6 sales training tips for your retail business

As a retail business owner, you know how important it is to invest in training your retail staff with the right skills. Investing in proper training from the start ensures that your team are motivated, educated about your business and can provide the best sales and service experience possible. 

In return, this approach will help your business drive sales, grow profits and create less stress knowing that your business is in the capable hands of your sales staff. Powering your team with the tools and information they need to make the sales and look after customers gives you peace of mind and confidence that your brand is being represented properly. 

Here are six key tips you can focus on when training your team of retail staff and how to start seeing results.  

1. Buildrapport with customers

Building rapport with customers may sound like a technical and impersonal strategy, but it is a fundamental skill to master when working in sales. It’s about finding common ground which is not always related to the products or services you are selling and making that connection. 

Sometimes referred to as the ‘window of contact’ it is an opportunity to observe your customers and to make a comment on something the customer may have like a piece of jewellery, their pet, a clothing item etc. It’s a chance to share something with the customer which they may have in common, and to start a genuine conversation. 

The key word there is genuine. This is not something that can be done with every single customer, there’s no formula or script. It should come across as a natural flowing conversation, making them feel comfortable and acknowledged.  

2. Sell with integrity

Most customer know when they are been treated honestly or not when chatting with a sales member. Building trust with your customers is essential to being successful in the sales process. The more likely your customers trust you, the more likely they are to listen and buy from you.  

Being honest means not overstating the value of the product or service you are selling. Be honest about the product’s shortcomings if there are any. Customers will value you telling the truth, and it helps build a trusted opinion of your retail business.  

If a customer throws a curveball and you and your staff are unsure of the answer, go the extra mile and try and find the right response for them. Putting in that extra effort shows that your business is genuine and prepared to help the customer with their inquiries.  

3. Up-sell and cross sell

 Upselling or cross selling is a technique used to increase the total amount of products/services purchased by the customer at the end of the sale. Examples of upselling and cross selling items include accessories for a dress, window tinting for a new car or fries with that burger. 

The art of upselling is once again all comes back to the honesty principal. If you are suggesting a product or service to your customer that you think they will genuinely benefit from, then you are adding value to the customer’s sale journey. It’s when you start to push products that are irrelevant that it comes across as a sales ploy and fake.  

Opportunities to upsell or cross sell can often be spotted when you identify a customer’s fears. Taking the time to understand what your customer may be concerned about can open the opportunity to offer additional products and services that can help solve their problem.  

On the other scale of the spectrum, identifying the customers desires is another sales opportunity to home in on. Identifying what it is that the customer is really wanting to purchase, you can apply your product knowledge and sales skills to offer the right solutions to make your customer happy.  

 4. Body language when selling

When it comes to body language, greeting your customers with a smile is only the start. Keeping your body posture in a strong state like standing tall, being aware of personal space and making eye contact are all important to be aware of when talking to customers. 

The sales process involves many elements when building trust within your customers. You want them to feel they can approach you if they have any questions and to feel comfortable and confident when you are selling to them.  

5. Don’t be too scripted

Having a sales script can be helpful when you are trying to maintain a consistent approach and tone within your retail business, but take a moment to step back and see it from your customers perspective.  

The last thing you want is for the sales process to come across as robotic. Yes, there are features and benefits for the products and services you sell, but they’re not going to be relevant to each and every customer. This is where a little bit of creativity and personality go a long way.  

It’s about understanding what the customer is after and finding the best solution to help them. Have a chat to them, and be genuine when it comes to their needs, even if it means not being able to close the sale. Customers will respect you being honest and referring them to a more appropriate solution then being sold something that they don’t need.  

6. Respect your customer’s time

Most people are pushed for time and it’s important to be respectful of this when it comes to selling to your customers. If your customer enters your store and knows what they are after, don’t try and show them a whole line of products that have nothing to do with what they are after. Customers are more likely to return when they are given help that is relevant to their needs and not wasting their time. 

Conversely, if a customer says they are unsure, try asking the right questions to help them find products or services to suit what they are after and guide them in that direction.  

Summing it up

The key to a strong and successful sales team involves actions like treating your customers with respect, being honest and genuine and taking the time to understand their needs. Having clear communication practices and taking the time to share best sales techniques are all steps you can take to build a team of sales superstars. 

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