Dealing With ‘I Want To Shop Around’

These words can cause you to deflate and give up immediately, because it means in your mind that nothing you can do can influence the shopper. No matter what you say, they’ll go somewhere else anyway, so what’s the point?

Why do prospective customers say this? The answer’s pretty simple. They haven’t yet been convinced that your solution deals with their needs at a sufficient level for them to move from their problem to a solution.

Let’s say it’s a mobile (cell) phone they’re looking for. The first thing to do is to get full rapport with the customer. You can say something like:

“That’s fine. I’m sure you want to know that you’re getting the best phone on the best tariff. Is that correct?”

Here, you’re on the same wavelength, proving that you want the best for them, and, naturally, the customer’s going to agree with you.

So you can ask, ‘Just out of curiosity, what kind of things will you be checking out?

This softly-softly approach makes the customer feel safe and secure in letting you know what their decision-making criteria is based on.

After they have told you their answers, these are the areas that you can concentrate on helping them decide you have the answers to.

Let’s say they want to know if the phone (or whatever it is) they are looking at with you is the best choice for them. Well, you can reiterate the discussion you had with them and identify again how this item will do exactly what they are looking for. Also, you can suggest how you can save them loads of time so they can start using their phone today, maybe in the next few minutes, and so enjoy using it rather than having the uncertainty of still ‘not-knowing’.

Never underestimate the negativity of ‘not-knowing’. In humans it can drive a fear response, building up continual worries and stress. When we ‘don’t-know’ something, the impact can be quite debilitating and can become debilitating for some, as they then apply that feeling to other areas about themselves.

As a salesperson, you can dispel those feelings by giving them confidence in their decision-making capabilities.

You could say, ‘We understand how many people feel like this (giving them security that they aren’t wrong in having that reaction). That’s why we produced this document to save you time and encourage you to make the right decision now.’

Those last five words act as a sort of ‘embedded command’ where the subconscious takes in the message that ‘now would be the best time to make the decision’.

By supplying the competitive offers, you save the customer time, effort and probably money by doing the shopping around for them.

It also keeps you on your toes, because if the competition have something better than you (in this case, a better tariff or more minutes for the same price) you can either see what you can do to match it or discuss the type of phone they have from you and how it’s better than the competitor’s.

The expression ‘I want to shop around’ is a good chance for you to show your skills as a genuine sales consultant. You’re both analysing the needs of the individual and finding out if, genuinely, you have the best offer for the customer.

If not, then you have learned what you need to change to become more attractive to the customer. If you are, you’ve proved to yourself and future customers why they have made the right choice to go with you.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image by Tung Photo at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Is “I’m Just Looking” An Objection?

It is incredible that three mere words from a total stranger will often create fear, frustration and feebleness in some of the most experienced sales people.

The extremely common response of “I’M JUST LOOKING,” from a prospective customer, actually causes some retail sales reps to walk away and WAIT for the prospect to convert him or herself into a buyer.

Is it an Objection?
However, if you think about it, the term, “I’m just looking,” is not an objection. It is also not a stall.  Actually…

“I’m just looking,” is a literal and logical fact that is a clear and decisive step in the sales process.

This step in the sales process also is a good thing for the sales person.

The fact is that people do not LOOK at things they do not like or want. When was the last time you got up and went out to a new car dealership just to look at some cars when you had absolutely no intention of ever buying a new car? If you have went out and looked at some new cars, it is only because you had some desire to eventually purchase a new car.

Even the preverbal window-shopper still has a purchase in the back of their mind, even if that purchase, at the time, is not much more than a dream or a wish. When a prospect says that he or she is just looking, they are telling you that they are looking for something that they desire; something that they want or need.

The LOOKER is a BUYER
Instead of assuming that the “I’m just looking,” prospect is not a buyer; assume the opposite.

When a prospect says, “I’m just looking…” understand that
1. The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
2. The prospect may not yet have a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
3. The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible.

If you just look at those three points, you will note that they consist of the things you are supposed to do as a professional sales person; and that is to HELP the prospect.

Help the Prospect
Look at the above three points.

#1 – The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
Is it not your job to HELP people get what they want and need?

#2 – The prospect may not have yet a set budget for the item or even believe they can afford it
Is it not your job to HELP the prospect understand the VALUE of the item or service, and how they can afford it?

