RR Diamonds Australia
RR Diamonds Australia
RR Diamonds Australia
Goto your account
Search Stories by: 

Feature Stories

The best way to lose your sale

When consumers are about to make a purchase they will tell you, but not with words. They will send loud non-verbal signals, and BARBARA CROWHURST says the key is knowing how to read them.

When customers come into your sights, whether it’s in a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending four non-verbal messages that essentially communicate:

  1. I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy;
  2. I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy;
  3. I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions;
  4. I want to buy this, now!

Not ready to buy When a customer is not ready to buy it doesn’t mean they will not buy but it does mean you will need a different approach. Also remember that if there are other customers in the store, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on other easier sales.

Avoiding eye contact If you look at a customer and they immediately look away it usually means they probably don’t need assistance right at that moment. However, you should watch what they are doing, because they might need help soon. If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help but not anxious and ready to pounce. When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, move closer and start the sale.

Making ‘not now’ excuses If a customer says they’re “just looking” or otherwise indicates that they don’t need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and move away. You should still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual handling of product A person who is casually picking up different products and placing them back on the shelf, perhaps not tidily, can be a nuisance because you must tidy up after they have left the store, but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking at many productsWhen someone wanders around looking randomly at products, spending a similar short time on each one, then it could mean he or she is a bored browser.

Moving around quicklyWhen customers move quite quickly around the store, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move closer when they are showing more signs of interest.

When ready to buyWhen someone is ready to buy, or are at least showing some interest in specific items, then you should also move closer and engage them towards the final close.

Spending time on one product typeWhen customers spend some time looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide because often the longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking for somebody to helpIf you see a customer looking around, catch their gaze, and use a facial expression such as raising your eyebrows to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to help them with a purchase. This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spent time looking at a limited product range.

Asking questions about detail If, when you offer help, they begin asking specific questions or more detail about the product, they are likely to be more interested in a purchase. If a customer asks about the functionality of the product they may well have a checklist of information they’re seeking so ask for details about the information they want. You can also ask more about how they will use or wear the item, which allows you to advise on the best choice.

Asking about price – This is a good and the most obvious buying signal. You can tell the customer the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend. If they tell you then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using possession language – When a customer picks up a product they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use it – which is a good reason to encourage this talk. Look for when a customer uses  ‘I’ language, and try to get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about the product as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking another person’s opinionWhen a customer asks another person’s opinion about an item it can be a signal that they’re thinking about buying the product and are looking for peer confirmation. This can sometimes mean you find yourself also selling to the second person. Think about this when you are making the initial sale – include other people who might be involved in the buying decision – though be aware of signals from the actual buyer that might indicate whether he or she wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body state changesAny transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If someone suddenly relaxes after asking questions or discussing the product, it could be a signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals include changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching their moneyIf a customer touches their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money and be careful not to ‘unsell’ the product by your overzealous and non-needed sales patter.

It’s very important that sales staff understand buying signals and these points could be valuable for your next training session.

Barbara Crowhurst

Contributor • Retail Makeover

Barbara Crowhurst is CEO of Retail Makeover as well as an internationally-recognised retail consultant. Visit: retailmakeover.ca

Cody Opal

Read current issue

login to my account
Username: Password:
SAMS Group Australia
Jeweller Magazine
© 2023 Befindan Media