Archive for December, 2015

Two “Little Words”

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015


They Make a BIG Difference
Let these be the last two words a customer hears when leaving your store, buy or not!
Be grateful when people choose to spend time in your store. Time is valuable, and it is limited.


Seeking Missed Opportunities
One of the services that we provide at Success Dynamics is “Opportunity Shopping.” It’s similar to “Mystery Shopping” or “Secret Shopping,” but different. We are not shopping for honesty or cash register efficiency. We are looking for opportunities to have done a better job of selling to make more money and have more successful customers.
As I read and comment on these reports, I’m bothered when one or both of these little things didn’t happen. The opening (Greeting) and the closing (”Thank You”) are the most memorable parts of the customer experience.
A sincere greeting upon the customer’s arrival and a show of appreciation when leaving are easy to do, but too often neglected. There is no task, duty or chore that is more important than the customer in the store. Be sure that your customers know you agree with this.

“Befriend in the End”

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015


Not the Same Thing
When saying, “Befriend in the end,” after you see the money, I will oftentimes hear, “I like to be friendly all of the time, not only when they are buying.” I quickly reply, “And you should be.” After that, I explain the difference between “Befriending” and “Being Friendly.” The word “friendly” is an adjective describing how you should be. “Befriending” is a verb. Verbs are action words. Verbs make things happen.


Now and Forever
The purpose of “befriending” is to make “customers for now” become “customers for life.” Say, or do something that will cause your customers to return to your store and refer you to their friends, family and neighbors. Seek a common ground; gather the customer’s e-mail address and follow up. 


Do It Now
As your customer is heading out the door, compose and send a brief “Thank You” e-mail. No more than that. Something like, “Thank you for visiting our store today. If at any time in the future I can be of service to you in any way, let me know.”
Less is more. Avoid the temptation to start selling with this e-mail, you did that a few moments ago in the store. Now, keep all of your customers in mind and think of ways to contact them, perhaps to pass along an article about something you saw relating to their interest or industry. In one of these e-mails mention a sale you have coming up or something about a new product you are bringing in. Keep it informational. People are bombarded with e-mail these days trying to sell them this or that. Be different; be a friend.

What Else?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015


Easy as ABC
It was a hot day in Waikiki and I was thirsty. My thirst led to one of the most memorable stories of all told in RETAIL SELLING MADE EASY. I went into an ABC convenience store to buy a bottle of water. It’s something I had done hundreds, maybe even thousands of times since moving to Waikiki in 1981.  I selected my favorite brand of water and placed it on the counter.
The salesperson looked at me and asked, “Would you like some fresh fruit to go with your water?” I instinctively answered, “No, thank you,” but I immediately looked around to see the fresh fruit. I didn’t know ABC sold fresh fruit. The cashier observed my response, and waited quietly.


I spotted some bananas, and said, “Don’t ring it up yet. I want a banana.” She said, “They are all the same price. Pick the biggest one.”
I randomly selected a banana and put it next to my bottle of water. She looked at the banana, walked over to the fruit counter and returned with a different banana saying, “This one is bigger.” I bought both bananas.
The two bananas cost more than the bottle of water. She more than doubled the sale at the register; I enjoyed eating both bananas. Win/win.


This success happened for a few reasons.
1. Proactive - She did more than simply ring up the easy sale.
2. Patience - She studied my response and gave me the opportunity to go look at the fruit.
3. Considerate - She asked a good question, one that was tailored to my possible need.

Too many times in a situation like this we hear, “Will that be all?” or “Will there be anything else?” or nothing at all.
There’s no better time to sell than when the customer is buying. Why? Because the trust sale has been made. When you see the cash, check or credit card ask yourself three fast questions:

1. Who is my customer?
2. What is my customer already buying and why?
3. What else do I have that will fit in with this customer’s needs?

After that, say, “Oh by the way…” and make a suggestion that fits. The banana was perfect for the water, nuts or chips would be good with a soft drink. Get it?

“Winning Systems”

Friday, December 11th, 2015


Winners and Losers
People go to Las Vegas hoping to be a winner. The reality, most leave losing. The casino on the other hand always wins. It doesn’t win every hand, but it does win every day. That’s because they are following a system that’s designed to win.
In selling, unlike gambling, both the customer and the salesperson can be winners.


Systematic Silence
The two most difficult things to teach salespeople are to “Speak Up” and to “Shut Up” at the right times. Good salespeople become great salespeople when they learn the art and the timing of silence. The time to be silent is right after you have said something.


