A RedSeed top tip: The Open-Ended Question.

Retail store - notebooks on shelf

First impressions in the retail industry are everything, the difference between a positive, open-ended greeting and a generic, closed greeting can be the difference between getting a sale or not.

It is all too common these days to go into a store and be “greeted” by a salesperson saying “you right there?”.

First of all, that’s not a greeting. That’s not something that you’d say to a friend that knocked on your door, and secondly, it’s not going anywhere because the customer can say yes or no and walk away. How do you come back from that? It’s pretty hard re-approaching the customer after that, especially if they told you they were ‘right’.

This is where the POWER of the open-ended question comes in. The whole point of the greeting is to make the customer feel welcome, relaxed and happy to chat.

“What have you been up to this morning?”, opens up a line of dialogue with the customer and helps to build rapport quickly. However, some customers come into stores with a predetermined mindset and keep their barriers up. The question is, how do you break down those barriers?

In RedSeed's view, you can’t go past a good conversation. Our sales training for retail advises starting with an open-ended question that IS NOT related to your store or your products. For instance, “I noticed that you’re wearing the new Apple watch, how are you enjoying it?”. This opens a line of dialogue with the client and breaks down the barriers they present when entering the store. This also paves the way for you to transition into business with a line such as “so, what brings you into the store today?”.

Remember, landing a sale comes down to building trust with your customer and uncovering what they need by asking good open-ended questions. This ensures our shoppers  feel valued and important - after all, they’ve taken the time to come into your store. If your customer isn’t after something today, they still want to feel like you’re trying to help them out as much as possible, which is a big factor in determining whether they’ll come back in the future.

So, next time you have a customer in-store, instead of assuming that they’re “alright there”, try asking open-ended questions - it might just make the next conversation a little easier (and make a difference to your bottom line)!

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