Retail sales can be a very rewarding career choice. Success in retail sales can be gained by keeping a few basic concepts in mind.
Know your product. Product knowledge is key to success in retail sales. For instance, if you sell apples, you should be able to identify the types of apples and their uses, such as which apples are best for baking, which are best for eating plain, and so on. Knowing your product and being able to make thoughtful suggestions leads to sales, and helps to build a loyal customer base. It can also lead to referrals. Your goal here is to get people saying things like “If you want apples, go to Larry at Annie’s Apples, he always finds just what I need.”
A professional appearance appropriate to your industry is very important in retail sales. All retail jobs require a neat, clean appearance, but some industries require more. A make salesperson should be fashionable, with styled hair, and of course, well done make up. If you sell insurance, you want to be professional, in business suits and shiny shoes, while a person selling modern artwork may adopt a trendier, artsy look. Follow your company’s dress code, and look to other successful salespeople in your company for inspiration.
A friendly yet professional attitude goes a long way in sales. Treat every customer as if they have a million dollars to spend. Be helpful but not intrusive. Don’t check on them every five minutes and ask “finding everything all right?” Try to come up with a more unique approach than “Can I help you?” Approach the woman looking at a dress and say something like “That’s such a pretty shade of blue, isn’t it?” To the guy looking at the motorcycle helmet, “That’s a great helmet; do you like the ones that come with the face shied?” Asking open ended questions, ones that require more than a simple yes or no answer, help encourage a conversation without coming across as pushy person. Starting with conversation leads to friendly dialogue, which can lead to bigger sales. It also makes suggestive selling much easier. Saying “I have the perfect shoes for that dress your getting for your sons wedding” is much more likely to work than ” Do you need shoes to match that dress?” Try to remember customers, too. If that same lady comes in a week later, ask “How did the wedding go?” If a guy comes in every month for motorcycle parts, try to remember what kind of bike he rides. Little details make a lot of difference in retail sales.
If you know your product, look the part, and treat your customers like gold, you should be on your way to a successful career in retail sales.