Promoting retail Part 2 of 3

In my blog last week, I talked about “promoting” retail not “selling”.

I also talked about having confidence and belief in what you are recommending to your clients.

I remember in my old Office Supply days when I was first growing up in Business, there were meetings I would go to and I would hear the expression “he/she could sell ice to an eskimo”.

I never really understood this until I became more experienced and more educated. It is when I learned how crucial being able to communicate effectively plays a huge role in growing sales.

We so often get hung up on “OMG, my client already spent money on their service, now I’m asking them to spend more.” NO…we are not a restaurant. We aren’t waiters and waitresses asking if we want more food to eat or more drinks to drink. We are Professionals offering a service which many may consider luxury, yet we know is much more than that.

We are Professionals who are knowledgeable about the important of foot care and we are Professionals who care about our clients. Our clients who are repeat customers because they enjoy their service, they like us and even better, they trust us.

Communication in simple terms is the transmission of information.

This could be through verbal or non verbal methods.

  • We communicate about a products effectiveness through pictures
  • We communicate about our sanitary practices through videos
  • We communicate promotions or events through invitations

There are a myraid of effective ways to communicate. However, effective communication between two(2) people most always is through questions. We ask a question of the other person in hopes of finding a common interest, or maybe just to find out how their day was.

Whatever the reason for the question, you will notice, when we ask a question it is typically answered graciously and with detail (sometimes too much LOL)

It isn’t and shouldn’t be any different in our service rooms. The one thing I always teach is to “never ask a close ended question”. 

Close-ended question is when we ask our clients to choose from a predefined set of responses, typically one-word answers such as “yes/no”, “true/false”, or a set of multiple-choice questions. For example: “Do you like your feet?” and our client then has to choose “Yes/No”.

You want to open that channel of communication. You cannot and will not do this by asking questions which only require a one word answer.

The boomerang effect is a technique which is used quite often in the sales arena.

By using this sales technique, you can flip a prospect’s negative viewpoint into a positive outcome and maximize your likelihood of success.

Much like the flight of a boomerang, this method ‘hurls’ the clients objection back at them to help them see the situation from a different angle.

My favorite example of the boomerang effect is when you are suggesting a product to a client and they say “I already have 10 foot creams in my bathroom cabinet.”

An easy boomerang is you then respond with “they must not be working for you”. This would make me pause and think….she may be right. After all, if they worked, I wouldn’t have so many sitting in my closet.

Many like to call these sales techniques. I personally like to call them common sense. Especially when you consider the Industry we are in and what we do. We make people look and feel good.,

Address Pain Points…Tell your customers exactly what you offer and directly relate it to how it can help them.

Ask Specific Questions… Ask for specific examples or further clarification when a potential customer tells you what they don’t like about their feet.
You must start with a natural discussion, ask questions to understand your clients situation and requirements, and then follow up by incorporating what you recommend to help them. Let the client do most of the talking.

Collaborative selling… this involves working with a customer to identify their needs and find an optimal solution for them.

If any of this sounds like a lot of work for you, your’e missing the one key ingredient in effectively promoting retail … your consultation!

I’ve been saying for years. Gone are the days of greeting our client and immediately beginning their service. The service beginning should always be your consultation. This includes new and existing clientele.
Not only is a consultation important due to health concerns, it is also a key ingredient in knowing what YOU are going to recommend to your client for at home care.
  • Are they an everyday user of product or do they just use it when they think about it
  • Is the skin on their feet cracked or maybe just a little fractured
  • Are they able to reach their feet, or is someone with them able to assist?
  • Are they currently using skin care on their feet?
  • Do they walk barefoot?

There are many questions which can be asked and there is an observation period which is always prior to putting their feet in water or applying any products.

  • Would you go see a hairstylist and be happy if the color mixture was waiting for you before you even sat down?
  • Would you be happy with a Massage therapist who didn’t ask if you had any aches or pains?
  • Would you be happy with your skin care specialist if she didn’t inquire about any allergies you might have.

I could go on and on with examples. My point is;

  1. Communication/consultation should always be your first step.
  2. You want to change the image of our industry? Change how you communicate to your clients.
  3. You want to build trust and loyalty in your Business? Give your clients a reason to trust you.

Effective communication is an important part of all interaction with all people. However, if retail is your goal….effective communication is key.

Stay tuned for Part 3 – setting realistic goals for success in promoting retail

Like what you read? Visit our website for an archive of blogs written specifically to help you learn and grown. Want more?  Feel free to reach out for personal mentoring.


Cj Murray, President

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