Closing Your Customers
What it means to “close” your customers
When it comes down to the business side, it’s all about closing the customer. However, what does “closing” really mean. Does it mean to close the sale? Is that really all there is to it?
Through our Fashion Benchmark project, it was discovered that closing was the lowest scoring section of an evaluation visit. Which is curious as to why that is. For example, the staff may score high on other aspects of the visit, such as greeting, product knowledge, selling attitude – but not closing? Note that most visits are (generally) non-purchase scenarios.
I’m, sure you’re thinking that if it’s a non-purchase scenario, how is a staff supposed to close the sale? This is where it gets interesting.
What is Means to Close
Although, often thought of as another term for making the sale. Closing the sales had more to do with closing the customer – not necessarily the sale. Let’s say 80% of customer that enter the store do not purchase an item. However, that 80% are potential buyers. Regardless, whether they make the purchase during the visit or otherwise.
Imagining a Visit
So, let’s image we enter a store that caught our interest. We are immediately greeted by the staff who attends to us well. The visit is enjoyable, the staff is friendly and proactive in providing information about the products.
Now, you had not planned on making the purchase and are not willing to do so at that point of time. The staff simply says “thank you” and walk away.
Though, this may not seem like a big deal. The staff was friendly and polite, and you were also thanked as you left. But that’s the exact reason the customer was not “closed.”
Beyond the First Impression
We are thought that first impressions matter. Yes, that’s true. Which is why it’s important to greet customer. However, the last impression also matters.
All other stores greet their customer. Customers have therefore been accustomed and conditioned to being greeted. An impression of a “not greeted” scenario is more prominently remembered.
Good service is standard and product knowledge should be adequate to say the least. It is the closing that can set staff apart from the rest.
Closing The Customer
Whether a customer makes a purchase or not is only the short game. In the long term, making a lasting impression would give the customer a reason to go back. The staff was kind, attended to me well, I felt comfortable talking to the staff, the staff was honest – are all reasons customers would return. This can turn into what retail staff call regulars.
So sometimes, it would pay off to offer the customer to place the item on hold or give them the details of the items they looked at. Inviting them to visit the online store to find out more about the products etc. There are many ways to “close” the customer.
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