In Control
In Retail Selling Made Easy, I define selling as, “Giving the customer sufficient information to make an intelligent buying decision, whether that be yes or no.” The trick is knowing when the information is sufficient. To find out, offer one bit of factual information and then SHUT UP.
A person who is allergic to cotton may pick up a cotton t-shirt to see the price. But regardless of the price, if it’s cotton, he is not going to buy it. All he really needs to know at this point is what it’s made of. If, however it’s a gift, or he’s not allergic to cotton he needs to know more.
Customers looking at merchandise need information, but only enough to make an intelligent buying decision. Too many salespeople are guilty of either not giving enough information, or of information overload.  Customers will look close, touch, or pick up things that are appealing to them. When they do, they need information, but not too much.


“Your Move”
In the game of chess, the smart players anticipate the next move (or moves) they think their opponent is going to make, and then what they will do as a reaction to whatever move was made. When the customer looks at that t-shirt (or whatever) you simply state one FACT about it and be quiet. That was your first move. The silence says to the customer, “Okay, your move.” You can now anticipate one of five different moves the customer will make and pre-plan your five salesperson counter moves. The five Customer Moves and Salesperson Counter Moves are:

Customer Move #1;
The customer buys it. Nice!
Salesperson Counter Move;
Ring it up and ADD ON!

Customer Move #2;
The customer walks away from it.
Salesperson Counter Move;
Physically step back, remain silent yet mentally connected! Don’t turn and walk away. Wait for the customer to look at something else, and then step back in and offer another bit of FACTUAL (as compared to opinionated) information and then Shut Up!

Customer Move #3;
The customer asks you a question about it.
Salesperson Counter Move;
Answer the question and then Shut Up. Don’t give three answered to one question. Let the silence work for you.

Customer Move #4;
The customer keeps looking at it without saying anything.
Salesperson Counter Move;
Offer a statement of fact, like, “That shirt is 100% cotton.” If the customer continues to look at it, offer another statement of fact about the t-shirt. Say, “And it comes in small, medium and large.” Again wait three long seconds and if the customer is still looking at it, offer another bit of factual information and then wait silently again.
Continue to repeat this process as long as the customer is quietly looking at the product.

Customer Move #5;
The customer gives you an excuse to escape the store, like, “I need to think about it.”
Salesperson Counter Move;
Take the pressure off and then search for the truth; say, “That’s okay, but…”

Know your “Okay Buts” to any excuse. Some of the more popular customer escape excuses are:
“I need to think about it.”
Say, Okay, but perhaps it’s not the right one for you, what specifically MIGHT NOT be right? SHUT UP!
“I’ll be back.”
Say, “Okay, but do you think it’s the right one?” Be prepared to ask again what MIGHT NOT  be right or to say, “If it’s the right one, let’s do it now and you won’t have to come back.”

The excuses are endless, but your reactions are limited. Keep in mind that your goal is a satisfied customer, and the customer will have the merchandise longer than you will have the money. This is the part of selling that separates the pros from the amateurs.  The amateur hands the customer a business card and say’s, “Please come back.” Sadly the true reason for not buying was never discovered. Doping so requires getting outside of your comfort zone and taking customers outside of theirs, but in the customer’s best interest.

Is it Sincere?

Sunday, December 6th, 2015


Your First Impression
It’s crucial that all customers entering your store or business feel welcome. There’s no better way of doing that than with a warm, sincere and effective greeting at the door. Everyone has experienced a long distance, insincere greeting (or none at all) which accomplishes the opposite of what you want.
To be sure that your greeting is effective, it must be sincere. Without customers there is no business, so be certain that no task, duty or chore you are involved with seems more important than the customer. You only get one chance to make a first impression. In Retail Selling Made Easy, I list the 6 Keys to a Sincere and Effective Greeting. They are:

1. Eye Contact- Your eye contact should be “pupil-to-pupil.” The pupil of the eye is the window to the soul. People that cannot look you straight in the eye are seen as hiding something. Make a soul-to-soul connection.

2. Smile- Be sure that your smile is sincere, and not that “stretched lip,” insincere smile that strangers give to each other. Show some teeth.

3. Speak Up- Say something; Less is more here. A simple, “Aloha” in Hawaii or “Hello” anywhere is enough. Anything you add to one of those, like “Welcome to the store,”  changes it’s perception, and you become a salesperson rather than a greeter.

4. Shut Up- Silence is golden, and when you stop talking your silence gently pressures the customer to react to your simple greeting.

5. Observe- Pay close attention to how the customer responded to your “Hello.” A good rule to keep in mind is, “What you want to say next is not as important as how the customer responded to what you said last.” If the customer responds openly and friendly you have gained permission to continue. If the customer is cold, looks the other way or doesn’t say anything, he or she has said, “Not yet!”

6. Mirror- Mirroring means behaving as the customer does. If the customer “opens up” move on to the next step in Pro-Active, No-Pressure Selling; ask a good controlling question and start the flow of information. On the other hand, if the customer conveyed, “Not Yet” you must honor that. Simply stay quiet, physically back off and remain MENTALLY connected awaiting a body language change.

When you remember and use these 6 Keys you will get off on the right foot with every customer.