We remember a late night trip to the toy store one Christmas Eve. Later, while wrapping gifts, we realized almost every one of them needed batteries, which of course we had forgotten to buy. Had the cashier at the toy store suggested we buy batteries, we would not have had to make a late night run to the 24-hour convenience store to buy them.
There is still time this holiday to put suggestive selling to use in your store:
• Gather your store associates together before the store opens (and again when the shifts change) to discuss suggestive selling. Explain how it works: You sell the customer the primary item, and then add on additional items that complement the original item. Don’t stop until the customer says no. Encourage everyone to give it a try and remind them everyone wins when the store is doing well.
• At your meeting, hold up an item and ask associates to call out additional items that could be sold along with it. You’ll be amazed at how many combinations they will come up with! If you happen to come across an odd item you just can’t add-on to, instruct associates to suggest whatever item is on special that day.
• From this point on, hold a 10 minute meeting each morning to do a suggestive selling exercise. Your associates will rise to the occasion, and they will gain confidence – the main ingredient in selling.
• Choose a “Gift of the Day” and have every associate carry one around with them, talking to the customers about the item. We did this experiment in a gift shop while setting a display of stuffed animals. Once the customers held them in their hands, they were hooked.
• When the store is quiet, encourage associates to spend time reading product labels, especially the labels on products they are not familiar with. Vendors put all kinds of information on their labels because they know in some stores the product will have to sell itself. A strong knowledge of the product you sell is just good service, and it shows customers you know your stuff. If every associate spent just 10 minutes per shift reading product labels, you’d have a store full of product knowledge geniuses within 30 days.
• Make sure every associate has tried each of the crafts your store sells. There is nothing worse than asking about a particular product, only to hear the associate say, “I don’t know. I’ve never tried that before.” Like it or not, customers hear things like that in stores every day.
• An easy way to add on to the sale is to practice a little sales trick called “bundling.” Bundling is simply packaging related products and/or services together into one package. And since consumers have been taught to believe package deals are a better value than if the items were purchased separately, it works in your favor.
Consider bundling various related items together, If your store offers classes, throw in a class. (We like adding the class to the bundle because it encourages the customer to come back and shop again.) Bundling creates add-on sales even when the customer is shopping without the aid of a store associate. Ask associates to suggest items that could be bundled to increase sales. Then display your bundles on your speed bump displays or end features in prominent locations in your store.
• Place another “Gift of the day” and display it prominently at each checkout counter. You can get creative here, too: “Buy one, get one at half off;” “5 items for $5;” or a special price that’s valid just for the day. Impulse sales happen at the checkouts – make sure yours are set to sell!
• Keep a supply of your most popular add-on items at each checkout counter. Now when a customer says, “Oh, I forgot to get __________!”, the cashier can reach under the counter and hand her the item.
• Give your people incentives for using suggestive selling. Assign daily quotas and keep track at the cash register. E-mail us for a list of associate incentives.
• Include your cashiers in your incentive program! Cashiers can be the biggest suggestive sales people in the store because they see every item the customer has in his or her cart. What a perfect opportunity to add on to the sale!
COPYRIGHT KIZER & BENDER . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED