HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 17, 2020 – RETAIL SALES DEPARTMENT STORES (BIG BOX)
Pay Attention to Body Language
Along with active listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking.’ (Yes, I just made that term up.) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body.
A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing active listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a short list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer.
- Eye Contact
Where a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re working with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else,” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell trouble if you don’t pay attention.
Another important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms.
Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently: let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this posture reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an excellent sign. If your customer has taken this sort of posture in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. (Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of.)
Make It A Champion Day!