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Best Suggestive Selling Method To Close More Sales!

Definition of Suggestive Selling

Retailers use suggestive selling to get customers into the store and then entice them to buy more. They do this by displaying items well or interacting with their sales associates.

Retailers with a training program have been focusing on suggestive selling. It’s something that every employee can do to increase the average ticket and number of items, as well as improving customer experience.

With a retail sales training program, it becomes easier to add-on. Employees are given the tools and concepts they need in order to execute well.

However, those retailers who have learned the art of suggestive selling and how to give customers what they want can maximize a customer’s visit.

Advantages of successful suggestive selling

I realized that customers are often looking for one thing when they come into a store. If the salesperson doesn’t suggest another product, then I know that my customer will just leave without buying anything else.

People are often unaware of what they don’t know, or fail to find out about.

Once a customer has agreed to buy something, it is easier for them to agree on buying more. Click To Tweet

All the work of engaging someone new and building rapport pays off in additional sales.

As people are scared to go into stores due to the coronavirus, your employees need to be extra effective in order for you store’s profits not only stay steady but increase. This will help offset online competition.

Instead of just standing around on their phones, associates are more productive by having conversations with customers and making them feel valued.

The key to a successful suggestive selling strategy is to be inviting rather than aggressive.

For example, let’s say two friends are shopping at your gift store. After the first has decided on an item, your associate should be trained to turn to the friend and say, “So now let’s get something for you.”

You can’t expect it to work every time.

But the more you can get someone to buy, whether it’s at your store or online, the better chance they have of coming back. And don’t forget about curbside pickup and in-store shopping.

Here are 5 suggestive selling techniques to help you increase your sales.

suggestive selling

1. Question

When the customer asks about durability or care, that’s a great time to offer an additional product. That way you’re making sure they are satisfied with their purchase.

You would follow up with, “How do you take care of your shoes now?” When they answer, you reply, “I have some ideas for what can help you that I’ll share at the end if that’s okay.” Again, invitational works better.

2. Verify curbside orders over the phone.

You may be tempted to try the convenience of curbside delivery, but a bicyclist might tell you otherwise.

But one of the most common reasons for brick and mortar retail to fail is because they don’t utilize their best assets: a knowledgeable staff. If you have people who know what they’re doing, then it’s worth investing in them by making sure that customers can see your great merchandising or even just walking around.

I’ve noticed that people often need more than one thing when they purchase something, and I found a way to make sure those additional items are on their mind. When someone buys from me, I give them the chance to say yes or no in response. If they agree with my offer of three specific things for free, then it’s much easier.

3. Draw an anxious scene.

One trick that I’ve learned is to describe a common frustration after they have left the store. It’s really quite simple and it works for any product.

Have you ever been curious about…?

For example, a man is buying a couple of gallons of paint and has decided on the color. You could say, “Have you ever gotten home with paint and found you couldn’t find the right brush to use?” Wait for them to say yes. Then continue, “We have the right ones over here.”

4. You should also be sure to incorporate merchandising into your sales strategy.

Displays are a retailer’s best friend. They can be used to sell items that the store doesn’t have in stock or just want to showcase something from another department with a different price point.

Nordstrom has been known to stock their stores with Comme des Garçons sneakers and other brands from different departments, all in hopes of increasing cross-purchases.

5. Suggest some add-ons.

Amazon is the master of this with their “People who bought this, bought this.” Other online retailers use their brand’s voice to get the same point across. Phrases like “Complete the look”, Looks great with”, “Often Bought With,” and “Don’t forget these” encourage customers to buy more. 

I know that many of you might be thinking, “I just can’t stand when my store manager tries to push me into making a sale.” That’s because some people enjoy it and find pleasure in saying no.

When you don’t have the support of your retail staff, it’s impossible to sell.

What can I do to get my associates to sell more? Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

suggestive selling

1. Share a terrible shopping experience.

All of us have had that moment when we leave the store with just what we needed but nothing more. For example, if you need batteries for a toy and only bought them; or potting soil to plant flowers but left without anything else like tools to make it easier.

What I learned from this experience is that people are motivated by a variety of things, not just money.  It’s important to listen and understand what makes each person tick.

Then ask them to think about what they would have done if the salesperson had been one of their own.

The key to making this work is getting the salesperson to see that they are providing a service for their customer, not trying to make them buy something.

2. You should always prioritize customer service.

I found that some associates don’t want to upsell because they think the customer just wants in and out. There’s a bit of truth to this, but it isn’t entirely true.

It’s true that retailers have been slammed with a demand to just get the shopper something. However, there is one time when you want your employees to upsell: when high demand exists. If an employee says they don’t have time for it, then ask them if they’re willing to sacrifice profit.

3. Instead of telling them to sell the product, have them suggest it as an add-on for a customer.

So many retailers have given up on their training programs, which means that they are leaving employees to do the job without any guidance. The problem is often with full-priced items because most of these stores only train for discounts.

I used to always train my salespeople by first teaching them how to sell the full-priced merchandise and then inviting customers into a sale section that has great deals.

There are a few mistakes that can hold you back from making suggestive sales.

Giving a laundry list of products

Sometimes, associates will go a little too far with their upselling. They won’t just suggest one thing to buy – they’ll give you an entire list of things that you need.

If you’re constantly trying to get the customer to buy more, they’ll end up feeling overwhelmed and trust in your company will be broken. This is not a good way of getting customers because then they won’t feel like buying anything else from you.

Asking “anything else?”

Once a shopper has decided to purchase, they have now moved on from that particular item and are looking for their next task or want to take out their smartphones.

In a world where people constantly get bombarded with information, it is hard to keep their attention on anything for too long. Click To Tweet

So when you ask them “Anything else?” they will answer No even if they need something because of this tendency.

If you’re looking for some good tips and techniques to use when selling luxury items, then see also: