Four Selling Tactics Customers Are Allergic To

04.28.2016 Articles

If you are in a sales role at retail, you often spend your time testing out different sales tactics to see which strategies yield the best results. As you experiment, you learn which techniques work well and which ones push your customer out the door, leaving you with no sale.

Learning which types of sales strategies deter customers can significantly grow your bottom line. We’ve put together a list of tactics we consider to be the least effective when interacting with a customer, and verified them with our nationwide field team of Market Development Managers, Trainers, Field Operations Managers, and other BDSers. Check out the top four results below!

1. Speaking negatively about competitors

Bashing a competitor’s product is a sure-fire way to lose a sale. While it’s great to be knowledgeable about your competition, you shouldn’t spend time talking other brands down while you’re interacting with your customer. This can come across as pessimistic, or even that you aren’t knowledgeable about your own brand.

Instead, focus your conversation on the benefits of your product – why-to-buys, differentiators, or any promotions currently happening. Communication with your customer should be positive, and they should leave wanting to purchase your product, rather than not wanting to buy someone else’s.

2. Lingering while the customer is trying to make a purchase decision

Something customers are very protective of is their personal space. Shopping is an experience, and while they are in-store, they like to be comfortable. A big turn off to customers is after you’ve interacted with them and answered any questions they had, you stick around. One BDS field representative shared, “Hovering can make the customer nervous and cause them to leave that area of the store. And then, you lose the sale!”

Shoppers want to try things out, browse around, and buy products on their own terms. No need to crowd the customer while they are trying to make a purchase decision. Continue working as you would be, and be available for questions if they need help – from an appropriate distance.

3. Delivering the same talk track to each customer

What customers dislike most is being treated as anything but an individual. If you are delivering a memorized, stale sales pitch to them, they’re going to pick up on it. Today, shoppers don’t react well to the traditional sales approach, especially millennials. They want to know what’s in it for them. They’ll challenge you because they’ve already done their research.

You need to be prepared with answers to their specific questions, and be ready to tell them something they don’t already know. They chose to come to the store versus shopping online – make it worth their while by listening to their needs and recommending products to fit their specific lifestyle.

4. Not taking no for an answer

In the past, sales associates spent all of their time trying to convince customers why they should buy a product. They would have a response for every objective presented, and wouldn’t back down until the customer was worn down and decided to give into their pressure. Times have changed. If customers say they aren’t purchasing at this time, you need to know that that’s ok.

Your primary goal should always be to establish a trusting relationship with the customer, and for them to know you have their best interests in mind. If a customer doesn’t want to buy your product, don’t be intimidated by it. It simply means that they aren’t ready to buy at this time. Be respective of this, and remind them that if they have any questions or want to take a second look down the road, that you’re the person to see.

Whether you’re a retail sales associate, brand representative, or program manager, your customer interaction strategy could use a pick-me-up if you are currently utilizing any of the tactics above. Need expert advice? Contact BDS to activate a new retail strategy today.