Keep Customers Coming Back by Avoiding Common Mistakes

Retail sales is a tough gig these days because of the increase in online shopping. Even in the real world, retail salespeople make mistakes, but how they handle them makes all the difference.

Some shoppers think they do not need to talk to a salesperson in the store if they are doing most of their shopping online. However, talking directly with a salesperson can benefit the customer because they can receive immediate help and learn about another product if the initial product turns out to be ineffective.

Here are some of the most common mistakes retail associates make:

• Not building a rapport with the customer. Salespeople often fail to greet a customer, which should be the first step in the sales process. For customers who need help and want to be helped, a greeting starts the conversation. Friendly, pleasant salespeople will keep customers happy and coming back for more. Customers remember those who do not greet them.
• Not finding out what the customer needs. Asking what they need help with allows the sales associate to direct them. Salespeople are there to fulfill a need, but if they cannot identify it, they will not be much help. Sales managers should know the customer and make sure their needs are top priority. Their goal is making the sales process easy. Without that, the sale is lost and so is the customer.
• Not listening. Listening to the customer more will make them a better salesperson overall. Many salespeople are paid, based on their sales, but that is not the best structure when keeping the customer in mind. Giving someone an incentive to sell something creates a pushy situation and will rub the customer the wrong way. Salespeople should not confuse telling with selling. If a salesperson is constantly trying to sell the customer something instead of listening to their problem to help solve it, this is the wrong method.
• Not knowing about promotions when the customer asks. A customer seeking the best deal depends on a salesperson to make that happen. The salesperson should tell them why the company is the best option for them. Salespeople should be trained on the benefits and functions of the products to make the customer feel positive about making the purchase.
• Not addressing a dissatisfied customer immediately. If a customer is not happy with something, a good salesperson will notice and fix it immediately. The salesperson should feel out the customer, be attentive to their needs and suggest add-ons. Once the main sale is made, the salesperson should keep in mind complementary products.

These common mistakes seem easy enough to fix. A successful salesperson gets experience over time and learns from mistakes that will improve their sales technique.