Retail Sales Tips: 8 Tips to Drive More Customers and Boost Sales Like a Boss

A retail store with rows of clothes, accessories, and footwear

Let us state the obvious. 2020 was a rough year for in-store retail traffic. While there was a significant increase in e-commerce traffic, foot traffic in retail stores dropped by 13% during October, 2020. With uncertainty tainting every single retail store and the pandemic not showing any signs of leaving, you – as a retailer – need to leverage smart retail sales tips and strategies to retain the customers who do happen to visit your store. 

While we have seen the traffic starting to recover, with Black Friday showing a 47.5% increase in 2021 as compared to 2020, we still need to be cautious and leverage techniques that wipe out any of these uncertainties. Rather than leaving sales to chance, you can adopt these tips and techniques so you and your staff can effectively sell more and build a loyal customer base.

In this blog, we have put together a comprehensive guide to do exactly that. Here is what we will discuss:

  • 8 retail sales tips to increase your revenue and encourage higher foot traffic
  • Bonus: What are retail selling techniques?

8 retail sales tips to increase your revenue and encourage higher foot traffic

Every retailer wants more sales. But having a sales strategy that is right and makes your customers feel comfortable is paramount to boost sales. You need to know how to seem knowledgeable – but not overconfident and persistent – not pushy. 

Finding the right balance is hard, which is why we have put together a list of 8 retail selling tips that will help you succeed in getting and retaining customers.

1. Have and demonstrate good product knowledge

Product knowledge is an extremely vital skill that should be mastered. When trying to figure out how to be good at retail sales and leveraging effective retail selling techniques, start with knowing your product. It is incredibly difficult to convince someone to buy your product(s) if you don’t know what you’re selling. 

You need to be completely prepared to answer any questions that your customers throw at you. When you answer all their questions, they are more likely to have trust in you and the product. Knowing everything there is to know will enable you to have a comfortable conversation with your customer. 

Know more, sell more!

2. Offer product testing and demos

You know how when you go to the perfume section of the store, you always look for a tester? No matter how much the sales person describes the smell, you’d want to smell the perfume yourself – to know whether you like it enough to buy it or not?

Knowing your product and explaining what it does can only do so much. Most customers will want to try the product. Allowing them to try the product will enable them to understand how exactly it works and ask relevant questions. 

This retail sales tip is also where you can demonstrate your Unique Selling Point (USP). Not only can you show your USP in a live example, but also showcase how your product fairs against your competitors without saying a word against your competitor’s product. 

3. Think before you speak

blue question mark against pink background

This is more of a general suggestion, than a targeted retail sales tip. Thinking before speaking will lead to better, clearer conversations with less chances of miscommunication. No matter how much you know about your product, thinking before speaking will always come in handy and give you time to evaluate what strategy to adopt with certain customers. 

1. Avoid trait transference

You should use this tip when comparing your product with your competitors’. Thinking before you speak will also help you avoid something called trait transference. Research by Skowronski et al says that the very traits we describe in others are attributed to us, and that this association persists over time. 

This means that saying anything bad about your competitor might lead to your customer linking those traits to you. Instead, you can use this opportunity to hone into the value of your product to solve your customer’s problem.

2. Leverage introverted skills

It is a common misconception to think that extroverts make better sales associates. It is assumed that their personalities are a close match to what people associate with good salespeople. According to The Balance Careers, introverts tend to do better in sales on average than extroverts.

This is because they are more inclined to listen. A salesperson who listens more is better equipped with the perfect sales pitch for the client. This being said, extroverts do have an easier time connecting with prospects but that being said, collecting data that clients drop while listing their problems makes the final pitch that much more effective.

It should be noted that introversion and extroversion are not as black and white as people might portray it to be. It is important to know that it is a spectrum, and most people fall somewhere near the center of it. And to skyrocket your retail selling you need to effectively leverage known introverted skills – listening skills, empathy and analytical thinking skills.

4. Pay attention to customer psychology

It is good practice to keep the customer at the forefront of your sales. As previously discussed, leveraging introverted skills is highly effective. Humans have a natural tendency to seek out pleasure. 

Always use your time wisely. Pay attention to body language, the tone of the voice, and facial expressions. As a salesperson, you should know the telltale signs of whether the customer is actually interested in the product you are trying to sell or wishing to have a solitary roam in your store. If it is the latter, you should move on to the next potential customer.

Along with paying attention to your customer’s body language, also make sure your body language is up to the mark because it is imperative to have good interactions with customers, especially in retail. 

A basic rule is to be presentable, dress appropriately, have good hygiene and manners. 

