How often have you walked into a store and been greeted with “Can I help you?”
How often have you replied with “No Thanks, Just looking”?

This kind of closed response is the fault of the salesperson!

You see it’s human nature to take the easy way out; we are always trying to find ways to make our lives easier, which is why we have so much technology in our lives for example. We would prefer not to have to interact with a ‘stranger’, (which is who you are to this new person in your store), until we are sure that what we need is actually present in this store.

So when you ask a customer a ‘closed question’, (a question allowing a very limited response, such as “yes” or “no”), you have just given them, (and you), an ‘out’. 

Here are some examples of what NOT to say:

  • Can I help you?
  • You right there?
  • Happy to browse?
  • Let me know if you need any help.
  • Just looking are you?

These are closed greetings and they actually encourage a negative response. You may as well say “PLEASE tell me you don’t want any help, because I would really prefer to take the easy way out and not have to serve you. I can still justify to myself and hopefully my boss, that I have done my job, because I did approach you after all”.

On the other hand, when you ask an open question, (a question that requires a much more detailed response), many customers actually find it easier to simply let you serve them, than think of a brush off.

Some examples of Open Greetings are:

  • Looking for a gift, or something for yourself?
  • We have a great range don’t we?
  • See anything that interests you?
  • Were you looking for anything in particular? 
  • What brings you in today?
Don’t give your customers an excuse not to be served by you, rather give them an opportunity to tell you what they are after instead.

Like this tip? Why not attend two FREE 20 minute seminars, conducted by Mr Retail himself, at the upcoming Brisbane Gift Fair? 

Mr. Retail will be presenting at the Brisbane Gift and Homewares Fair 
July 4 – 6 2015, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre South Bank

He will be providing not one, but two 20 minute Sales Training presentations

“Closing the Sale and Selling Add-ons”
Assumptive close & Trial Close
Overcoming Objections
Increasing Basket Size

“Loyalty Marketing made personal again”
List building and database growth
Loyalty Programs that customers love
Email and SMS marketing done right
Retail Rescue