BrainTrust Query: After ‘I’ll Take It.’
Commentary by Doug Fleener, President and Managing Partner, Dynamic Experiences Group
One of the differences between superstar retail associates and all the others is what happens after the customer says, "I’ll take it." The successful associate knows there are still plenty of opportunities to both enhance the customer’s shopping experience and maximize the sale.
These are a few of the attitudes they have and/or actions they can take:
1. Whether you call it enhancing the sale, or adding-on to the sale, successful retail associates know that they just made the first sale, not the sale. We’re doing customers a disservice if we don’t suggest additional products that are appropriate with the product they are purchasing or otherwise meet their needs. As you’ve read here before, think of it as an all-you-can-eat buffet and don’t stop until the customer tells you he’s full.
2. Reinforce the customer’s purchase. So often a customer’s first thought after announcing that she’ll buy something is to start doubting her decision. She’ll begin to tell herself that maybe she shouldn’t be buying it now or that should shop around a little more. Your role is to put the customer at ease by complimenting her purchase and congratulating her. This is easy to do if you’ve done due diligence in identifying what it is your customer needs.
3. Offer the appropriate services and needed accessories. I’m always amazed how many retailers have nice added services like free gift-wrapping in place but their employees never offer it to customers. Even worse is when associates act put-upon when a customer requests it. We can easily disappoint a customer once they return home when they realize that we failed to gift-wrap their purchase or remind them to purchase needed products like batteries, cables, etc. It’s our job to ask the customer, not the other way around.
4. Remain focused on the customer until he/she has left the store. If you’re checking the customer out it is important that you not let other employees and customers distract you. The other day I was making a purchase and the cashier was actually reading a text message on his phone. I thought about asking him his phone number so I could send him a text message to put down the phone and do his job.
5. Smile and thank the customer. It should go without saying but all too often it goes unsmiled and unsaid.
While so much of these are good common sense, the fact is that they’re not commonly done and that’s the difference between the superstars and the rest.
Discussion Questions: What are some ways sales associates can fully maximize the shopping experience after the sale is completed? What do you think of the suggestions in the article? What are some common shortcomings with associates when closing a sale?