You’ve probably heard it said of someone, “They could sell snow to an Eskimo,” or something similar to that. But how did they get that way? Is the ability to excel at retail selling an instinctive talent that you have to be born with and can’t be learned?

Retail Skills - 5 Ways To Drive Higher Sales


You’ve probably heard it said of someone, “They could sell snow to an Eskimo,” or something similar to that. But how did they get that way? Is the ability to excel at retail selling an instinctive talent that you have to be born with and can’t be learned? Not at all.

Almost anyone can learn to be a great retail seller, it just takes some hard work and the learning of a few skills here and there. Below we will share some easy to apply skills to drive your retail sales and upgrade your selling skills.

  1. Suggestive selling.

Suggestive selling is a technique used in sales to convince customers to add additional items to their purchase. This gives the client the opportunity to think and explore the shop further to find out if there is anything else they need. Paired with quality customer service, suggestive selling can influence customers to purchase items that they did not intend on buying when they first walked through your doors.

In most cases, the product that they pick is smaller and cheaper than their original intended purchase. The central ideology behind suggestive selling is that the customers already have the intention to buy something, so getting them to buy something smaller is not too much of a big step, you just have to nudge them in the right way. But beware, it’s important to note that there’s a thin line between suggestive selling and irritating or forcing your customers. If your customers feel pressured, they will either avoid the store altogether or come less frequently. You need to ensure that your patrons leave your business feeling happy and excited to return to your store.

So, it’s important to train your support staff on proper suggestive selling techniques.

  1. Sell people on value.

The “selling snow to an Eskimo” comment may be intended as a compliment of someone’s selling ability, but in truth, it highlights what a salesperson shouldn’t do. It inherently makes a salesperson sound dishonest. It really says that the best salespeople are just slick fast-talkers who can make people buy even what they don’t need. This is why so many people are afraid to even say they are salespeople.

Selling products or services that aren’t genuinely useful, enjoyable, or in some other way beneficial to a particular customer may help a retail salesperson’s short-term sales, but in the long run, you can’t be a great salesperson if you don’t consistently provide value to your customers.

You’ll be a sham, and customers will pick up on it and not buy from you again. Worse, you’ll be selling based on discounts to override the customers’ suspicions you can’t be trusted.

Selling things to customers that they’ll later regret buying will result in customers who won’t return and will likely spread negative impressions of you and your brand probably all over social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the likes)

The best salespeople not only understand this principle, they put it to work when they are selling. They show that an item’s unique features give that one customer a unique benefit. For example, “This measuring tape has an erasable writing surface on the side, so you can write your measurement on it and not forget.”

  1. Be honest.

Most customers are savvy enough to tell when someone is being honest with them and they like it! If they feel they can trust you, they’re more likely to buy. If you lie to the customer, he will never trust the company or the brand again for the lie of a sales executive, which is not fair. You end up losing on the customer, his loyalty, this future business and also his references. You are losing out on a lot of future businesses. So being true to the customer, and selling him the right product is right if you want more business from the client in future.

That means if you don’t know, you don’t just shrug your shoulders; you tell them you will find the answer right then from someone else who knows.

  1. Learn from your successes and mistakes.

No one is perfect; your customer, you and neither me. All of us learn from our mistakes. Well making mistakes is never a crime, repeating your mistakes is also not one; however not learning from your mistakes is a crime. Take your mistakes and your errors positively, understand your mistakes only give you an opportunity of learning from your experience. You don’t stop learning to be a salesperson when your training is over, it’s an ongoing process. Why? Because great salespeople are students of behaviours. They want to understand why a customer did or didn’t buy from them, what they might have done differently or how they might have presented the higher-priced merchandise more appealingly.

Great retail salespeople treat each customer as an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t, and they always look for ways to improve

  1.  Go the Extra Mile.

Selling is like anything else, persistence pays off. You don’t want to be pushy, but you also want to be diligent in your follow-up, both pre-sale and after-sale if necessary. Show customers that you genuinely care about their experience and want to help them. To create customer loyalty doing the routine is not enough. You have to go that extra mile, you have to do something extra to grab their attention, to assure them that you are there to guide them, to serve them better than anyone else. Going an extra mile can also be talking politely to your customer, making sure you treat them with, respect, affection and understanding. Along with mere selling if you also give your customers great service you can make sure you will have the customer coming back to you for more business. So what if service is not your department, you can at least guide your customer to the person who can solve their issues or give them service. There is no harm in simply guiding your customer to the right person politely. This will increase your worth and future prospect sales.

Putting all these points to use would enable you to have a successful retail business. Do let us know in the comment section below which key points you agree with the most.

About Author

Amaka Oguike
Amaka Oguike
Digital Marketing Analyst @ PrognoStore
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