One of my favourite past times is to go to retail shops and see how the staff performs on sales and customer service. What I find is truly amazing; most retailers and their staff don’t seem to care enough about their customers. In my experience from the last twenty years working in this sector, I have found that if you approach a customer first, you will increase your sales turnover immediately.

A simple greeting such as ‘Hello, how are you?’ or ‘Good morning/ afternoon/ evening, welcome to Shop X, if I can be of any assistance, please let me know.’ Combine this with a nice smile, and it will work wonders Here are some tips that will help you increase on your sales in a retail environment.

Be Polite

When a customer comes into the door greet them with your biggest and most charming smile. Asking your customer: ‘How may I help you?’ will go a long way as opposed to asking ‘Are you ok?’ ‘You alright?’ I’ve even heard ‘What do you want?’ in my time! By approaching your customer this way will make them feel valued and important. They know that you’re there and looking after them if needs be.

Your Job Is To Sell, But Don’t Be Overbearing

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If your customer says that they are just browsing, you can turn this around. Leave them be, but gently tell them that should they require any help, you are happy to do so.

Then keep an eye on them. If they show interest in anything you may have an opportunity to restart the conversation.

Alternatively you can begin a conversation and tell them the benefits of an item they have just picked up.

Bear in mind that they have already said that they don’t want your help right now, so keep it short.

Green Light? Go Go Go!

Upon asking if a customer needs help and they say that they do, this is your moment to shine! Don’t overload them with information. Ask them what they require or would like to achieve with the product they are looking to buy. While this may be apparent depending on the product, you still need to establish the customer’s needs.

This is one of the most important aspects of the sales process. What the customer wants in that moment is not necessarily what the customer needs. Establishing their need may result in the customer buying a completely different but more suitable product from you. I’m not saying to discourage the customer from buying a product, however you do not want the customer to have a bad experience. Establishing the real need of the customer will eliminate that possibility.

Retail Success

Once you have that done you may see other opportunities to sell additional items to your customer. Looking to up-sell or cross-sell items should be on the agenda for everyone working in retail.

With every purchase a customer does you have the opportunity to sell more. Don’t wait for a customer to ask for additional items.

Make it a habit to sell additional products or services. Know your product, then you can up-sell anything that fits to the product. Show the customer where they could save money by offering different services such as extended warranty or delivery service.

Provide them with the opportunity to buy additional items at a lower price than usual. For example, if you sell a television, offer a discount on a wall mount, or TV stand. The success of up and cross selling relies on your pitch and if you have established your customers need correctly.

When you have agreement of a sale, and before the customer has paid, make it a habit to cross-sell. Think of it as information based sale of what else you do, new products or services that you offer and you simply want to tell the customer about it. The objective is not to get the sale in straight away, but to inform your customers of any promotions, other products and news in your business to bring them back in after. For example:

“Did you know that we have currently a promotion on smart-phones running until the end of next month. If you would like to learn more about it, feel free to come back and ask us about this.”

On rare occasions a customer might take you up on it straight away, you want them to remember the good experience they had with you, and they will be back. Ensuring that the customer has a good retail experience with you will build a relationship of loyalty between you both. This will move them from being a one off consumer, to a regular customer in your business, and regular customers are the most valuable commodities in business.

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