A look at the myriad ways retailers can improve sales?.

Effective sales

From the moment we were born, we have all been selling ourselves, to make friends, be accepted, secure food and comfort – the list is endless. How do we do it?

We use that timeless skill called building rapport and guess what – when we do it there is no script in sight. If you know your product – and that is paramount for any salesperson – a script is not necessary. You can answer questions, give clearer information, and above all speak with confidence.

Rapport building

We are drawn to people we like the sound and look of and in some cases that little piece of something that Simon Cowell likes to call the X factor. The X factor doesn’t mean we have to be great singers, it can apply to any arena and when it comes to relationship and rapport building many people just have ‘it’ – great interpersonal skills that engage people and create a great conversation packed with information.

Beyond rapport building, product knowledge is a must. Any salesperson who knows their product inside out is in a position to sell the right solution to the customer, which will probably include the added revenue gained through cross-selling and upselling.


Upselling and cross-selling are massive opportunities to raise the average transactional sale. More importantly, it offers great customer service because it allows you to offer a solution to the customer that is more suited to their needs. Everyone can benefit.

Quite often a customer will visit a store with a preconceived idea of what they want. They may have plenty of information but is it up to date and accurate? If a customer doesn’t know what is available, he can’t ask to buy it.

Upselling is about introducing customers to products that better suit their needs or desires – by saving them time or money, by delivering better results or appealing to their personal needs of wanting to own the latest technology, and so on.

Cross-selling can be gained by introducing additional items that will enhance the product/service performance. Introduce them into the sale at the earliest opportunity, especially as a response to buying signals.

Creative questions

We are aware that open questions – the whos, whats, whys, whens, wheres and hows – deliver information. Good salespeople use them with greater creativity, such as “What would happen if…” Or “How good would it be if…”

Open questions can also be used to encourage the customer to think about the benefits themselves rather than being told by the salesperson.

When used effectively, this will put your customer into the future; they will see, hear and feel themselves using or experiencing your product or service. This in turn will enable them to see, hear and feel how they are benefitting from it.

By creating a situation that ‘paints a problem’ for the client and then by describing how easily it could be solved, with a final creative question on ‘How good would that be?’, the customer has been asked to think about how they will feel when the problem has been removed by the solution – that is, ‘feeling the cure’.

 It is a massive convincer. Once they have experienced the ‘headache’ they will want to keep the medicine to hand.

Ultimately, good customer service comes through providing the correct solution to the customer and that could mean introducing upselling or cross-selling. In both instances, leading the customer to identify the benefits for themselves is a good practice to follow.

Good selling folks!

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