Your Retail Success

When was the last time you had an all-staff sales training session?

Your Retail Success

by Rick Kroetsch

Chances are the answer to that question is probably never. Many companies feel sales is a distinct department without realizing that it impacts every area of the business and every person in the business. All team members in your company assist in sales, no matter their job title.

Sales is all about helping people make decisions

It’s as simple as that. For those staff members who say, “Sales isn’t for me” or “I don’t like to sell,” get them in the mindset that they are there to help customers. Your customers don’t care what an employee’s job function is—they just want to have help and direction when they need it, delivered by someone who truly cares.

Start at the basics

Let the team know that you aren’t expecting everyone to be a professional salesperson, but that everyone should be there to help customers. It starts with just acknowledging people when you come near them in the store and being friendly. There you go—you’re already 75 percent of the way to increased sales success!!

It’s amazing and frustrating how often you can go into a business and get ignored by staff walking or working right by you. How does that make you feel? You may not need help yet, but you would just like a friendly acknowledgement and greeting.

Get your team to understand that, no matter what their role is, they should greet and be friendly with everyone coming into the store. It creates a special atmosphere for customers, who will know that they are appreciated by people wanting to help them.

The next step is also easy

Once everyone gets used to being personable and friendly to all customers, the next step is to ask how you can assist them. By default, many people will answer, “No thanks, just looking.” Usually that isn’t true—they may want help but don’t want to be hassled, so this comeback pops out of their mouths by habit.

Instead of walking away after responding, “Okay”, how about saying the following? “That’s great—there is a lot to look at here. We’re happy you came in, and we want you to have a wonderful experience. Feel free to ask any team member in the store if you need anything as you’re looking around. We’re all here to help you at any time.”

The customer just got a positive reply and the knowledge that everyone is here for them. They likely won’t feel threatened or afraid to approach a team member later if they need anything, because they now know every employee is here to help.

It doesn’t come naturally

Not everyone is comfortable selling. Some people get nervous, don’t want to approach customers, or are afraid of rejection. For others, selling just doesn’t fit their personality. Have everyone start with being approachable and friendly, and watch your customers reciprocate. Consumers buy from people and companies they like, so if everyone in the company is making customers feel important and enhancing the shopping experience, they will keep coming back.

Rick Kroetsch is the vice-president and associate publisher of Alive Publishing Group.