#3 – The prospect may not yet have a time frame in mind or believe the purchase is even possible
Is it not your job to HELP the buyer understand the urgency, and how and why they need to act quickly?

DO YOUR JOB — HELP

Instead of…

Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker, how may I help you today?”

Prospect: “No, thank you. I’m just looking.”

Try…

Sales Person: “Hello, Mrs Looker and welcome to Heavenly Jewelers. Is there something specific you would like to LOOK at, or you or would you rather just LOOK around?”

(This instantly prevents a DEFENSIVE response from the prospect in regards to just looking.)

Prospect: “Ah, yeah, I’d like to just look around for a while.”

Sales Person: “Excellent! Thank you for choosing Heavenly Jewelers to look around. We encourage people to look as we have the finest collection of jewelry in the area to look at. Please look all you wish.”

(You have avoided defenses and stayed on the same side as the prospect. A little later…)

Sales Person: Is there any particular occasion you are looking around for? I mean, we have special collections with designs specific for certain occasions. Perhaps I can point you to one of those collections where you will have a lot more suitable items and you can take your time and look around there…”

Prospect: “Well…I was thinking of looking at something that I might use for a gift for my granddaughter’s graduation…just thinking about it though.”

Sales Person: “I understand. Take a look in this area…we have many gift items and you won’t waste your time looking at wedding rings and things for which you have no interest…”

Help the looker and remember that most lookers are buyers until a sales person insist that they are not.

Happy Selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training
http://www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

3 Steps to Handle the “I’m Just Looking,” Objection

“May I help you Sir?”

“No…I’m just looking…”

“Arrrrrrgh!”

Those words, “I’m just looking,” often strike terror in the heart of many sales people, anger and frustration in some and a sense of helplessness in others.  This one extremely common phrase causes some retail sales people to simply throw up their hands, walk away from the prospect and wait until the customer announces that they are no longer just looking and have decided to buy something.

Not an Objection
However, the term, just looking, is not an objection.  In fact, it is a logical, valid and honest response that actually spells good news for the sales person.  Consider this thought: When was the last time you walked onto a car lot just to look when you had absolutely no intention of ever buying a car?  If you have went out and looked at some new cars, it is only because you had some desire to eventually, purchase a new car.

Even the preverbal window-shopper still has a purchase in mind, even if that purchase in their mind, is more of a dream than a reality.  The fact is that people do not “look” at things they do not want.

What Does it Mean?
So what does it mean when a prospect says, “I’m just looking…”?

  1. The prospect has the purchase of something in mind
  2. The prospect may not yet have an idea of how much they will spend or can afford
  3. The prospect may not have a clear idea of when they would make a purchase or if they can

Help the Prospect
The way to deal with this is to do your job….help the prospect.  Three ways to help the prospect who is just looking:

1-      Assume the prospect may want to look
2-      Encourage, thank and help the prospect look
3-      Embrace the “looking” and help the prospect look more efficiently

 #1 – Assume the prospect may want to look

Instead of…
Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect, may I help you with something?”

Prospect:                     “No, thank you.  I’m just looking.”

Try…

Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect and welcome to ABC Jewelers.  Is there something I can show you or would you like to just look around?”

This instantly prevents a defensive response from the prospect in regards to just looking.

#2 – Encourage, thank and help the prospect look

Sales Person:               “Hello, Mrs Prospect and welcome to ABC Jewelers.  Is there something I can show you or would you like to just look around?”

Prospect:                     “Ah, yeah, I’d like to just look around for a while.”

Sales Person:               “Great!  And thank you for choosing ABC Jewelers to do some looking.  We encourage people to look as we have the finest collection of jewelry in the area to look at.  Please look all you wish.”

You have avoided defenses and stayed on the same side as the prospect.

#3 – Embrace the “looking” and help the prospect look more efficiently

Sales Person:               “Mrs Prospect, as you can see, we have many sections and some of our collection is not openly on display.  Is there some area I can direct you to so you can look?  This way you can at least look at the things you want to look at.”

Prospect:                     “Well…I was thinking of looking at something that I might use for a gift for my granddaughter’s graduation…just thinking about it though.”