5. Be bold, not brash

Finding the threshold to perseverance and being bold is tough. Because you can only be so persistent before you start getting brash and pushy. It is important to follow up with potential customers, to make sure they are converted from prospects to regulars, but it is equally important to not seem desperate in your approach. 

Tip: Be honest in your approach. Your customer’s will be able to tell if you are being dishonest about the product or it’s values to them. Knowing the product well will lead you to not just know the answer but will also encourage you to answer accurately – this will not only lead to your customers trusting you, but also convert them into regulars. 

6. Focus on the value

This is where all the previous points converge. The more value you can drive in, the higher the quality your product gives off. “This cream is cheaper if bought in this skincare bundle” seems like a misguided attempt to sell your products. Instead, saying “This face cream, if bought along with this toner and cleanser, will not just moisturize your skin but will take care of your entire skincare routine” 

Focusing on the value will lead your customers to think that the product you are trying to sell is a good investment. Which means, no matter what their budget is, they will compare it to the value of the product and how it will benefit them. 

7. Promote deals and encourage referrals

retail sale offer

You can leverage holidays and peak seasons to promote deals and discounts. You can also use gift cards so your customers can gift their family and friends. Infact, there are scheduling software, like Appointy, in the market that will provide ready-to-use templates for gift cards and help in executing exciting offers and discounts.

Referrals are a fantastic way to employ your own customers to scout for potential clients. And referred customers are more likely to trust your brand and product because others spoke well about your business. Referred customers also stay 16 – 25% more likely to stay with your business than other customers.

8. Know your sales closing ratio

At the end of the day, you should have a count of how many retail sales you made and how many customers you tried to make a sale to. So for eg: if you met 11 customers today, and 4 of them purchased your product, your sales ratio is 11/4 (2.75). 

Use these retailer tips as a means to better your sales strategy instead of being discouraged by the numbers. Aim to get your ratio to get as close to 1 as possible. Slowly and steadily, with more sales practice and of course, using these retail sales techniques and strategies effectively, you’ll realize you’re making more sales and improving your sales closing ratio in leaps and bounds.

Bonus: What are some retail selling techniques?

When selling your products, you need to first introduce your products, and build a relationship with your clients. The best part about in-person selling is the one-to-one personal conversation. With the right techniques, converting visits into regular sales will be a piece of cake.

Here are 2 commonly used retail selling techniques that will increase your sales:

SPIN selling

SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff. This method was introduced by Neil Rackham in his book SPIN Selling

  1. Situation: It is important to know the situation your customers are in. Knowing their situation, you would accurately be able to guess what your customer needs. This is an opportunity to gather information and optimize your sales pitch to match your customers’ needs and preferences. 
  2. Problem: Find out the pain points in your customers’ lives that your product could solve. If there is a product they are currently using, what are their qualms with it? Why are they looking for a replacement, what problems did their previous product not solve. These are important questions that you, as the salesperson, should know the answer to.
  3. Implication: This is where you finally start introducing your product. You explain how your product is solving the problem. The value that your product provides and offers product demos.
  4. Need-Payoff: This is the last, but arguable, the most important part of SPIN selling. This is where you close your sale. You hone into the value and how it solves your customer’s problem. Remember, get as close to a 1 in your sales closing ratio. But keep in mind all the tips that we’ve provided.

SNAP selling

SNAP stands for Simple, iNvaluable, Aligning and Prioritizing. This method was introduced by Jill Konrath in her book SNAP selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers. Implementation of this selling technique in retail will require emphasis on value and technical expertise.

  1. Keep it ‘S’imple: Simple messages and interactions are less likely to confuse your customer. Simple solutions to your customer’s problems are more effective and important to your customers than a convoluted sales pitch.
  2. Be i’N’valuable: Position yourself as the solver of problems and your product as the best solution to your customer’s problems. You are not just a salesperson, you are someone the customer currently trusts to give them what they want and need.
  3. Always ‘A’lign: This ties into the previous tip. How are you going to be invaluable without being relevant to your target audience? You need to know exactly which product to pitch and which values to drive, so the customer feels heard. 
  4. Raise ‘P’riorities: Hone in on your prospect’s priorities. When a customer is out shopping, they have a list of priorities in mind. Put your product as a solution for checking off that priority list.

Parting thoughts

clothing retails store

Keep in mind that your customer might not buy your product. After all, selling is a game you only partially control. No number of retail sales tips and tricks will 100% guarantee a sale, but it might help in increasing your sales closing ratio! 

There are software for retail stores that you can use that might help you deliver an experience that extends beyond your in-store interaction. One such tool is Appointy, which lets you improve your customer’s experience at every point in their customer journey, and steer your business towards success.

We hope these tips help you close more sales and build better customer relationships. 

All the best!

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!