Customers usually use that sentence because they want to avoid uncomfortable interaction with salespeople that are almost exclusively interested in selling. The key is to make sure that salespeople add value to the customers in-store experience. Even though selling is the life source for every retailer, it should be the result of an exceptional and unique in-store experience (See How to Create a Unique and Engaging Customer Experience). Here are 4 ways to achieve better customer interaction and ultimately increased sales-through.
- Set up a check-in / reception desk. This strategy was first employed by Daslu, a Brazilian retailer, whose business model I have explored in one of my posts (See Luxury Department Store in Brazil Delivers Unique Customer Experience). When you set up a check in desk, every client has to register at the entrance of the store and is assigned an associate to give him a personal and customize tour of the store. The associates should deliver a professional sales presentation, but also try to engage customers based on their interests and activities.
- Entice customers with entertainment and education. Regardless of what you sell in your store, you will always have customers that enjoy knowing more about your product and your operations. Amsterdam Sauer, a Brazilian jewelry retailer, understands this well. In fact, they use part of their store in Rio de Janeiro as a gem and jewelry museum. The museum attracts a lot of people interested in all sorts of gems. After a guided visit with a gemologist, the guests are introduced to a salesperson which continues the tour showing them the jewelry on sale. The video below features the Amsterdam Sauer museum. This strategy can be extremely effective even with smaller displays and with any other products.
- Offer beverages. This is the simplest strategy to initiate a conversation with a customer. The salesperson should not just mentioned the beverage to the customer. Rather the associate should approach the customer together with a server presenting the beverage already in a tray to make it easy for the customer to accept. Subsequently, the customer is more likely to continue chatting with the associate.
- Provide the red carpet experience. Set up a prominent counter in your store that advertises this service. The interested clients would have a dedicated associate / stylist to help them choose an outfit. The associate would then take a picture of the customers and e-mail it to them or to a significant other. Finally, the customer would receive a goodie bag with a printed copy of the picture, a store brochure, a promotional gift, and maybe even a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant. This unusual and fun experience would most likely result on the sale of the outfit and tons of repeat customers.
There can be a number of other strategies that you can implement in your store. Be creative and do not settle for a passive approach. Think of your customers as visitors that you want to impress and dazzle as much with your service and in-store experience as with your products.