“People buy from people they like”.
The challenge for all retailers in brick and mortar outlets is one word: conversion.
Showrooming is a real threat to retail. Give customers time to check that price on their smartphone – and they will – while walking out. Understaff or under-train your store advisors, let customers walk out, and they buy from your competitors. Ignore them at your peril.
The problem? Greeting a customer who is browsing, or getting into a conversation, is just like dating. Eye contact, engage, small talk, questions, positive body language. IT’S NOT EASY.
The paradox? A lot of retail staff are young, lacking in life skills, and, frankly, are useless at small talk and dating. How many of you reading this in your 30’s and 40’s identify with just how useless you were at talking to people when you were younger? Exactly!
The solution should be simple. Train, coach and inspire your staff to understand their role. Help them understand just how much each customer walk-out can hurt your business.
But this costs money. And time. And many lazy retailers just cut the corner, continually hiring to replace the 50% of their staff that leave every year, bemoaning the fact that the youth of today are just, well, useless.
They just need help.
Treat your retail staff like they are children. Teach them! Help them! You will reap the rewards.
1) In-your-face greetings that are forced or following the customer too aggressively.
Remember the Disney store in the 80’s? “WELCOME TO DISNEY! YOU HAVE A NICE DAY NOW!” Way, way too forced for the UK market – they had to adapt.
2) No greeting at all or ignoring customers until they talk to you.
By far the most common issue across the world. The challenge is that a ‘job’ is seen in the same way as a ‘task’. So, your young retail staff get stuck into tasks like replenishment and merchandising since these are easier. “Talk to customers? No way! What if she says no? She’s too pretty for me to talk too…” [see how I changed the sentence there – it’s the same parallel].
3) A throwaway greeting – which is easily brushed off.
“Can I help you?” Er………….no, I’m just looking”.
Some people think making this statement an open question by putting in “How can I help you?” is sufficient. It’s not. We instead just distort and delete the ‘how’ as the rest of the greeting is so automatic, bland and familiar. Leading to ANOTHER walk-out.
There is much more to this subject than using open questions.
Invest in amazing Retail Sales Skills Training that will last!
Teach your staff the basics of NLP, of human interaction and behaviour (dating advice!)
Give them a robust process they can follow that is easy to understand.
Build in advanced ‘greeting’ techniques such as “tagging”.
Educate your staff on the difference between task and customer focus.
Reward them for making targets, and for delighting customers in general.
Sit back as the performance of your store(s) rockets!
Contact Maplewave if you’d like to know how we have repeatedly done this for some of the world’s largest retailers, with tangible results that deliver bottom line profits.