I was in Lush the other day, to get shampoo, and came out with £70’s worth of stuff. This is a regular thing for me. And I’m sure from seeing so many people post Lush hauls, that it is for you too.
There is a reason that Lush has so many sales staff, there seems to be a ratio of nearly 1 staff to 1 customer every time I go in. If you go into any other store, they don’t have as many sales staff working. The staff in House of Fraser, for example, are not actively involved in sales. They’re order takers at the till and they are on the shop floor making everything look tidy. Lush sales strategies must be so effective, that they are well worth the extra wage packets.
Lush sales staff use a very very simple method of sales, the method is so concrete, that they don’t need to hire professional sales men, almost anyone (okay mostly lovely people) can do this job.
Step one: they listen to what you want. They’ll always ask you why you’re there, what have you come to buy? Do you need something specific or are you just looking for something to pamper yourself with?
Step two: they provide you with a product which they think fits your needs, which they have carefully considered. They may offer you a dichotomy, which means they’ll offer you two products as if there is only a choice between these two things and not everything in the store and outside it (and not buying it is not presented as an option).
Step three: (the most powerful): they touch you. They show you the soap or shampoo on your hand, giving you a lovely little rub and smiling at you with their lovely faces. This caressing, personal touch makes us feel connected to someone and allows them to persuade us more easily. Touching and sales has been extensively written about and studied and is a very well known sales technique. We not only experience the touch, we smell our hands, we feel how smooth they are and the whole thing turns into a positive sensory experience which we then go onto associate with their brand.
So there you go, listen to your customers first and foremost, find out what they want and give them a careful response about what you can offer. If you’re not able to use touch as part of your sales, there are a number of other powerful sales strategies available. I use gifts, I give my time freely. If possible, I meet with my clients somewhere nice and I’ll buy them a coffee or breakfast and offer to do something for them for free, such as a review of their current work or a free sample of mine.
There are so many things people do to overcomplicate sales that are ineffective. The most common mistakes I’ve come across are:
- Thinking you have to give the big sell. Nobody wants to listen to anybody talk for 20 minutes. Talking about how great the features of your product are service is backfires and turns people off. This is trying to establish yourself as the superior person in the conversation. And it makes people feel pressured and inferior.
- Excessive use of compliments. I get this from MLM (multi-level marketing) ladies the most. They’ll DM me telling me how pretty, fun or cool I seem – I would be the perfect person to buy their stuff. It comes across as immediately fake and it’s just unnecessary. This is trying to position yourself as the subordinate person in the conversation so the other person feels superior. This just makes people look down on you.
When building rapport, try and position yourself as the equal of the person you’re talking to. This is best done by a technique called mirroring.
How to mirror? Match how the other person speaks and holds themselves. If they look leaned back and relaxed, do the same. If they’re upright and frantically taking notes, sit up and hold a pen yourself. If they’re sweary, throw in a few bad words. If they sign off every email with 🙂 XXXXX 🙂 <3 then feel free to add plenty of emojis and don’t keep things so formal. Mirroring is something that requires practice, and you can do so by paying attention to the people around you and seeing how they react to you mirroring them.
Respond to personal stories with an anecdote of your own, be chatty and conversation and listen, listen listen.