Saturday, December 18, 2010

Soothe the Savage Shopper with Silence

Your shoppers are surrounded by sound. Even the toys are alarmingly loud. George Prochnik, author of In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise, points out that a Hannah Montana in Concert Collection Doll generates up to 103 decibels, while Tickle Me Elmo reaches 100 decibels. That’s what you’d hear from the engine of a motorcycle or snowmobile.
     All this auditory stimulation can aggravate emotions. Mr. Prochnik writes about his conversations with an officer from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police, who says that many domestic dispute calls turn out to be noise complaints. The officer tells the people to turn down the music and the voices and the rest and be silent for a minute. “Well, you would be amazed how often that’s the end of it.”
     The officer is on to something. Excessive noise leads us to tighten our muscles, and as research from National University of Singapore and University of Chicago confirms, tense muscles keep people from being sold what they’re not fully convinced they want. Being sold different ideas like, “There are other ways to resolve this dispute you’re having.” And what makes all this more important for you as a retailer, being sold merchandise they’ve hesitations about buying. To facilitate the sale and soothe the savage shopper, introduce some silence. A little peace and quiet also soothes the harried salesperson.
  • When a customer, client, or patient seems to be getting progressively more upset in a noisy environment, reduce the noise. Invite the person to move to a quieter location, if possible. Turn down the volume of the music, if possible. Speak just loudly enough for the person to easily hear you, and not louder than that. Stay alert for signs you’re talking too softly, though, to the elderly and hearing impaired.
  • If a shopper makes what seems to you to be an unreasonable request, introduce a pause. Stop whatever else you’re doing. Face the person straight on. Look directly at their eyes. Be silent for about ten seconds. Spend the time building within yourself a “Welcome to my business. You are somebody who can help me pay my bills. I prefer to find a way to avoid saying no to you” frame of mind. Then while looking at the shopper with a smile, say, “Please tell me again how I may help you.”
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Lift the Spirits of Your Customers
Reward the Purchase with a Pleasing Sound
Use Music to Motivate, Not Disrupt
Use Sound Effects to Sell

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