Thursday, April 14, 2011

Strengthen Perceptions of Self-Consistency

Involved shoppers return to your store and listen to staff’s advice about trying items and switching to brands that carry higher profit margins for you and can provide superior benefits for the purchaser. To build customer involvement, personalize the selling message:
  • Maintain pleasant eye contact. Your staff shouldn’t be looking harshly at customers, but they should be maintaining eye contact with the customer while talking to them. At the same time, be aware how among some cultures, direct prolonged eye contact is considered aggressive, flirtatious, or worse. In these cases, use briefer and less continuous glances.
  • Call customers by name. This is easiest to do with the regulars who come into the store and talk with staff. In other cases, you’ll see the person’s name on a credit card, need to ask for it when filling out a special order form, or overhear a shopper’s companion call them by name. Be sensitive to whether the customer objects to being called by their first name. It’s usually safer to use the last name.
  • Ask questions that include the word “you.” This is a tactic you can use in signage, not solely in personal selling. “Would you like to improve your golf score?” “When was the last time you sat in a chair as comfortable as this one?”
     However, researchers at State University of New York-New Paltz and University of Nebraska identified a variable that can undercut the personalizing producing an openness to accepting a retailer’s recommendations: It is the extent to which the shopper believes they are consistent in their choices.
     Some shoppers carry a self-image of stability regarding how they assess products and services for purchase. They view themselves as using similar criteria and as probably making the same choices again in the future if the circumstances are similar. Compared to shoppers with a self-image of low stability, the shoppers with high-stability self-images appreciate customized recommendations more and are more receptive to learning from the salesperson.
     How do we change self-images of low stability into self-images of high stability in order to increase our influence? Using questions that include the word “you,” help the shopper describe the criteria they use and recall the instances in which they’ve used those criteria:
     “In the past, what standards have you used in selecting a floral arrangement? How did those standards work out for you in a few instances you remember?”

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Personalize the Selling Message
Introduce Unfamiliar Products Like Old Friends

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