To be an excellent salesman, one must understand customer motives better than customers themselves. There are certain techniques and psychology is dedicated to understanding customer behavior. Customer loyalty adds an additional level of complexity to the shopper-salesman relationship.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
There are several types of shoppers: the window shopper who merely browses, the loyal fan who shops regularly, the discount savvy customer looking for a deal, the impulse buyer who shops on a whim, and the needy customer who has clear intentions. As a salesman, your responsibility is to recognize each type of shopper based on the subtle characteristics they display. Retailers must be able to distinguish between the varying spending personalities so they can tailor their approach to each customer and turn them into fans. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to loyalty anymore.
Historically, retail’s best practices dictated the salesperson motto: “Always Be Closing.” However, evidence shows this motto needs updating. If a customer makes a purchase, the relationship with that customer is just beginning. A retailer does not want the customer to leave with just one small bag, but five or six large bags. The salesperson wants the customer to leave satisfied so they are more likely to return to the store in the future. Closing one deal is no longer sufficient. Instead, the updated model relies heavily on loyalty.
Steps to Ensure Success
- Close a deal. However, once the customer is willing to buy a product, it is not enough to close him/her right at that moment. An opportunity will be missed to develop a meaningful relationship with the shopper. The customer needs to be willing to buy and have an experience that makes them want to come back.
- Keep the customer engaged well beyond the first transaction. Even after they have exited the store, they should be reflecting on the shopping experience; perhaps they will write comments and a review online, or stay updated with a business by following them on social media.
- Keep a customer excited about the brand by sending personalized notifications and discounts. These allow customers to feel special and facilitate brand advocacy, even days after a transaction.
The salesperson-customer relationship is delicate. The retailer has a supply of something that a customer needs or wants. The balance of power can sway easily within seconds, but no one is satisfied until a transaction is complete. Regardless of the type of customer—whether it be the window shopper or the impulse buyer—a business must work hard to ensure they create happy customers who buy or get more than he/she bargained for and keep coming back.
To read more, check out the whitepaper, Right-Time vs Real-Time Marketing: Determining the Best Time to Market.