The final quarter of the year is typically a fantastic time for small retailers to tap into consumer spending and end the year with a profit. Savvy retails know how to train their sales staff to maximize holiday sales.
As a retail management consultant, I often work with clients during fourth quarter to take advantage of spending growth. Here are five "MUST DOs" your on-the-floor sales staff should learn:
1) CONTACT: Make eye contact with every person who comes into your store. It sounds like a no-brainer...but how many times have YOU gone into a business and no one even acknowledges your presence. Even if you are busy with another customer, take just a second to make eye contact and say hello when someone walks in your front door.
2) COMPLIMENT: Say something NICE to the person coming in. "I love your jacket." "What a cute baby!" This simple statement can make your customer feel good about being around you and in your store. Be genuine. If your comment becomes routine your customer will know it.
3) COURTESY: Offer to do something nice for your customer. It only takes a moment. "Can I tuck your packages behind the counter?" "Would you like to leave your coat on this chair?" If you are a jewelry store..."Can I clean your beautiful rings? No Charge." Now I feel like I am going to be in your store for a bit, comfortably, and I can take time to browse and shop in a warm, inviting environment. As a retailer, you, at this point, have spent no money to make your customer feel special and appreciated.
4) CONVERSATION: Ask the customer how you might help them. Ask what brought them into your store. And this is a good time to point out any specials or new products you have in the store.
5) CLOSE: Close the deal. Sell something. Ask for the sale. You have heard it all. This is where your cash register will ring. Be sure to give your customer your full attention when you are taking their money. Let them know how much you appreciate their business. And now give them a reason to come back. "We have a new collection of those coming in next week." "Here is a coupon for a discount when you come back." "Take this sample with you and if you like it, pick some up next time you are here."
These things seem like they should be second nature to anyone working directly with customers in a retail store, but they all too often are not. Train your staff now for holiday shoppers and reap the rewards long into 2015.
Retail Management Consultant
Interactive Marketing & Communication