Business Planning Process Planning & Strategy

The Stages of a Retail Sale You Should Learn

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The saying ‘the customer is always right’ isn’t actually a helpful phrase to live by in the retail industry. It’s a metaphor that means, always help the customer get what they want. However, if you always admitted to a customer they were right when you knew they were wrong about some technical detail, you wouldn’t be giving them a good service. Allowing a customer to stumble over their own ignorance when you can try to educate and help them to make a better purchase, is not the way to go. Nor, is the pushy ‘yes man’ technique either. You can’t agree with everything they’re saying because this just displays a genuine lack of care in their concerns. Closing a sale is extremely arduous when you become this kind of salesperson. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Instead you need to learn these stages of a retail sale to be successful.

Welcome to Information

When you see someone browsing around your retail store and they look perplexed, you might want to ask them if you could help them with anything. Many times consumers give you small bits of information as to what they’re looking for. However you should talk to them clearly and ask them to divulge more information to you. If they’re unsure, then welcome them to a world of information in a gentle manner. For example, a customer is looking to buy a smartphone with a 8 megapixel camera. Ask them what they will be using the camera for? Will it be for a holiday trip, they are an amateur photographer, social media personality, YouTube influencer or just generally want the best in class for their budget? Then you can explain to them the different pros and cons of each product.

Perform a Demo

How can the customer know what they’re getting is really what they’re looking for, when they have no example to go from? This next stage is called demonstrating the value of their purchase. If you have a demo product, then you should bring it out to them and show them how it works and the performance they will be getting. A salesperson will have trained and be skilled in using any kind of product they are selling, so take the time to learn the most popular products you sell so you’re proficient when performing a demo. Seeing is believing but if you cannot do this, then impart knowledge on the customer by telling them the longevity of the product. For example, a Samsung smartphone won’t lose a lot of value over the years, and can be updated every other month to the latest software.

End with Convenience

After spending a few minutes with the customer, you don’t want to order them to get to the back of the line at the cashier’s unit. Instead, you can bring them a payment reader so they can use their credit card right there on the spot. It’s quick, easy and most of all it’s convenient.

Retail is a very testing environment for salespeople. When you can see a customer is not really sure, remember these three stages so you can perform a smooth sale without hiccups.

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