How To Sell to Today's Wary Consumer
If you're a salesperson today, you face changes in consumer behaviors that are being driven by a scarcity of time, an abundance of information and a general skepticism toward being sold. Shoppers demand more convenience, knowledge and candor from the people they do business with than ever before. That means your job is to establish rapport, answer questions and develop trust with shoppers who are probably in a hurry and typically know a lot. Of course, trust isn't a given; it has to be earned. There are some time-tested skills and behaviors that can make your job easier. Here are a few tips to enhance your customer interactions today.
* Don't behave like a "salesperson." There are a host of things that remind shoppers of negative salesperson stereotypes. Top of the list is:
"May I help you?" Don't ever say it. Groups of salespeople congregating on the showroom floor is also a bad idea. Instead, stay active, give shoppers a little space, be attentive and greet people like a real person would. Say something natural like: "Hi. Good afternoon. How are you doing?" Then focus your attention on them and show that you really care about their needs.
* Listen more than you talk. When we recommend products without listening it becomes obvious that our advice is designed to direct customers to the products we want to sell rather than the ones that meet their requirements. Shoppers tend to resist that approach. Instead, take a few minutes to understand their preferences and expectations.