5 Tips of the Trade: Being a Retail Extraordinaire

In 2010 there were about 4.5 million retail sales positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and almost 800 thousand more are on the way by the year 2020. Because of the lack of formal education and experience requirements in this field, people of all ages and backgrounds are dabbling into the retail industry. With such demand, employees must go above and beyond to be successful, with it all starting with customer satisfaction. Here are 5 tips of the trade I learned to help me thrive in retail sales for years:

Be Presentable

If I was greasy, smelled bad and looked unkempt, would anyone want to talk to me? Probably not. My retail success has greatly relied on pleasing the customer, which in this case means looking professional and presentable. The more unprofessional a retail sales worker looks, the less opportunities are available to please the customer, so take a shower, brush your teeth and put on some clean work clothes.

Up-sell Products (Sort of!)
When assisting a customer with finding the right product or service, I would always keep their needs and budget in mind. Sometimes a more expensive product needs to be suggested because the quality is also up to par with what the customer wants, however sometimes that’s not the case. I know it’s up to me to assist the customer in buying a quality product, regardless of brand or price, so if I know that the cheaper brand is just as good, I would let them know. It’s a win-win situation: The business still makes a profit, as well as a return customer, and the customer gets a great product/service to fit their needs without necessarily breaking their budget.

Give Customers Space
I would open the lines of communication by casually greeting customers as I work. Depending on the customer’s response, I would continue working, or answer any questions they may have. Keep in mind that not every customer is ready for a straightforward interaction right away, if at all.

Show Your Personality
Some people are funny, some and confident, and some are geeky. Personally, I’m outgoing and friendly. I’ve learned that letting my personality shine is key to getting customers to relate to me, but it must be in small doses. Too much of a good thing is, well, too much, but finding the right balance will help make the customer feel at ease.

Notice the Regulars
Some of the places I’ve worked, there would be regulars that would come into the business. The regular customers are crucial to the business because they’ll recommend it to others if they receive excellent service. Get to know these people and what they are typically seeking when entering the business. The more I’ve observed the regulars, the more I could satisfy them the next time they were in.

Use these 5 tips, and you’ll be on the fast track to being successful in the retail industry!

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