Monday, August 22, 2016

Be Present

Researchers at Stockholm School of Economics begin by noting how consumers, since they are human beings, feel better when in the presence of other people who seem to be hospitable. It’s one example of what evolutionary psychology calls the most basic sales pitches of all: Our distant ancestors sought alliances in order to evade physical harm
     Then the Stockholm researchers moved on from the prehistoric savannah to the retail sales floor, where they found that those other people making us feel better could be store staff and those others do not even need to interact with us for it to work. The mere presence and visibility of a hospitable employee significantly increased both shopper pleasure and purchaser satisfaction.
     However this “Be Present” tip for retailers does differ from the “Be Present” of mindful meditation. The Zen Buddhist meaning is, “Whatever you’re doing right now, focus completely on doing that one thing. Attend to every aspect of what you’re doing, to your body, sensations, thoughts.”
     This state of mind wouldn’t mesh well with good retail customer service. The interception rate would suffer mightily. Business researchers define “interception rate” as the percentage of consumers entering a shop who are spoken to by a salesperson working for that shop. The idea of attending to fruitful contact with each shopper is an important one. Such contact enhances the probability of closing a sale and convincing the customer to return to the store.
     I do agree, though, that the “interception” part of the term makes it sound like the salesperson is blocking the shopper’s path, which is a pretty bad way to earn good will. The Stockholm research reassures us that we don’t need to swoop in immediately. We can acknowledge the shopper, then be present for a bit.
     In these cases, why would a shopper initiate the contact? Researchers at Justus Liebig University and Zeppelin University say some of the reasons are what you’d expect. It happens when the shopper knows what they want, but isn’t sure which of the available alternatives to select. No surprise that this is a factor. Still, the research findings did provide a twist: To raise the interception rate, train yourself and your staff to sense how much time and mental energy the shopper wants to spend considering the shopping decision. If a shopper fears that you’ll be giving too much information in reply, they’ll avoid asking you.

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

Click below for more: 
Evolve the Most Basic Sales Pitches of All
Intercept Shoppers Fruitfully
Beware Open Sell
Irritate Me Rather Than Ignore Me
“Check Out This Item!”

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