Public speaking, asking for money and talking to strangers all rank high in common discomforts. Unfortunately, being a sales associate combines all three. If you’re new to business these tips will help you to understand the working field better.
Things you should do to be successful
When people step into a store they are going to judge you first by your appearance. You should have a clean, well-manicured appearance, no matter what type of store you work at. Your hair should be done, your clothes should be ironed, and nothing should be poking out or distracting. When editors need some content for their media they hire a writer for an essay production, when the manager needs increasing financial prospects — they hire a person who can present their brand accordingly. You don’t have to look fancy (unless that’s the mood of the store), but you should appear polished. Even if you have to wear a uniform, still take care of your appearance; a wrinkly shirt with a stain is going to set a different mood than a crisp pristine shirt.
Smile and be friendly
Be as genuine as you can, even if you’re having a bad day. If you are nice to the customers, they will like you. When customers like you they feel obligated to buy–or rather, they want to buy. Be helpful, but not pushy. You can offer suggestions, but I’ve been far more successful when I just hang back and let the customer do their thing, rather than hover over their shoulder pointing things out.
If a customer asks you your opinion on a product you don’t know about, be honest and tell them you don’t know. If they want it, they’ll buy it anyway. The problem with lying is that if a customer buys a product and it isn’t as you promised your credibility will be ruined. Chat it up….a little bit. Obviously, there is no need to call on professional writer services to create a whole conversation plan. Keep it simple. Small talk is great and encouraged, especially if it looks like it will lead to more sales. However, it doesn’t do you any good to stand around the store with a customer having a conversation that will lead nowhere. Talk about the weather, how are they doing, small little things, but keep it short and sweet!
If you’re the shy type, force yourself not to run and cower when customers walk through the door. Imagine you’re some amazing high-profile celebrity. Pretend like you’re someone who has lots of confidence and charisma. Keep doing that and you will become someone with confidence and charisma.
Don’t think about the price of things, think about the products themselves
This is the rookie mistake. Don’t talk about prices unless the customer asks or there’s some sort of deal like “3 for $20” or “50% off.” Ask the customer what they’re looking for and what they’re interested in. Get a feel for their style and what they might like, not what you think they’d be willing to pay.
Go the extra mile
What I mean by that is, don’t do the bare minimum of what is expected of you. Whatever the daily requirements are of your position, set your goal even just a little higher. When it becomes easy for you to reach your daily evaluated goals, raise the bar again. Every time you start to get comfortable with what you’re doing–make yourself uncomfortable by demanding more from yourself. Comfort leads to stagnation and stagnation does not lead to success! Take time to study your products, prices, regulations, and everything having to do with your business. A knowledgeable salesperson is a successful salesperson. If you show your customers you know what you’re talking about they will remember you and look for you when they come again.
Practice by striking up conversations with people on the train or just saying “hello” to strangers on the street. Overcoming shyness takes a lot of effort, but once you see it’s not as scary as it seems you’ll start to feel more comfortable.
Sales techniques that can lead to failure
Being too aggressive or pushy about making a sale
The problem with being too aggressive in sales is that you may make an immediate profit, but your customers will not enjoy their experience. As a result, they may make a purchase, but they will never return. No one likes being nagged. Do not follow around your customers. It sends out very negative messages. Give your customers room to breathe and think. Do you like it when salespeople chase you around like a puppy? Treat your customers the way you like to be treated when you shop.
Do not be rude, ever! Even if a customer is rude to you or has an attitude. Keep smiling, keep being friendly. Being nice will help diffuse anger. Getting angry too will just make matters worse and will not end well for you.
Never talk bad about your boss or co-workers, even if others are saying mean things. You don’t want to burn bridges in the workplace, you never know whose help you’ll need when trouble calls. Generally, I like to be nice to everyone, because what’s the use in making enemies? That doesn’t mean you have to like everyone, but you should be civilized. Keeping good relationships with people may lead to bonuses and promotions in your future.
Don’t mix your private life with work
It is not about work relations (although that could be hazardous). I’m more talking about home problems. You should have a work persona and an outside persona. If you are fighting with your husband if you are having a bad day if your son stole your credit card and went on a shopping spree, don’t let it affect your work persona! If it has nothing to do with your job then leave it at the door and deal with it once you clock out.
Business time is for business, not personal problems, no matter if you’re working at a large department store or a mom-and-pop shop.
Don’t be shy
Easier said than done, I know, but this is the determining factor between success and failure. If you are too shy to make sales, you will never succeed in sales. Try to rationalize why you are shy. Are you afraid people won’t like you? Are you afraid you will be rejected? Are you afraid you will mess up? Don’t be. People are generally nice and good. They want to like you, they want to see you succeed.
Of course, there are a few rotten ones that enjoy making others uncomfortable, but coming across someone like that is rare. Smile and you will receive a smile back. Try it. Smile at anyone right now. Just smile at the first stranger you meet, and see what happens. Humans are social creatures, we crave interaction, so interact! If you make a sale, great! If you don’t, that’s okay. It will happen.
Don’t beat yourself up.