While many people focus on online sales and eCommerce sites, it is important to realize that for small to large retail outlets actual in-person sales are still critical to the success of the business. Ensuring that your staff is trained to know how to increase sales without coming across as pushy or over-selling is essential to keep your business growing.
Below are several of the most important factors that will help your sales. These techniques can be used with any type of product or service, but they do take practice, training and emphasis on using the skills.
How to Increase Sales by Learning about the Customer
Too many businesses press employees to move quickly from one customer to the next to try to put through higher volumes of purchases. However, this is not as effective as spending a few minutes in talking with the customer, listening to what they need and then being able to suggest products or services that meet those needs.
Listening is a critical factor for any successful sales professional. It is also the key to upselling and cross-selling. For example, if a customer comes in and asks for a pair of gloves in a sporting goods store it may be tempting for the sales person to simply show them the glove display.
Asking where they are going or what they need the gloves for provides more information. If they are going skiing that then opens up the door to show the customer ski apparel, skis, outdoor gear and a much wider range of products.
Customer Service First
It is essential to consider customer service and approaching customers in a positive, friendly and respectful way as a critical part of the sales process. Customers want to feel important and not just as a source of revenue for the company.
Sales staff should learn the basics of effective communication, conflict resolution and having the ability to quickly “read” customers to be able to talk to them and interact in a way that will build rapport and create trust and confidence.
One of the most important factors in how to increase sales is to make sure every one of the sales staff knows the basics of your products and services. There is nothing more annoying to a customer than to be working with a sales person who knows little about the product or is providing information that is incorrect or wrong.
Have regular product demonstrations and training sessions for staff, and also have at least one supervisor, manager or specialists available at all times for the sales staff to call to work with customers asking questions they can’t answer.
Simply being told by the sales person that to provide the correct answer they would like to call a specialist over to help the customer is a very positive experience for the consumer and one that builds trust.
How to Increase Sales with Incentives
Working on commission often creates a cutthroat type of work environment, and tends to encourage high-pressure types of sales techniques. You can look at how to increase sales with incentives but set group goals based on total sales or meeting specific objectives.
It is surprising how having common goals and having even small incentives will boost sales across a shift, store or group of employees. Since it is a shared benefit and not individual, there is very little risk of competition taking over.
Get Customer Feedback
Depending on the type of products and services, one little-used option to boost repeat sales is to follow-up with customers. A personal email, a phone call or even an SMS message to check in that the product or service was up to the customer’s expectations is a great way to make your business stand out in your customer’s mind.
Doing this in a personal way rather than an automated text, email, phone message or a survey is usually unexpected, and it gives another opportunity in that communication to suggest other products that may compliment the original purchase. As this can be done very naturally in conversation, it will often lead to a future sale.