Sales Person:               “Ok.  Then you may want to look in this area…we have many gift items and you won’t waste your time looking at wedding rings and things for which you have no interest…”

Assume the prospect may want to look.

Encourage, thank and help the prospect look.

Then embrace the looking and help the prospect look more efficiently.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

8 Reasons Why We Lose Customers

How many customers have you lost in the past year or two? Are you certain of that number? How many have simply stopped buying from you, but you don’t know it?

Remember; people don’t stop buying, they just stop buying from you.

Why do we lose customers? Well there are many reasons, some of which are below. But the interesting fact is that most salespeople know why they lose customers…they just don’t do anything about it.

Customers will walk away from you without telling you, unless you have built up a really good relationship with you, in which case they might tell you why they are going to use your biggest competitor.

Here’s why many customers leave:

1. You show no genuine care or personal attention. It’s the main reason we all leave a supplier…we just don’t matter to them. If you don’t care, they will go somewhere that will care. People will even sacrifice quality for speed.

2. You’re hard to do business with. Long waits on the phone, difficult to get hold of the right people, a thousand buttons to press before you get hold of a human being…all these things and more tell the client that our processes and procedures are more important than you ever will be.

3. Unfriendly people. I’m staggered by how many unfriendly people there are on the front line of service providers. We all have a bad day, but don’t take it out on the next customer. It’s not their fault. If you don’t want to serve people, leave and let someone else do it who has manners.

4. You blame the process or system for poor service. Apologising for the delay only scratches the service. If you can’t be bothered to invest in updating your systems, don’t expect me to put up with delays and problems. I’ll go somewhere who puts customers first, thank you.

5. Poor professional image. Everything your marketing and advertising says reflects on your professionalism. There’s a shop in our town I drive past on the way to work. It’s totally and utterly filthy outside all the time. I’ve never been in there. Wonder why?

6. Making up excuses about why you cant do things. If you’re not set up to help customers, why are you in business? Customers want help with their problems, and they don’t want excuses as to why things can’t be done. They want solution-finders, please.

7. Poor staff training. The wife of one of our consultants works in retail. She has been in her current job for six months. She has had five minutes of training. Everything else she has learned on the job, by default. The quality of the service offered at that establishment. You can guess!

8. Cutting the price of everything, along with quality. By slashing prices, you are telling customers that quality and service will not be invested in. Many people will go for the cheapest and nothing else, but you’ll lose the majority who have a little more dignity than that.

I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard that customers are to blame for businesses losing profits. Customers will go where they see they are cared for and appreciated. If things aren’t as good as they could be for your business, stop blaming customers and look at your own systems first. Only when they are in-synch with customer demand will you see improvements.

Happy Selling

Sean

Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

Get Out Of Denial and Provide Outstanding Service

A really interesting survey was carried out by an American company called ‘Success Masters’.

They asked their clients to complete a ‘Customer Service Evaluation’ form, where, amongst other questions, they asked this one: “How many customers walk away from an encounter with you or your staff “absolutely astonished” at the level of Service you have provided for  them”?

They were asked to rate the number out of ten; in other words, how many customers out of ten would rate your service as ‘absolutely astonishing’?

Believe it or not, the average score most staff gave themselves was an 8!  That is, they actually believed that they were giving astounding, superb, incredible and astonishing service to eight out of ten customers!

Do you think that could be right? I have my own opinions, and it doesn’t come out in favour of the salesperson!

What does this mean? Well, before you can find a solution to a problem, you have to admit that you have a problem in the first place! In retail sales, this isn’t always the easiest thing to admit.

And  if you think you’re providing excellence in 8 out of ten cases, and in reality you’re only providing a 3, “denial” is costing you lots of money – every day!

The best way to improve sales and profits has been proven to be the giving of excellent or remarkable service. And it’s a skill that can be learned, if you have the right attitude to start with.

Firstly, decide that you WILL learn to give nothing other than excellence in everything you do. It means making sure you accept responsibility for all outcomes and accept nothing less from yourself than absolute integrity towards excellence.

Then decide to learn the customer service and sales skills that will set you apart from your competitors. You don’t have to be perfect; you only have to better than the competition. Act as if this customer is the only one you will see today. Give them all your attention. Provide them with good reasons to remember you. Make their day.

