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Hey, it’s Bob Negen and this is another episode of Real Retail TV. Today, we’re going to discuss the worst words in retail. The dreaded worst words in retail.
So those insidious words, the worst words in retail are can I help you? And so many people know that that is the wrong way to start a sale. Yet when I shop, when I go up and down the streets here in Grand Haven, Michigan, when I go to stores, you know, when I travel. High-end stores, low-end stores, luxury brands– everywhere! So many people use that word.
So if so many people know why it’s wrong, why aren’t they doing the right things? So let’s talk about that for just a moment. First, let’s acknowledge that the worst words are can I help you. Now, let’s talk about the right way to get into a sale. And the right way to get into the process is to start with warm words of welcome.
If somebody comes to a party at your house, you know put them to work washing the dishes right away. No, when they’re at the door, you say, hi! Good evening, good afternoon! You know, you welcome them. The people who are coming into your stores are your guests. Welcome them as such. When you first greet somebody, which is where the can I help you usually comes in, that should immediately give them a rush of good feeling. It should be honest, it should be sincere, it should be real. These are people who are in your store. You love to have people in your store. You’re honored that they are in your store. So give them a genuine, heartfelt greeting.
And then you don’t move into a conversation about the merchandise just yet. Then you talk about something else, something else that breaks the ice, something else that makes them feel more comfortable about giving you the information you need to sell the merchandise that you sell, to get them to this thing that I call the perfect purchase. There is another Real Retail TV on the perfect purchase, and there will be a link below. So you should watch that also. But let’s just recognize that they feel good because you greeted them correctly, and then you start to break that ice. And how do you do that?
One of the things that you could do is you can comment or compliment. You can observe what’s going on with them. If you’re a pet store, you can– you know, you can talk about what kind of animal they have if they have their animal with them, if they have that dog with them, of course. You can pet the dog and ask the dog’s name. If you’re in a woman’s clothing store, you can observe the person in front of you, your customer, and maybe comment on something they’re wearing. You love those earrings. You love that bracelet. There’s always something that you can talk about that will, again, move it from the warm words of welcome to move it closer to actually having a conversation about the merchandise.
So the final thing. So you can comment, you can compliment, you can also engage in what we call warm chatter. You know what warm chatter is? Talk about the weather. Everybody can talk about the weather. We’re here in Michigan. It’s cold today. It was warm yesterday. It changes all the time. But the point here, and this is what the essence of this episode of Real Retail TV, is you don’t say can I help you, because your customer will say, no, I’m just looking. You do greet your customers genuinely, heartfelt, in an enthusiastic way. You do engage in some sort of skillful conversation that makes them feel comfortable talking to you more, and then you start engaging in conversation about the merchandise that you carry, and you start to bring your customer closer to the perfect purchase.
So your action item, should you choose to accept it, is to watch what’s going on on your floor. See if people are saying can I help you? And if they are, coach them. I would also encourage you to go to retailsalesacademy.com. And if you want the best retail sales training system on the planet, sign up. You know, there are no contracts, there are no commitments. The first 30 days have a money back guarantee. But if you want your team to be great sales people that give your customers the best possible experience and put the most possible money in your bank account, the Retail Sales Academy is one of the best investments you’ll ever make with your business.
So I hope that you found this helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please put them down below, and until next time, I’m Bob Negen. And this is another episode of Real Retail TV.