I’m going to share with you the most important lesson I ever got about retail sales. This goes back to when I was a young and impressionable 17 year old who wasn’t very confident yet and I had no clue about sales. I was working for Lancôme at a retail department store and fortunately, I had some great matriarchs around me who taught me how to do sales.
One day I was working the counter and this woman came up. She was about mid 60s and very coiffed with a perfect hairdo and manicure, and dripping with jewelry. She was there to buy some skincare products. So I did what I always did. I analyzed her skin and recommend some products to her. We got 3 products out for her: a cleanser, toner, and a moisturizer. And I did what I always did which is ask, “Is there anything else I can get for you?” Now, “Is there anything else I can get for you?” does not mean let’s keep shopping. That’s code for “I want to ring you up and this is your last chance to tell me if I should throw something else into your bag.” So that’s what I said, that’s what I did, and I sent her on her merry way.
Right after she left my counter, one of the matriarchs, Mary Melman came over. She was amazing. She was probably almost 70 and she’d been doing cosmetic sales her whole life. She made a beeline right up to me confronted me. She said, “You are acting like she’s spending your money!” And it hit me–it was true. The fact was that I was a young 17 year old and I didn’t have much money. When any of my customers started to get their ticket price up to around $75, I got nervous and would cut the sale off every time. That’s what I did. I cut it off. She really got me to see the light that my own hang ups were what was limiting my sales. Does this sound familiar? Do you get uncomfortable when someone hits a certain dollar amount that is more than you could comfortably spend? That is the number one best lesson I ever got.
Now if you do this, I’ve got 3 tips for you.
The first one is straight from Mary Melman. Get your own baggage out of the way. Don’t cut the sale off at a number that you’re personally comfortable spending.
The second one is don’t judge how much someone might spend based on how they look. Don’t try to mind read how much money they have and how much they’re willing to spend. I can tell you that a lot of people spend their days off shopping, going to the spa, and getting their hair done or whatever. When the do, they are often in yoga pants and sandals, with no makeup, and a ponytail, right? They want a day off. It doesn’t mean that they’re not well-to-do and ready to spend a lot of money. In fact, if you’ve ever gone to the store on your day off and have been treated kind of snobby by the sales people, then you know exactly what that feels like. So remember, don’t judge or set an expectation on how little you think someone is going to spend based on your outside perceptions.
Number three is that it is your job as a sales person, esthetician, nutrition advisor, or whatever your role, to make a complete professional recommendation. You want to recommend the ideal regime for your customer. Show them everything. That’s not the same as a hard sell. You’re just showing them the optimal scenario. Pull the whole regime out. Don’t hold anything back from them. Show them what it would look like if they were following the best regime possible. From there, let the customer pick and choose the things that they might want to hold back on. If money is really an issue, they’ll tell you. It’s okay! Then you’ll help them decide what are the things that are going to give them the most bang for their buck.
Those are my 3 best tips to stop cutting the sales short. Hope that was helpful! If you can relate, leave a comment or hit the Facebook “like” button.
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Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.