Increase Retail & Merchandising Sales

Sample Sign Virgin MegastoreRon Marx wrote in asking, “How is it best to approach a customer when they enter my retail store?” ”Also, how do I increase my Merchandising Sales?” Well Ron, you like most retail store owners are probably saying:

  • “How can I help you today?”
  • “Here for something special?”
  • “What can I help you find?”

And, then the customer says, “I’m just looking.”

To turn a browser into a buyer you have to do the same things I have talked about in other sales articles:

  • Get the Customer Excited with Sign’s
  • Get Customer Excited with a Nice Store Layout
  • Build Rapport
  • Match & Mirror
  • Establish a Yes Set
  • Assume the Sale

Get Customer Excited with Sign’s and Layout

The easiest way to make a customer buy, is to get them excited with a beautiful sign and window display. Here are article’s that show you some beautiful sign’s and display’s. Most Amazing Signs & Amazing Store Window Display’s.

Now that they are excited, knock them out with a beautiful store interior. Here is a article that shows some of the Best Store Interiors.

Building Rapport

I’m not going to go into Rapport Building here, because I covered it in detail in my How to Get People to Like you Article. Read more there.

The definition of rapport is the development of a close and harmonious relationship in which two or more people understand each other and can communicate well. By doing this right the person will hang on your every word.

I also talk about mirroring and matching in that article. Mirroring is when you mirror a person’s:

  • Movement
  • Body Position
  • Hand Gestures
  • Tone of Language

Matching is when you copy a persons representation systems. You are not going to be able to match them until you are conversing with them more than likely though.

Establishing a Yes Set

Research has shown that if you ask a series of seven questions, relevant to them making a purchase, that the customer will purchase the product. These questions must evoke an answer of yes or a positive response and they must be relevant!

First you want the customer to feel at ease and not pressured. The question, “What can I get for you today?”, puts the client on the defensive. Give them space by saying, “Hello, thanks for coming in today, feel free to browse and if you need me I’ll be right here, Ok?” You have welcomed them, put them at ease and hopefully got your first “Yes”, with the addition of the word “Ok.”

If at all possible, build rapport with the customer, by using what is called a Rapport Hook. Rapport Hooks, force the other person to try and build rapport with you.

You create a rapport hook by starting an interesting story and then before you talk about how you were able to get through the problem you say, “to cut a long story short, everything worked itself out.”

Tell them a true crazy story about a product in the store, or a crazy request from a customer. Talk about anything that would be of interest and also have to do with a customer making a purchase.

Another great Rapport Hook, is the introduction Rapport Hook. It’s basic layout includes interesting comment, interesting comment, and open ended question. Here is one I used recently at a cocktail party in which I knew nobody. “Excuse me, between finding out how much money my broker lost me and my new born, I forgot to eat today. What looks good on the buffet?”

I gave them many conversation starter’s here:

  • Baby’s
  • Stock Market
  • Gambling
  • Food
  • Open Ended Question: “What looks good on the buffet?”

You could use a similar one based on which local restaurant they like to go to and spend money.

What to Do When they Look at a Product

Ok, you have established Rapport and have some “Yes’s” under your belt. They are looking closely at a product now. What should you do? Get more Yes’s of course.

  • Say, “I’ve noticed your looking at (insert product)”
  • If they say they are just browsing, move away and wait for them to look for you for help
  • If they say Yes, say, “You have good taste. I’d be happy to show you a nice feature on that product, if you have a moment?”
  • Then ask, “How does this product compare to others you’ve looked at?”
  • Get them to agree that they like certain features
  • If you get 7 affirmation’s that they like the product, they will almost definitely buy without hesitation!

Here I’m asking more and more relevant positive questions. If you have established rapport, the customer will welcome your input. (Remember to Mirror and Match)

You should now to start assuming they are going to purchase the product, by:

  • Telling them about how happy other customers have been with the product
  • Telling them why others purchased the product
  • Comparing this product to only one other similar product
  • Asking them what they like about the product
  • Asking them to imagine how the product will benefit themselves
  • Tell them stories about how you use the product, or a product similar to it

Once they see themselves using the product, they will buy! Continue evoking emotional responses, by directing them towards the emotional satisfaction gained from making the purchase.

Spotting Buy Signs

You will know the customer is ready to buy if:

  • They start to unconsciously mirror you
  • If when you ask buying questions, they put their hands toward their mouth, they have a question. Ask them what they are thinking about.
  • If they start speaking emotionally about the product
  • They pick the product up and cradle it


If you do everything else right you won’t need to close in the traditional way. This is what is great about selling in a retail environment. Most of the products are cheap, and the ones that aren’t, are easily provided through financing options.

To close just simply say, “You know you deserve (product), let me help you take it to the counter, or wrap that up for you.”

That’s All Folk’s

These are the basic step’s to follow in increasing your retail sales. Stay in the mind set of by helping the customer get what they need, you’ll get what you need. Are there more complicated sales techniques than this? Definitely, but most go roughly along these lines.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comment box below.

Here to Serve

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2 Responses to “Increase Retail & Merchandising Sales”

  1. says:

    I agree, its all bout customer service….its easy to sell almost anything when you put extra affort just by talking, be kind and nice but of course knowledgeble in our product. I have done that hundreds of time and it works. The customer even try to memorize my name. I am not good with name but my customers are.

    • admin says:

      I’ve never found selling to be hard if I believe in my product, or service. The only people I ever have trouble with are the 5% that can never make a decision. I just tell them to move on and look for the other 95% 🙂


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