I have worked many retail jobs in my time including a check out lady in my gap year. Then I went on to work in clothing stores throughout uni and guess what? I found a real element of fun in all of those positions. I’d connect with people over their strange vegetable choices (Coles stocks some real left of centre produce if you look carefully!) and discuss the best colour handbag for that season with others.
Connecting with customers is actually very simple and assisting them in making a purchase really isn’t that hard either. When you’re on a shop floor, people buy from you because they like you and you have made their shopping experience enjoyable – and that’s it!
There are books and books of sales tactics stating when you should approach someone to convince them to buy, asking open-ended questions rather than cutting them off, or giving them a certain number of suggestions to take to the change room. All are great pieces of advice but the execution is the most important part. The one true tactic I always find successful when connecting with customers are people being themselves . As a customer, you can see right through those who are not genuine!
Even more importantly for employers, encourage your staff members to be themselves too and trust them if they want to approach and connect with someone a little differently. They might surprise you!
Marketing is the art of getting people through the door in ways such as advertising, but the rest has to be up to whoever is on that floor. Talk to people and find genuine common interests and if you can’t, talking about the weather with them or asking how old their baby is, will make them appreciate your service ten times more, because you are showing that you care.
If you look at a retail or sales job as having the opportunity to meet some great people from all walks of life, then get excited to spend your day chatting, there’s a good chance you’ll not only sell more, but enjoy your day more too!
Gone are the days of being ‘Salesy’. No one likes to be sold to, but my goodness do they love to buy!