Dec 162011

Top tips on how to help the customer to make a purchase

The chances are that over 90% of the people who come into your store are looking to buy something so why not help them? Yes, the occasional visitor will just be sheltering from the rain or waiting for a bus to arrive but the majority will have a reason – however small – to be looking around your store.

Helping the customer to buy in the first place is the key hurdle to get over and the best way to do this is through the use of scripts for your sales team.  How many times have you been in a shop and the salesperson has come up to you and said “Can I help you?” and you’ve automatically replied “No thanks, I’m just looking”.  Even if you are looking for something that tends to be the automatic response to the closed question. End of conversation; opportunity to help them buy lost.

Train up the team to use open questions and questions that lead towards a conversation.  The longer the initial conversation takes place, the more likely it is that a purchase will be made because a degree of rapport will have been built up.

A great way to do this is to greet the visitor and then ask a simple question like “have you shopped here with us before?”.  Now, although this is a closed question it offers the opportunity to continue the conversation regardless of the answer.  If the answer is no then the assistant can explain the store layout, any special offers and end up with an open question such as “what were you planning on buying today?”.  If the answer is yes then the assistant can explain any recent changes to the store layout, any special offers and again, ask the open question to finish.

If the customer is still playing hard to get and insists on continuing to browse then the assistant should leave them alone but before departing get their permission to come back later to see if they can help – “Well, I’ll leave you to keep looking around but is it ok if I come back a little later to see if you’re ok?”.  This is another closed question but this time used to our advantage; unless someone is being very rude they are unlikely to say no and it gives the assistant permission to return in a few minutes to continue building rapport and lead towards the sale.

Simple ideas but they work and they will make a big difference to your conversion rate.