Social Question

poopnest's avatar

Any tips on relating to the public in a sales environment?

Asked by poopnest (261 points ) November 3rd, 2011

I have a job that is turning into a sales position rather than a cashier position. Rather than finding a new job, I want some tips on how to sell products to customers in my face. Are you comfortable with sales? Uncomfortable? How do you get the job done?

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Do you mean face to face,, rather than “in my face”? It’s tough to sell something to someone unless he is interesting in buying.

Coloma's avatar

I do not believe in the hard sale and/or and obvious pushy salesperson gig.

I have worked in retail sales and find that genuine and sincere interest in the customer and light hearted “promotion” of items is the best tactic, for lack of a better word.

I often will make mention of ” Oh, I don;t know if THIS might interest you, but, these ” fill in the blanks” just came in and they have been very popular.

I work in a tourist store that caters to river rafting. Kayaks, rafts, supplies, etc.
It’s not hard to sell to customers because they are ALREADY in a speciality store looking for whatever it is they are looking for

I push hats a lot, for those that are not wearing Kayak helmets.
” Hey, you know good head gear is really important on the water, these hats are just GREAT, breathable, lightweight and, WOW…you look SO GOOD in that hat! ” lol

wundayatta's avatar

Give them true information. Be friendly and honest. Identify what the customer’s problem is first by asking questions. Listen, listen, listen. Listen some more. Then identify the product that will solve that problem.

The customer is always right, I don’t care how wrong they are. Always try to solve their problem. If you can’t do it, bump it up to your supervisor. But always go the extra mile for them.

Of course, if your compensation is not based on customer service, then forget all that.

Kardamom's avatar

Know your product inside and out, including all of the pros and cons, and know something about similar products that your competitors sell.

Never use the “hard sell” technique, because people like me, even if I’m interested in the product, will be turned off and go elsewhere if you try to pressure me.

Be very polite and friendly, but don’t chase after people or try to talk them into something that they don’t want or need.

Ask them what it is that they are looking for and how they will use the product. If they seem unsure, then you can offer them several suggestions. Also, if they seem unsure, you can ask them a few leading questions to get them to let you know what they need.

Never say, “I don’t know.” Instead, if you don’t know the answer to a question, say, “I’m not sure about that, but let me find out and I’ll get you that info.” And then you need to get the info from another colleague, do some more research or whatever you need to do, but don’t leave a customer hanging with and I don’t know.

The customer may not always be right, but you should never treat a customer with anything, but the utmost respect. If you think the customer is a douche, do everything that you can to help him/her and then vent to your TV when you get home.

If a customer approaches you and you’re busy with a call or another customer, take 2 seconds to let the new customer know that you’ll be with them shortly, or that you’ll bring out another rep to talk to them. Don’t leave customer’s hanging or wondering what they should do next. Because they might leave and they might report you to your supervisor that you were rude or unhelpful (even if you didn’t mean to be). Just never put a customer in the position of having to figure out what to do next.

If you don’t have what the customer needs, whether it’s because your store is out of the product, the product is temporarily un-available for some reason, or you simply don’t have what they want, give them some options. Let them know when you reasonably expect the product to be available. If they don’t make the product any more, give the customer some options about other products that you sell that might work for them. Ultimately, if you know you don’t have what they want/need, don’t hesistate to let them know where they might find the correct product, even if it’s at another company. (Have those other companies phone numbers on hand, so you can personally make the call for them, right there on the spot).

Develop a good relationship with your competitors. You are, indeed competitors, but people in the same industries can and should help each other. Don’t create bad blood with competitors. If you send someone their way and treat them kindly, they’re just as likely to send customers to you.

Learn to speak well. You don’t need to sound like the Queen of England, but refrain from using slang, or saying “like” all the time. And never, ever raise your voice to a customer, even if they start screeching at you. Find out, ahead of time, from your supervisor, what is the company’s policy for “dealing with” un-ruly or aggressive customers.

If you see someone’s ID, and you now know their full name, do not assume that anyone wants to be addressed by their first name, even if they’re younger. Use Ms. and Mr. Smith, until they ask you to call them Bob or Sue. And apologize, in advance, if you think you’re going to screw up their name.

Dress appropriately for your particular type of business and lay off the perfume, keep your nails cut short and if you wear polish, never keep it on if it gets nicked or starts to peel off. Dress conservatively, enough so that no one would accuse you of being loose or slutty or trampy. Never, ever, ever allow your bra straps or you thong underwear or your midriff to show unless you’re working in a head shop or a tatoo parlor (or other like minded business where casual dress is expected) If you have tatoos, try to cover them up. Make good use of mints and gum (behind the scenes, not while with customers).

But most of all, know your product inside and out. Know all of the features, where the item is manufactured, what the different prices are, whether there’s any kind of discount for any products under certain conditions (buying in bulk, if there’s a slight flaw, other) know the size and weight and dimensions of the product and what other materials or fabrics might be available on the same product. Know whether or not your company delivers or installs the product and if that service is free or if there’s a fee. Know the particulars of the warantees and returns policies for the items. Know how long the product takes to ship. Give your customers some idea of what you can do, if there is a problem of any kind. Give your customers correct and accurate contact information for you, or someone else within the company that can assist them if they have any questions after they leave the store.

Thank your customers for stopping by, even if they don’t buy anything.

poopnest's avatar

@gailcalled I mean face to face but it really feels like in my face. :D

poopnest's avatar

Great answers. Thanks.

poopnest's avatar

My compensation is based on the precarious compensation of a tip jar (in addition to a pay check). It’s not very motivating to go the “extra mile” knowing that I might not get a tip. We don’t make commission. It seems like bullshit. I’m considering a new job because I know I can get paid the same for less work. It’s not that I’m lazy. I’m pretty much a work horse. I just feel USED lately! That’s also an issue for me. Hump.

Cruiser's avatar

Most important, know your products and know your customers especially why they would want, use or need to buy your product(s). Dress nice and and smell nice but don’t over due the cologn.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Do everything that @Kardamom says. And mainly, be friendly and make them feel like you care about their needs. Even if you don’t. Especially if you don’t.

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