The technique of selling shoes and accessories against customer manipulation
23.01.2019 37911

The technique of selling shoes and accessories against customer manipulation

Most likely, you are already tired of listening to complaints from your sellers that your shoes are no different from competitors' shoes, moreover, in other stores prices are lower, discounts are higher, and the assortment is wider. A familiar picture, isn't it? Why is this happening? Yes, because the vast majority of customers want to save and pay as little as possible, but at the same time get everything to the maximum, even contrary to common sense. Tricky customers begin to manipulate sellers who, without recognizing the manipulation, fall into this bait from time to time. As a result, such concessions to customers result in loss of profit and a decrease in the profitability of the retail business. How to avoid this and how to work with client manipulations, says SR expert Yevgeny Danchev.

Evgeny Danchev Evgeny Danchev -

business coach, consultant, expert in increasing sales of the fashion market. Author of the book "A Practical Guide to Increasing Sales of Shoes and Accessories". Author of sales scripts "60 responses to customer objections in a retail shoe store" and "Standards for retail shoe sales." Creator of an online school for fashion market leaders.


Customers begin to manipulate sellers, saying that "if you do not give a discount, I will buy a similar product elsewhere," or something similar - ingenuity knows no bounds here. And what does the seller who does not recognize the manipulations do not know what to say in response to the easy blackmail of the buyer? He goes to the head and asks for an additional discount. This results in the loss of part of the profit, a decrease in the profitability of the business. Another bad news is that the seller begins to act on such a scheme constantly, this is a habit. What to do with this, retail business owners, as a rule, do not know. Let’s try to give an answer to the question in this article: it turns out that it is possible to significantly increase the sales funnel conversion and increase the company's turnover using only one of the elements of the sales technique, it is called “objection handling”.

What is reframing?

So, there is a traditional approach to working with objections, which is used by most trainers. It lies in the fact that the seller is asked to respond to customer objections with clarifying questions and present their counterarguments. Everything would be fine, but the problem is that most people don't like it when they try to convince them. They like to make their own decisions.

Therefore, it is better to use a method that allows you to sow doubt in the client’s head, which can lead to the fact that he himself will change his attitude to the objection. This method is called “reframing”, which in translation into Russian means “reformatting”. There are 12 types of reframing that can be used to work with a client on the trading floor, we will analyze one of them in this material - reframing of meaning.

Reframing allows you to change the assessment of the situation by another person and play with its meaning. This can be done even in ordinary everyday conversation.

Examples of conversation in a shoe store:

Buyer: "These boots for 10 000 rubles are too expensive for me."
Salesman: “Repairing or buying new shoes will cost you more if you want to save on quality!”

Buyer: "You have too little assortment of shoes."
Salesman: "Yes, in our store only bestsellers are presented, such a choice saves you time and money."

Customer: “There are no discounts in your store ?!”

Seller: “But should high-quality and sought-after goods be sold at big discounts?”

Why is reframing used in sales?

This is a way to change the buyer's attitude to his doubt (objection), it is used in the case when you need to change the assessment (meaning) of the event by another person.

What determines the meaning of an event? Firstly, what actually happens, that is, the event itself. Secondly, in what context is this happening. All the client’s objections are essentially neutral, the client simply looks at the product and the situation in a certain negative context, he sees only one side of the coin. Using reframing, the seller must show the client its reverse side, so that the buyer has something to compare.

Learning to choose synonyms

The essence of the “Reframing of meaning” method is that one word in a sentence is replaced with a similar word (synonym). For example, a mother enters her son’s room and tells him: “What kind of mess in your room!” And her son replies: “Mom is not a mess, this is a creative mess.” In this example, the word with a negative rating “mess” is replaced by a more positive phrase “creative mess”. Thus, the reformatting of the assessment of the situation occurs.

Another example: a discreet Englishman does not know how to tell the secretary that she has been fired, and puts it this way: “Miss Jones, you are doing your job so well that I don’t even know what we would do without you. But from Monday we’ll try. ” Or another example, already on the topic of sales. The client objects: "These boots are more expensive than I expected." A trained seller answers: "Yes, there is a slight difference in price, which is made up of thicker leather and a polyurethane insole, which acts as a shock absorber when walking." In this example, the objection “more expensive” is replaced by the word “small price difference”. Agree, the second sounds more positive, especially since the seller reasonably substantiates the difference in price.

Further, a few examples from the training “Working with objections in the shoe salon”, they were invented by the participants themselves (shoe sales assistants) after mastering the theoretical part:

Buyer: “You have too expensive cosmetics for shoes!”

Salesman: “Is it really because of the difference in 200 rubles that you want to shorten the life of your shoes?”

In this example, the word "dear" is replaced by the word "difference in 200 rubles."

Buyer: “I read on the Internet that you have low-quality shoes for sale!”

Salesman: “I think that our competitors who spread such rumors simply do not know how to honestly work in the market!”

The words "low-quality shoes" are replaced by "spread rumors."

Buyer: “You do not have discounts on shoes!”

Salesman: “We do not overprices and do not force our customers to bargain, we work with fair prices!”

There are even two reframings. The seller transforms the objection “no discounts” into “do not overstate prices” and “do not force to bargain”.

Buyer: "This model is more expensive than I saw in the XXX store!"

Seller: "Are you ready to buy what you like less because of a small difference in price?"

The objection “more expensive” is replaced by “a slight difference in price”.

These examples are quite enough to make it clear: the essence of the "reframing of meaning" is that a linguistic "aikido" technique is used against the client. Playing with words, you can change the customer’s attitude to the product and its properties (price, quality, features, etc.). And the main "trick" is that the client himself in the process of communicating with the seller can change his attitude to the objection. The use of reframing in sales techniques does not guarantee you 100% of the result with each client, but significantly increases the chances of a sale.

In order for your company to introduce reframing techniques as a standard for working with objections, of course, you need to create a methodological guide for sellers that will describe in detail the main objections and each of them - 5-6 answers on the structure of reframing that you have to come up with yourself. After developing such a corporate manual, it is necessary to certify existing sellers and give it out to newcomers when hiring. In the language of professional consultants, this is called "scripting for customer objections." There are already ready-made methodological manuals on the reframing technique on the market, for example, “50 of responses to customer objections in a shoe salon” by SR expert, business coach Evgeny Danchev.

If you have more than one store, but a whole network of shoe and accessories stores, then periodically you can conduct one-day trainings for sellers to master the skills of working with several types of reframing. The conversion of the sales funnel (the ratio of visitors entering the store and buying a product) depends on the professional skills of each seller.

In the shoe business, the average conversion rate is 8% (for 100 visitors - 8 buyers). And if through the use of reframing conversion increases to 10%, then the store’s turnover will increase by 25%, provided that the average check is the same.  

This article was published in the 144 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Most likely, you are already tired of listening to complaints from your sellers that your shoes are no different from competitors' shoes, moreover, in other stores prices are lower, discounts are more, and ...
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