If you learn the skills that will provide the foundation to create a great experience for the customer, you place yourself head and shoulders above the competition and offer something that maybe will make your new prospects advocates for your business.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

Two Quick Retail Sales Tips

I was in Dublin yesterday with a MAJOR player in the food retail industry and it reminded me of two of the very best retail sales tips that every store should use.

So it doesn’t matter what you sell in your store, use them! And if you don’t sell in retail then next time you are in store see if the sales assistants use the following two one liners on you. If they don’t they are missing out on tons of sales!

RETAIL SALES TIP 1

When a customer reaches the counter ask:

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Simple as that. Sometimes you forget what you went in for. Sometimes you just couldn’t lay your hands on an item.

Let’s look at the math.

If you had 50 stores and during each interaction at the till your staff asked:

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Over a day I would assume that each store would make an additional £20 (let’s be ultra conservative here).

50 stores x £20 = an additional £1,000 per day

Let’s assume 300 shopping days.

300 shopping days x £1,000 per day = £365,000 in additional turnover!

A no brainer if ever I saw one!

RETAIL SALES TIP 2

“Can I help you?”

That’s what you normally get asked when a shop assistant creeps up on you in a store.

And how do you reply?

“Just looking”

Of course you do!

Try saying this instead…

“Hi there, what can I help you to look for today?” or “Is there anything I can help you to look for?”

How are they going to say “Just looking now”?

Happy selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

Telephone:
0800 849 6732

Christmas Shopping Experience

So I did my Christmas shopping yesterday and I experienced a mixed retail shopping experience.

A week ago my wife Donna and I had already completed all of our shopping for our little 15 month old Daughter, Holly and all of our friends and family but now it was the dreaded “Shopping for my wife’s presents” time!

Let me tell you about just one of the experiences I had:

STORE 1 – H SAMUELS
MISSION: A locket and also a necklace

Everything was ok until the shop assistant asked me whether I wanted a 16 or 18 inch chain! Keh? Then he just left me to my own devices to choose – no advice whatsoever. He should have been asking the height of my wife, length and width of neck etc. Along those lines. Then, I asked them to be gift wrapped and he had to physically construct the boxes in front of me – this looked awful especially as they were very expensive items. By this time, all of the 8 staff in the store were with customers and another 6 customers needed help. The thing with jewellers, especially at Christmas time is that jewellery is very much a “see” and “touch” sale.

What I mean about this is that a customer almost always needs help from the shop assistant. They either want to see the product or touch it before making a buying decision so to be short staffed is a cardinal sin.

I can tell you that there were a lot of “tuts” and “comments” from the customers waiting around and a few of them left as I was walking out the door mumbling “bloomin ridiculous”

Just think how much money is walking out the door!

On a Saturday, especially at Christmas time you should be overstaffed if anything to make the customer experience that bit special. Why would you scripm and save during a month that makes you around 20% of your whole year’s turnover? It’s just crazy!

Think about the type of sell you have to make? If you are in retail, do your customers rely on you for guidance and help? Do they need to “see” and “experience” your merchandise? Or can they be left to their own devices as in a bookstore?

Think about this, your staff levels at times of the year and of the day and act accordingly.

DON’T LET MONEY WALK OUT THE DOOR WHEN IT IS READY TO BE PUT IN YOUR TILL!

Sean Mc

Did You Find Everything?

If you run a shop or are a manager in a retail store then listen up as I’ve got a really good tip for you!

We’ve just completed some retail sales training for a retail store and as part of the training we also looked at their sales processes too.

Now I’m not saying that this sales technique will work for your retail outlet but the results we have had with just one technique has added £13,000 to the turnover of each store!

Within this particular business it was sometimes hard to find what you were looking for so I recommend that everytime someone purchases an item that the person serving should ask “Did you find everything that you were looking for today?”

Want to know the results?

Well, it generated on average an additional 5 sales per day. Now it doesn’t sound a lot as the average additional sales amount came to £7.25 per item but it generated an additional £36.25 per day when annualised came to around £13k! The fact that they have over 30 stores as well means that they were adding an additional £400k turnover just by asking a question at the point of purchase!

Making sales in retail is about working smarter not harder!

Make an enquiry today to see how we can help you improve your sales performance!

Sean Mc