.
3. Provide product testing
Product descriptions and sales talk can only do so much. Shoppers, especially the uncertain ones, would prefer to see your products outside of the box, or even better, try them out — this is where the product testing comes into the picture. Allowing them to see or taste the items themselves will help them further understand how the product works so you can address any related concerns they may have. This retail selling technique is also the best opportunity to showcase the unique selling points of your product, or how it makes a better option than your competitors.
4. Listen actively to your customers
Another retail selling tip and technique is to listen actively to your customers. Nothing is more off-putting in retail than immediately peppering your customers with endless recommendations without trying to listen first to their needs. Pay close attention to what your customers are saying so you can respond appropriately and deliver exactly what they want. This type of behavior will indicate that the salespeople are interested in hearing their viewpoints and are respectful of their feelings, which can make a huge difference in their buying decision.
Learn about the nuts and bolts of active listening with EdApp’s mini training on Active Listening. Here, expect to learn more about core principles of active listening in the selling process, ways to interpret non-verbal clues, and barriers that will keep you from building rapport with customers. The lessons come in bite-sized chunks, ensuring fun and easy yet higher-impact learning
5. Sell by asking questions
Leading with several lines of powerful and sensible questions will help you dig deeper into your customers’ core needs and understand their situation. This, in turn, will allow you to better formulate solutions based on the products you’re selling. Asking the right questions will also uncover more selling opportunities, such as additional products that you can offer to them, and smoke out any objections that may prevent you from closing sales with them.
This retail selling tip and technique, however, is far more difficult than it appears. If you want your customers to open up more, you need to craft questions that will generate answers with enough detail about their needs. You can increase sales by exploring consultative selling and different closing techniques. Plus, you need to be mindful of asking sensitive questions, as this may turn off your customers and cause them to avoid doing business with you in the future. It’s also critical that you don’t bombard them with questions after questions. Questioning with a goal of negotiation is also not advised. Sometimes, all it takes is to ask one good question to persuade a customer to share all the information you need.
6. Offer upselling
Upselling is the practice of recommending a more expensive version of a product that is similar or relevant to the original purchase. For example, you go to a store to purchase a $30 coat, but due to a huge quality difference, you wind up getting a $100 version of the item instead.
This retail selling technique can be quite risky as it tends to give a negative first impression, but if done right, it can dramatically improve the shopping experience of your customers. Think of it as a way to add more value to their purchase. If they did get a better deal from you, these shoppers will become your loyal customers who will keep returning to purchase more products from you.
EdApp has also put together a short sales training program on Upselling, which explores the basics of this retail sales technique and relevant factors leading to successful upselling opportunities. This course also contains a helpful guide on how you can overcome reluctance, which is common when providing customers with a higher-priced option than the one they were originally interested in.
7. Consider cross-selling
Cross-selling involves the idea of offering additional products or services that aren’t covered in their original purchase. Let’s say your customer bought a new mobile phone. You could also suggest that they get a new phone case or other phone accessories such as speakers or a wireless charger. Similar to upselling, this retail selling technique can also help you provide a better buying experience to your shoppers while also gaining as many benefits as you can from a single transaction. Just make sure that you know the right timing to cross-sell. Don’t try to offer your customers another product just to meet your sales target or increase your revenue. And if they’re on a strict budget, it’s best not to push them any further and let them stick with their original purchase.
8. Leverage storytelling
When it comes to retail selling, you can’t influence a customer into trying your product by simply presenting facts and descriptions, which anyone can look up on the internet. You’ll need a more effective strategy that will get past their mind and further appeal to their heart, like storytelling. It’s human nature to respond better to stories, so why not take advantage of this technique to pique the interest of your customers and influence them to try your products? Not only will it help them easily remember your products, but storytelling will also set you apart from the competitors.
There are different ways to provide your customers with an inside look into your products. You can share your own experience using those items, or how they brought value to your other customers. You can also take advantage of displays and signages to give your customers a deeper look into your products. For instance, you can present the origin of your brand or provide your customers with fun did-you-know facts. When they ask for more information, you can then go into a full narrative mode.
9. Practice value-based selling
While most customers base their purchasing decisions on the price tag, the value they can get from the product is the one factor that will encourage them to keep coming back. This is the primary reason why value-based selling is so successful in retail. Through this retail selling technique, you can convince your customers to buy your product based on the long-term benefits it provides, even if its price goes a little above their assumed budget. If done successfully, it will give shoppers the impression that you are concerned about their needs and requirements, and not just because you need to meet a sales quota. This will turn your one-time buyers into loyal customers and help you achieve a more steady stream of profit.
10. Hone your selling skills through training
Last but not least, get on top of your retail sales by investing in sales coaching classes and regular retail sales training and workshops! These programs will not only provide you with retail selling tips and strategies, but they will also help you determine which sales approaches are best suited to your industry and which are not. A steady regiment of sales training will also keep your skills and knowledge at a high caliber, ensuring a level of performance that will allow you to produce consistent sales results.
Check out EdApp’s list of retail training courses to find a range of relevant training that will help you improve your retail selling skills, create a positive experience for your shoppers, and foster a healthier buyer-seller relationship. Most of the courses listed can be taken online. There’s no need to sacrifice your valuable time to attend face-to-face training sessions. All you need is a laptop, tablet, or mobile device to get started.