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How to maximize sales and referrals from everyone who visits your store

by Jim Connolly

In their eagerness to generate sales, many retailers make a mistake, which actually loses them money and turns prospective customers away. In this article, I’m going to help you avoid making the same error. I’m also going to show you how to get it right and get the maximum from everyone who visits your store.

How can I help you?

It happens all the time: You have just walked into a store and before you have had a chance to do anything, an over eager person confronts you and asks you “how can I help you?” Your initial thought is that the best way they could help, is to get out of your face.

Here’s the thing: Unless the customer is in an real hurry, confronting them the moment they walk into your store asking how you can help, is a really bad move. Here’s why.

People like to make purchases THEIR way

The most successful retailers know that a store’s atmosphere is a key reason why people buy from you and keep coming back. Even if you have the right product, at the right price, you stand a good chance of losing the sale if you confront the potential customer before they are ready.

Yes, make eye contact immediately and smile. Just make sure you give them a chance to start looking around for themselves… before you ask how you can be of service to them.

People often go to the store for 1 item and buy 5

How many times have you gone to the store for something specific, only to find you have bought a number of additional things? You didn’t head for the store looking for those additional purchases… you bought them as you walked around the store looking at the products on offer.

By confronting a customer the moment they arrive at your store asking how you can help, the customer will tell you what they are looking for. You then show them where it is and in many cases, they will pay for it and leave.

By pressing them to tell you want they came to the store for, that’s all they focus on. You can lose a fortune in additional sales like that!

Relationships matter

One of the reasons we use and recommend certain stores, is the relationship we have with the people there. Polite, friendly and helpful store staff, make visiting a store an enjoyable experience. As we get to know and trust the people there, we buy with confidence and tell our friends how great the store is. 

By asking customers how you can help them, the moment they arrive, the subtext is that you are rushing them. That you want them to quickly make their purchase and leave. This creates the wrong atmosphere for building great relationships with customers.

Getting the balance right is simple

It’s extremely easy to get the balance right, between ensuring the customer knows you’re happy to help and making them feel like you’re rushing them to make a purchase.

It starts with timing: As I mentioned earlier, greet them with a smile immediately, but give them time to get into the store and have a look around. Keep an eye on them and if they look puzzled, seem unable to find something or have been looking around for too long, walk over with a smile, before asking if there’s anything you can help them with. 

That approach is friendly, professional and massively more likely to ensure you get the maximum sale income from each customer. It also creates a less pressurized environment for customers, which improves the way they will feel about using your store and recommending your store to their friends. Bonus: It also gives them space to see what stock lines you carry, so they know where to come the next time they need those items!

In summary

The key point here, is that whilst it may be tempting to ask potential customers how you can help them the moment they enter the store, in the vast majority of cases, it’s a bad idea.

I hope you found this advice useful. If you did, be sure to check out all the other free retail marketing resources we have available for you, here on the CTS Wholesale website.

To find out how CTS Wholesale can help your retail business, simply click here.