Did you know that the number of sold products increases by more than three for each customer contact in grocery stores?
“If all employees make 100 customer contacts in the store per day, it will be equivalent to 700 euros in additional sales per day,” says Susanne Einhorn, behavioral scientist and sales expert. She also says that the attitude of the staff is of greater importance than the quality of the goods when shoppers choose what store to go to.
Compared to other branches within retail, the sales staff in grocery stores are less likely to talk to their customers. Only 3% of the sales staff in the grocery stores greet their customers with a “hello” and only 1 out of 10 ask the customers further questions.
Motivate your employees to talk
Susanne Einhorn lectures and trains sales staff in grocery stores and supermarkets. She says it is all about leadership; The store manager must motivate and encourage the staff to interact and talk to people that visit the store.
“You have to tell your team that they are important and that their behaviour makes a great difference for the bottom line. Get them to understand that it is not primarily about pushing, but to create a relationship with the customers so that each customer feels seen,” says Susanne.
Many times it is about giving the store sellers enough self-esteem and let them understand that they are the experts in their field and therefore have the authority to give advice and proposals.
“If you motivate your sales staff to show customers kindness, you will get both more sales and more returning customers,” she says.
Below follows some of Susanne Einhorn’s motivation tips that you can bring to your sales staff.
Say Hello instead of No
Nothing stops a conversation and the opportunity for more sales than a “no.” Don´t say “No we do not have any frozen shrimps.” Say instead “Hello, the frozen shrimps are unfortunately sold out, but we have nice fresh ones in the deli counter.”
Choose the right adjective
It is goes quick to create a negative feeling by using the wrong adjectives. Use the word “premium” instead of “expensive” and use the word “affordable” instead of “cheap.” Never apologise for the price. Your mission is to sell good quality food, a lifestyle and a shopping experience.
The more questions – the more yes
If you give 10 sales proposals, 3 customers will adopt your offer. The more questions you ask, the more opportunities for additional sales you will get. Working with open-ended questions is the best way to find out the customer’s needs. What? When? Where? How? Why? Meanwhile, the customer will get the impression of being the most important person in the store.
Talk to all customers
Find out how to say “hello” and “welcome” in the most common languages among your customers. Let your customers get the feeling of being important to you. Small talk like “Did you find what you were searching for?” or “Is there anything I can help you with?” will give satisfied and returning customers.
Think lifetime value
Did you know that 7 out of 10 dissatisfied customers will never return to your store? Each client that will return to your store is a goldmine if you think of their lifetime value. Imagine one family that shops for 100 euros once a week will shop for 5 200 euros a year and 52 000 euros in ten years. Every dissatisfied customer that you will turn to a satisfied customer is important to the bottom line.
Promote additional sales
Never miss an opportunity for additional sales! The deli counter is a perfect spot for that. Ask the customers how they will prepare the fish they just bought. Do they need some fish roe for the sauce? Don´t forget to tell them about the special offers of the day or about the origin of the meat for instance. Don´t rush the service in the deli counter. Talk to your customers and invite them to taste cheese or hams.
Be available for customers
Whatever you are doing in the store, be sure you are always available for your customers. Practice multitasking and nod a “hello” while you serve another customer. Never say “I do not know.” Say “I will ask my colleague,” if there is something beyond your expertise.
Learn about your products
A genuine interest in the products you sell spreads to your customers. Learn about ingredients and cooking. Taste different products. If you happen not to like ripe cheese, so learn anyway to express the taste of it. Ask your colleagues. Talk about foods and recipes and learn what ingredients and flavours that fit together. The more you know, the easier it is to talk to your customers. You will be the expert. Besides, your work will be much more interesting.
Provide an experience
With small means, you can achieve unimagined customer experiences. Have some recipes in your pocket that you can share, while you arrange the vegetable or have some balloons in your pocket that you can blow up for the children. Know when different festivals are going on. If it is the Persian New Year, you can tell about hyacinths and dried barberry berries, and on Jewish holidays, you can tell that you have carp in the fish dish.
Create the urge to buy
Again, it is not about to push and force the goods on the customers. It is about creating a desire to buy something the customers need – or maybe didn’t realise they needed – by thinking one step further for them. If someone bought a cooler- ask if he or she needs any ice packs too.
Your store’s service is the store’s main core business. Excellent service will keep you ahead of the competitors and increase your profitability. So encourage all your employees to be extra service minded and to think one step ahead of the customers´ desires. Tell the staff that their actions will be the key to getting returning customers.
Susanne Einhorn, United Sales