14 Ways to Sell More Today
(Let Feeling Be Your Guide)
You probably think products or services are what you sell. Bikes, shoes, software, tents, beer, americanos, refurbished axes, therapy sessions, or whatever. Sure, all day long you trade these things for pieces of green paper, but these goods are not the most important thing in your inventory.
Your fastest turner is not what carries the weight of your business. Your few big sellers are not keeping you afloat.
Sure, they represent the material boon. But they are not why folks keep coming back.
Products are simply an add-on to your brand’s good feeling. And make no mistake, customers want to experience this feeling more than anything else. It’s transformative—it changes their lives, if only for an instant.
This feeling is your money maker. Your bread and butter. It’s your competitive edge.
There are ways to ensure customers are transformed by feeling during your brief time with them. Here’s my list:
1. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: If you can’t be real and genuine while meeting the basic expectations of your job, please save everyone a headache (including you) and quit now. If you truly don’t have any other employment options, then fully conform to what’s required of you. The experience will be a good character builder even if the position turns out to be temporary.
2. SHOW UP READY TO ROLL: Arrive mentally ready to be the best version of yourself. None of this I need coffee to get going bullshit. If it’s imperative you slug a double-latte before you can complete a sentence, then plan accordingly. Get your game face on before walking in the door.
3. CHANGE YOUR GREETING: Stop welcoming folks in the same old way. If you offer up a Pavlovian, “Hello!” to every customer, it’s not special. Force yourself to alter your status quo so each greeting is made in the moment. This shift may be in verbiage, but it also may be in tone. Whatever the case, it keeps you more tuned-in to your customer.
4. LET FOLKS BROWSE: Allow customers to get acquainted with your store on their terms. Check in with them and make yourself 100% available, but stop bugging them. If your environment is welcoming and you’ve shown willingness to help, you’ll know when the customer’s ready for help (because you’re paying attention).
5. LEARN YOUR CUSTOMER’S STORY: Ask tons of questions. And not just the typical assortment you ask everyone (see #3 above). Toss in unexpected ones and give customers reason to talk about their favorite subject—themselves. When you know each your customer’s story, you’re more likely to connect. And connection is far more valuable than any widget you happen to sell.
6. SHUT UP AN LISTEN: Heed my grandma’s advice—“You’ve got two ears and one mouth…use them accordingly.” Americans, in general, are not good communicators. But if you can listen well, you’ve got a leg up. I’m often complimented on my communication skills after barely saying a word. Listening makes folks feel good. They remember how you made them feel more than anything else.
7. DON’T SELL, OUTFIT: Outfitters identify gaps, then show customers how to fill these gaps. Outfitters present all options (expensive and cheap), explain why they matter, then let customers make informed decisions on their own. Good outfitters naturally sell more. Their intention revolves around serving the customer’s well-being, not their own.
8. MATCH PRODUCTS TO THE CUSTOMER’S STORY: This requires you to understand how certain products link together. But if you are committed to your job, this should be a no-brainer. When you reference a customer’s specific life detail while offering a product solution, you prove you were listening and show you actually give a damn.
9. LEAD WITH EMOTION: Before rattling off all the technical attributes of how a product will improve a customer’s current story, get them to imagine the outcome of using it. Say things like, “Just imagine this product improving that one detail of your life.” Or, “Picture yourself feeling better because of what this thing does for you.” Help your customer imagine the result of the product before they even buy it.
10. ASSUME EVERYONE’S LOADED: Never impose your own financial limitations on your customer. Just because you can’t afford something doesn’t mean your customer can’t. Just because the customer doesn’t look the part doesn’t mean they aren’t rolling in cabbage. Everyone deserves a kick ass service experience. Don’t be so preoccupied with your own levels of comfort that you compromise someone else’s.
11. PRICE MATCH: Would you rather a customer walk out today simply because you wouldn’t budge on price? Because you didn’t knock five or ten (or twenty) bucks off to capture the sale? Give me a break. If you genuinely want to make your customers’ lives easier, you’ll do whatever it takes to earn their loyalty. And even if word gets out, what you lose in margin will be made up for in quantity.
12. KEEP EDUCATING: Only stop suggesting products when one of two things has occurred: either you’ve complely exhausted your wide range of solutions, or the customer has made it clear that they are done. Ending before this says you aren’t committed to the interaction as well as you ought to be. Or maybe you aren’t committed to your job (see #1 above).
13. CHERISH VIPS: Develop a relationship with your best customers. Know their names. Their kids’ names. Know their sizes. Their style preferences. Make them feel like a partner. Inform them when new shipments arrive. Include them in promotions. Involve them in surveys. Implement their feedback. Do everything you can to keep them shopping while singing your praises.
14. REINVENT YOURSELF: Your customer base, your market, and the world is always changing. If you don’t change with it, your brand’s story will eventually get played out. The best version of your brand is always the next iteration. Strategize it while things are good. If you wait until it’s absolutely necessary to change, you’ve waited too long.
Tom Griffen is a highly sought after presenter and educator whose message and impact transcends industries. He’ll help you (and your team) alter your personal and business narrative in a way that adds joy, satisfaction, and overall success to your life. Contact him to make the change you’re ready to make.
Coming soon…No Plan B, Tom’s book on altering the story you’ve been telling your customers for years.
Also…More to come on Tom’s 2018 storytelling walk across the USA!