The salespeople at your retail store or restaurant are supposed to help you, not hurt you. Even well-intentioned employees can inadvertently get in the way of a sale.
Here are three ways your employees' behavior may be hurting your sales and what you can do to avoid it.
1. Accidentally Undermining Sales with Negativity
Imagine, you're at your local bistro and you see they have a special for a goat cheese and roasted vegetable panini. To you, someone who likes goat cheese and veggies – at least in this imaginary story – that sounds quite delicious.
As you go to order it, a somber staff member starts to ring you up and says, "You know that has sun-dried tomatoes in it, right?" And, "...have you had goat cheese before? It's a little more 'game-y' than regular cheese."Yuck, you're neutrally nodding but at the same time, second-guessing your order. "Um, maybe I'll just have the grilled cheese, thanks."
Great. Now the staff member has essentially talked you out of a delicious meal and now the owner/chef who has strategically placed a roasted veggie and goat cheese panini on special to turn some profit and avoid surplus stock has lost out on a sale––in favor of a bread and cheese sandwich.
Now imagine you walk into a retail store that has some great items. You DON'T get greeted by the employee at the counter as you enter but as you're browsing closer to the front desk you can't help but break the awkwardness. You say something like, "Hi ... how are you?" and are met with, "Hanging in there" or some other low-vibration response like, "Been better, thanks." You empathize but casually make your way to the door because ... awkward! No one wants to feel unwelcome let alone like a bother, so you beat it out of there without buying anything.
Teach your employees this: Negativity never sells. Make sure your employees know how important it is to be positive and upbeat at the point of sale.
2. Employees Skipping "the Process" of Point of Sale
We've all been there before, you're about to check out at a restaurant or retail space and you get the usual questions:
- Have you shopped/dined with us before?
- Are you part of our rewards program?
- Phone number? Email?
Although as consumers we don't always LOVE to offer up this information – as business owners this is an essential step in creating our warm market. People who already know about our businesses and are familiar with us. People we can reach out to again and again about specials, sales and special events.
This employee behavior of skipping the process of the point of sale procedures hurts business owners. Some customers are all about loyalty rewards, coupons and specials, and engaging them is what it takes to make repeat sales. Not taking email or contact info, not asking if they heard about the sale or offer of the weekend, and skipping the process of offering or entering rewards stamps or points is a BIG mistake from your employees.
How to avoid this: Make sure your employees are properly trained and have a point of sale system and software that has stop points and reminders so that these details are never forgotten and these questions are always asked.
Giving Sales "Tips" That Cannibalize Your Profit
Here's another final scenario. You're in a local retail store about to purchase a... pair of really nice shoes, let's say. A helpful salesperson inquires if you need any assistance. You're ready to treat yourself and you oblige and ask them to try on a trendy pair that you've had your eye on. You try them on, they look amazing, you're sold. They're pretty pricey, but you deserve them.
Now, as you start to head up to the counter to make your purchase, the friendly salesperson gestures to you and says, "You know, you can get those for a really great deal if you shop online instead."
You (of course) look interested, the salesperson continues, "Yea, just go to the website and put them in your online shopping cart, then don't buy them there either ... close out your browser and wait to get retargeted by our Facebook campaign, it will give you a coupon code for 25% off your first purchase.
Hmm. Clever. You can't help but be tempted to save some money, and thus, the store loses a sale (for now), possibly in favor of a later sale with a way smaller margin – and that's even if you like the shoes enough to go to all that trouble when you get home to make the purchase at a lesser price. A lot of people would just abandon the buy all together in this scenario.
Although the salesperson here was being helpful and friendly, their behavior is still hurting sales and crushing business. Avoid this with proper training and give your employees some skin in the game, perhaps by offering rewards when they make sales.
Enough is Enough
Bottom line, your retail or restaurant employees are salespeople. They're there to provide value to your customers and to curate an environment that makes money. Make sure you're not letting them exhibit these three behaviors that can seriously hurt your sales.
Point of Sale Can Help
Contact us today for a free demo of a retail and hospitality point of sale system with a proven track record for getting your employees to avoid common mistakes that cost business owners.