Increasing Retail Sales

I am always amazed at how many retailers are missing out on an obvious factor that will increase their sales by 15% a day.

What it is?

Okay, when you enter the shop the sales assistant says: 'Can I help you?'

You reply: 'Just looking thank you.'

That's the expected response, so they leave you alone. You may buy and you may not - probably just walk out after browsing.

Why does (almost) every sales assistant say the same thing? Certainly it makes their job easier and they can go back to preparing a product display - intended to attract customers in.

Far better to welcome a customer with: 'Have you been here before?'

This will elicit the reply of either: No, or, Yes.

Whatever the reply the sales assistant can now continue dialogue - now opened - with either of the following:

1. No? - Then you will be interested to know that we have a very special offer to welcome first-time customers.

2. Yes? - Then you will be interested to know that we have a very special offer for returning customers.

Now clearly there do have to be genuine offers in place. That is not hard to do.

Our own research with existing clients has shown to improve daily sales by 15%. Not hard when on average most customers are browsing, not buying, particularly at this time of year. They are looking for gifts - they are undecided - they need support and guidance. They don't want: Can I help you - which to their mind equals: 'Can I sell you something.'

Customers like to buy. They don't like to be sold. They like to be valued - therefore they like consideration in dialogue. Customers like that.

Yet rarely do you hear any other welcome than: Can I help you? And then you leave. If that is the case why have a retail outlet?

Welcoming enquiries that invite dialogue that values a customer is what business is about. If your retail outlets do the minimum - then you and your customer are both losing out. If you do not have retail outlets, then consider how you can adapt the idea appropriately for your business.

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