William Smith of William Smith Counseling returned to the AmericasMart Education Center to present “Getting to ‘I’ll Take It.’” According to William, successful retailing comes from properly hiring and training staff to increase the amount of daily transactions while raising the total dollar-amount-per-transaction through up-selling. By accomplishing these goals, you’ll both increase your bottom line and have satisfied customers wanting to return to your store.
He suggests training your staff to recognize the two main personality types – thinkers and feelers – and know the approach to selling that appeals to each individual. Thinkers use their brain to make purchases and want to know the details, facts and features of a product to help them determine if they want to buy the item. Feelers are emotionally driven to purchase and often select items based on form over function. Being able to identify customers’ personality types will help your staff control the shopping experience.
William suggests these steps to better retailing:
- Properly greet each customer.Make sure that the customer is addressed as they enter the store and that a salesperson is always on the floor.
- Create a personal and emotional connection with them.
Most people buy from people they like. Therefore, it is important to engage each customer and make them feel comfortable.
- Discover their needs and get them to the proper merchandise.
Ask probing questions (Who, What, Where and Why), rather than questions that they can answer with a “yes” or “no.”
- Explain merchandise features and their corresponding benefits to the customer.
Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about the merchandise you sell and understands the features of those items.
- Carry unique merchandise.
Make certain you offer items that are unique to your store and aren’t readily available for purchase online. Carry a selection of items that will give your customers a reason to return, rather than buying online.
- Close the sale.
Be able to identify visual and verbal clues that indicate the customer is ready to close the sale. Then, suggest additional items that are related to what they are purchasing, why they are making the purchase, or for whom they are buying. For instance, if the customer is purchasing a birthday gift, ask them if they have other upcoming events that may require a gift.
Finally, William stresses the importance of thanking your customers with either a follow-up email or hand-written thank-you note to reinforce positive feelings about their shopping experience and make them more likely to return.