Most customers want to buy something. That’s why they’re in your store. What they don’t want is to be sold something—especially something they don’t need or can’t afford. This introductory video helps you understand why conversations are a better way to help the customer find what they really need, and to do so in a way that will leave them wanting to come back again and again.
- For some people, the thought of starting a conversation with a customer who's just walked into the store can be terrifying or at least awkward. Well, one way to make it easier is to think about the store not as a business but as your home and you're having an open house. So there'll be people you've never met before coming over and you want them to feel welcome. Well, how would you greet them? You'd probably say something like, hi, welcome to our home. My name's Sarah, what's yours? Or maybe if you met them right at the door, you'd say, hey, come on in. My name's Dave, make yourself at home.
Now, of course, instead of saying, welcome to our home, you'd say the name of your store but other than that, it'd sound about the same. So try out a few different versions of that until you find something you're comfortable with. So that's one technique. Another one is to do whatever you have to do to not sound like everyone else. You know, customers are naturally on guard against anything that sounds like sales talk. And you've only got a sentence or two to convince them that you're not one of those pushy sales people. So don't waste those first few words with stock phrases like welcome to the box store, how can I help you today? It just sounds too much like, what can I sell you today? Instead, try something unique.
In fact, don't even say the same thing every time. Try things like, hi, what brings you in today? Are you looking for a gift, or something for yourself? Hey, is this your first time here? And if you're working at a home improvement store, a crafts store, you might try, hey, what are you working on right now? I mean, they've obviously got some project going on or they wouldn't be there, right? So mix it up a bit. Have a set of phrases that work well for you and rotate through them. Okay, one last option. If the customer's already got a few things in their cart by the time you see them, try starting a conversation about what they already have.
You know, if you see a cart full of party hats and candles and a cake, ask, hey, whose birthday is it? And then, after you find out, you can follow it up with, do you need any napkins or wrapping paper? Or maybe, do you need any help finding presents for a 10-year-old boy? Give some of these a try and stick with the ones that feel right and work best for you.
- Why conversations matter
- Starting conversations with customers
- Getting customers to tell you what their goals are
- Telling the customer a story about the product they're looking at
- What to do when you don't have time for a conversation
- Continuing the conversation after the first no
- Talking to angry customers
- Upselling and cross-selling
- Telling customers when your product isn't the best solution for them
- Motivating yourself