Use the Fly-By to turn "just looking" into "I'm buying"

in-store product display

Picture this:

You're working in a busy retail store and you've been positioned toward the front of the store to meet and greet customers. The tenth person has entered the store in under an hour and, for the tenth time in under an hour, your warm and friendly greeting is met with; "Just looking, thanks!".

As a sales person, hearing this on repeat can feel, at times, pretty demoralising. At this point of the conversation you feel cut-off at the knees and it can be a hard place to recover from.

Thinking about the sales process, it's not just that there are eight (or so) steps to follow. We need to follow these steps in sequential order to maximise every customer encounter and skillfully close sales.

The first step in this process is greeting your customer. Using the Fly-By technique gives you a unique, non-invasive way to greet your customers which will also improve your chances at closing a sale by increasing the number of sales you can successfully open.

So, if this sounds all-too-familiar to you practice the following steps to hone your skills at becoming a skilled sales-opener:

Step 1: Have something in your hand.

This will give your customer the impression that you are busy with other things and have not lined them up for your next sales pitch. They'll feel less threatened by you.

Step 2: Don’t walk directly towards your customer.

Remember that personal space extends much further  in front of a person than to the side or back. You can cross this space or walk parallel, but not directly towards your customer. Also, remember that greeting a customer from behind may not be a successful way to start your interaction.

Step 3: Smile, make eye contact and use a greeting.

When you get close enough to your customer, smile, make eye contact and use a greeting. Say “hi”, or something appropriate to them, but keep it brief!

Step 4: Complete the task that you were on your way to do.

Jumping into the sales pitch too quickly can scare your customer off, or make you come across as a pushy salesperson. So relax, take a breath, and finish what you were doing.

Step 5: Double back and approach the customer.

Make sure that you leave some space between you and the customer so that they feel comfortable. This is when you move into your opening lines and start a conversation with the customer.

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