If you’re like most people–there are certain stores you dread going into. You might even have to mentally prepare yourself for before entering.
You know the ones I’m talking about–where the sales associate sprays fragrance in your face as a form of greeting. What about the places with associates magically appearing beside you to show you all the electronics you don’t care about?
You duck and weave your way through a gauntlet of sales associates like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, just to grab the one product you want and hightail it to the register. The worst part of this is many of the sales associates are told to hound their customers like this, when instead, there are much easier ways to implement suggestive selling techniques.
Store managers and associates think they’re engaging their customers, but they often do the exact opposite–drive people out of stores and produce fewer sales.
If you dread going to the store, chances are low that you will voluntarily return for anything other than necessities. You should leave feeling great about your in-store experience and the brand in general, instead of like you’ve survived an epic battle.
If there’s one lesson to be learned from retail assaults like the example above, it’s this: train your team on suggestive selling techniques. Specifically, train the sales team to approach the customer with selling statements.
Suggestive Selling Techniques That Work
Suggestive selling techniques will simultaneously ensure that the store associates avoid asking bothersome, empty filler questions that the customer simply tunes out and sets them apart as a selling expert. The rest of the customer experience will fall into a natural conversational rhythm from there.
Let’s walk into this store again, and see how suggestive selling changes the customer experience and makes it truly engaging:
1. Welcome Customers With a Hook & Focus on New Products
When you enter the store, you are allowed to decompress. More importantly, no one sprays you down with unwanted fragrances.
The associate approaches you with a simple, genuine welcome and invites you to start your store experience with the newest product launch.
You don’t need to answer an empty question like “What can I help you find today?” (which is just a dressed up closed-ended question) especially when you don’t have anything specific in mind.
Plus, now you know that something new just launched.
2. Connect Customers With Personalized Statements
The sales associate tells you that she will check on you, and she does. Even though there are several other customers in the store, she checks in with you as she has with each of them.
To you, she says, “I love that scarf; it reminds me of a new necklace we just got in!” Now, you’re intrigued by products in the store that work with accessories you already own.
3. Give Customers Product Knowledge Statements
You’ve been staring at a wall of lotions like you’re trying to decode an alien language. The sales associate approaches you again, this time saying: “That item you’re looking at is one of our best-sellers, and a personal favorite of mine.”
Perfect! The sales associate answered a question you had, and now you know that she will be the perfect person to ask about a gift you are trying to put together.
4. Suggest Complementary Items & Share the Best Features
The sales associate, who is now your guru, suggests multiple complementary items instead of asking “Is there anything else I can get you?”
She continues to engage you, saying, “We have a pair of earrings that would be perfect with that necklace; let me show you.” Or, “If you purchase this product, you’ll qualify for a bonus gift—perfect to have on hand for your next occasion!”
Instead of saying “No thanks, I’m just browsing” yet again, you ask questions and take her up on her suggestions. After all, they were exactly what you needed!
You’re grateful for her help, and pleased to have the “inside track” to new products and promotions.
5. Tell Customers About Exclusive Events, Promotions & News
At checkout, the cashier thanks you for your purchase, but he doesn’t stop there. He invites you to a special event the store will host this weekend.
You aren’t really their target audience for this event, but you know that your daughter and all of her friends would love to attend.
Instead of repeating empty words that you’ve heard hundreds of times, this store experience stands out from the crowd—new products, new services, new promotions, exclusive sneak-peeks—all of which were presented to you through easy conversations.
You walk away from this easy, hassle-free store experience knowing that you’ll be back soon!
And that is the power of suggestive selling.