Build the sale and the relationshipBY ARA Retail Institute
Throughout the selling process you need to take advantage of every opportunity to build the relationship with your customer. You are aiming to give them more than the competition to ensure that you stand out in the customer's eye. You want them to return to your store the next time they need to purchase the types of product or service that you sell.
It is important to be professional when you are showing off your products. Highlight features and benefits so that the customer can see why they should buy that product. Don’t forget the importance of multiple selling and remember that it is up to you to close the sale.
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Once you have a clear picture of exactly what it is that the customer needs, you are ready to demonstrate the product to your customer. This is your chance to put your great sales skills to work and to show the customer that you have actually listened to what they told you. When demonstrating product, it is important to remember not to show the customer too many products. Three products are generally considered a good guide.
When showing the product to your customer, you are aiming to highlight the features and sell the benefits relevant to the customer’s needs
Features and Benefits
- A feature is a fact about the product that you are demonstrating. It tells the customer what it is E.g. This T-shirt is 100% cotton
- A benefit tells the customer what it does for them. E.g. As cotton is a natural fibre it will be cool to wear in summer.
Your goal should be to sell more than one product to every customer. This is important to the success of your retail store in helping to reach sales target. It also shows the customer that you care for them.
When multiple selling you can either aim for:
- An add-on sale – An extra item or items that the customer purchases to go with the original product. E.g. A jacket to match with the pants they are buying.
- An up sell – A more expensive item than the original product. E.g. A larger, more expensive suitcase.
Closing the sale means asking for your customer to make a final buying decision. Sometimes this will be easy and at other times you will need to use strategies to help the customer to decide. The first things that you need to look for are buying signals. These are signs that indicate to you that the customer is ready to buy.
Buying signals could include:
- Positive body language, smile, nod, and making a positive comment
- Not letting go of the product
- What method of payment can I use?
- Can I exchange this item if I get it home and am not pleased with it?
Once you see these, it is time to close and it is up to you. A few strategies that you could use are:
- The assumptive close - When there has been no resistance to your recommendations from your customer, you can go directly for the close. This may simply involve walking the customer and the merchandise up to the register.
- The either/or close - This applies to customers who may just be waiting to be asked to buy, try asking “will that be cash or card?”
The ‘ask for It’ close - Many customers have a basic fear of initiating the close. Often, they are just waiting to be asked if they would like to buy.
About ARA Retail Institute
ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. For more information, please visit: www.retailinstitute.org.au
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARA Retail Institute
ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. The ARA Retail Institute is a Government Registered Training Organisation (RTO) making it fully qualified to offer retail education programs to ARA members and broader retail industry.