In the world of retail, you’ll be swamped with customers, and not all of them are going to buy from you. One of the lines that you’ll need to particularly get used to is: “I’m just browsing”. Sometimes, there’s nothing more to it. On other occasions, you can dig deeper to find what they’re after and turn that comment into a sale.
Let’s start with the obvious. Many customers utter this line because they simply are doing nothing but browsing. They’ve made their way into your store on the off chance, and they’re interested to see what you have to offer. For whatever reason, they’re interested in your products. That’s a good starting point for both you and the customer.
This line won’t always arise as a result of general browsing, though. Customers are aware of the rigorous marketing techniques that are often applied by retail stores. So, this can be their defense against being pushed to buy the “latest and greatest” equipment. This is where you need to be a little more careful about how you proceed.
In the first instance, it’s always a good idea to at least pose the question of whether the customer is OK. Don’t jump on them as soon as they enter the store, though. Wait a little while, and calmly ask them whether they need any assistance. If the “I’m just browsing” line rears its head, you need to analyze the situation.
If it appears as though they’re still a little hesitant, you might want to make an observation about something they’re looking at, for example. This sparks conversation, often drawing the real reason for their visit out of them. Finding non-pressurizing ways to create indicative small talk might just sway the deal.
This is also where investing in e-commerce website design will put your retail business ahead. These days, in-store retail can’t compete with the online marketplace in many cases. If you have a website in which your products are available to buy, you’ve got the advantage. If someone is leaving, hand them a brochure with a list of products that are all available from your website. You might not have made the sale today, but you’ll be fresh in their mind, and you might just benefit via an internet-based change of heart.
Beware The Aggressive Mentality
For many, the “I’m just browsing” line is a defense mechanism, as we mentioned earlier. If customers weren’t so afraid of employees in the store, they wouldn’t need to utter this sentence. So, why does it happen? This is mainly due to a small portion of businesses that ruin it for the rest of us. They do this by adopting an overly-aggressive mentality. They’ll hassle the customer for a sale, often pushing them out the door.
This might gain sales from the weak-minded who are easily convinced, but it won’t work often. More importantly, it will diminish your company’s reputation and drive the general public away. As tempted as you might be, don’t employ aggressive tactics for the sake of a sale. Assertiveness is a different matter, though.