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Can you handle the first 60 seconds with the customer in the store?

There are many things that must function in every sales meeting. For those who run a shop every encounter with a customer is a moment of truth where everything you do will determine how motivated the customer is to buy.

This is scary!
Because everything really boils down to the first sixty seconds. This is where you make it - or break it.
In plain English: If you don't know how to approach a customer, you could be out of business before you have time to figure out what happened.

These are the seven steps that will show you what to do when you approach a customer and here they are:

1. Greet the customer and do it in a way that doesn't feel threatening or demanding for the customer. The client needs 10-20 seconds in order to feel comfortable in the store. During that time, a customer may feel uncomfortable if you greet him/her too quickly. If you greet too late - after 30 seconds - the customer may feel ignored and gets the feeling that you are not interested in him/her as a customer.

2. Create a great first impression by being friendly and sincere. Today's customers see right through fake smiles and a faked interest (that's also why you should make sure that you hire the right employees).

3. Start making contact by telling yourself that you are going to help. It provides you with a good feeling and it will also be felt by the customer. The customer must feel relaxed and calm in your vicinity. Take it easy when customers appear a little weary - it's all about the customers' concern about someone trying to sell them something they don't want. Your kindness will remove this concern.

4. Carefully present what the customers want and need. You do this by asking questions and observing how the customer reacts to the goods he/she comes in contact with.

5. Mix in positive words in your conversation, such as how long you have had your business, sizes and designs and the products and services you offer and what training you have in this area.

6. Slowly approach by ensuring that the customer is informed of any sale you have, that stock is limited, time is limited, financing - anything that will help the consumer make a decision NOW is important to address.

7. Use your questions to control the conversation. Anyone who asks questions is always in control of the conversation. This is important to do as early as possible. The customer only has a certain amount of time to spare for you and if you don't have time to get enough information, time will be running out and your chances to sell something disappear. The questions you ask should naturally be conversational – you're not conducting an interrogation!

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.