Selling: The Soft Touch

Selling: The Soft Touch

Larger sales, more satisfied clients, repeat business and referrals are side benefits to a great client relationship. And you can model your own sales and client service after your own experiences. Follow me as we go shopping …

Have you ever been turned off by pushy salespeople in clothing stores? Ask yourself how you would do things differently, and you can put together a perfect system for providing your clients with what they need without having to “sell” them anything.

Be Perceived as a Consultant.

That employee in the clothing store wouldn’t want to be considered a “pushy salesperson.” Wouldn’t the title “Wardrobe Consultant” be a better fit? Think “consultant” rather than “sales rep” and that’s how you’ll be perceived.

Ask Better Questions.

“Can I help you?”, “What can I get you, dear” or “How are you today?” while perhaps friendly, are also expected introductions. Wouldn’t you rather hear, “You seem to be looking for something specific. What’s your biggest shopping challenge today?” However you approach a client or prospect for the first time, use a non-intimidating method for uncovering their perceived needs.

Be Sensitive to the Client’s Needs.

Someone who came in to the store to buy a pair of socks, and only wants to spend $15, won’t likely be interested in looking at $225 designer jeans instead. On the other hand, consultants know their products and services better than anyone, and clients appreciate advice on which items complement each other as part of a big picture, designed to suit them. Some alternative approaches could be: “I know you were planning to spend $15 on those socks, but did you notice how nicely they match this hair band? If you don’t mind spending $5 more, you can get them both.” Or: “That shade of blue really suits you. We’ll have some scarves that colour on sale next week. Shall I call you with a reminder?” You can take a similar approach, helping your clients put together their game plan by pointing out which items complete their “financial planning” or “business solutions” wardrobe.

Commit to Regular, Value-Added follow up

What really adds value in a clothing store? In the fitting room, most people would appreciate a salesperson quietly asking through the door, “Excuse me, would you like me to find you another size or colour in any of those items?” However, pounding on the door with, “How are you in there?” can be irritating, and makes the client feel rushed.

Apply this same principle to the service you provide: contact your client regularly, with a clear purpose each time, so they feel served, not pestered. Your clients will appreciate it and show their gratitude with continued business for you.

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