Five Retail Sales Mistakes to Avoid

by Debbie Allen

Everyone who deals with customers in a retail environment has learned ways to help close more sales. Many of them were even learned in sales training or from seasoned professionals. But could you be costing yourself sales instead? Here are five retail sales mistakes you should avoid.

Mistake #1: Listening to the Wrong Messages
If you say to a salesperson, ‘I want to buy your product’, chances are they heard every word of that message. But if you say to that same salesperson, "I’ve changed my mind and I don’t want to buy this product," suddenly you notice their eyes glazing over as they hear something completely different than the words that come out of the customer’s mouth.

Often we are taught in sales training to ignore objections and only listen to "hooks" or "openings" that the customer may pass along and then to go in for the close. Now does this approach work? Sure it works some of time. It has worked for hundreds  f years with sales bullies. But does it work to build a long-term relationship with your customers? Hmmm, that is a good question to ask yourself if your listening skills need a tune up.

Mistake #2: Dominating a Prospective Customer
We’ve all been manipulated or lied to by a salesperson and been turned off by this sales approach. Some sales people think they can fool prospects with charm, flattery, and dramatic appeal, but these behaviors only mask the underlying motivation behind every word of the message. When I went to buy my new car, I heard every salesperson at the dealership use those same tactics over and over again. I was shocked and appalled that this type of sales pressure still exists today in a world full of much more savvy consumers.

Mistake #3: Staying One Step Ahead
Anytime you are one step ahead of your prospective customer,  your customer has fallen twenty steps behind you. Is that  fair when you are trying to build a relationship with someone? Follow your customer’s lead and stay one step beside them if you want to build a strong bond and lasting connection.



Mistake #4: Believing You Need a Degree in Sales
Some people waste too many years getting a college degree in sales and still don’t do a good job at it. Getting a degree won’t instantly make you a great salesperson. The only credentials you need for sales are the knowledge and interest in what you are selling along with the desire to help and inform others. Then when you have the opportunity to sell it over and over again, you will have the confidence and the skill to make lots of sales. 

Mistake #5: Judging People Too Quickly
If you feel that you may judge or size up people too  quickly, stop and take another look at yourself first. Spend more time judging your abilities and journaling your sales success instead of spending time searching for your prospect’s weakness. Sure, sales people do this all them time and exploit others weaknesses to their advantage. But this is no way to build lasting  relationships, get referrals, repeat business and make more sales.

About the author:
Debbie Allen is an international professional speaker, business consultant and author of Confessions of Shameless series of books. As a marketing and retail business expert, Debbie has presented to thousands from around the world. For more information or to sign up for Debbie’s free newsletter, visit her web site at at www.DebbieAllen.com.

 
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