If the buyer, having barely crossed the threshold of the store, is interested in discounts, for the seller this should mean only one thing: the customer has come in for a reason and can be brought to a purchase, even if there are no discounts in the store. The well-known marketer and sales specialist Marina Prokina talks about how to do this.
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What to do if the buyer asks about discounts from the doorway
Buyers are waiting for discounts, and this is normal, because sellers themselves have accustomed them to regular promotions and sales. 95% of consumers respond to discount messages, so a discount can be a good way to attract the attention of potential buyers. But at the same time, we must remember that far from all of them, the discount is really important and may prompt a purchase. More often than not, a question like “Do you have discounts?” Is simply a way to start a conversation with the seller and give yourself some time to look around. That is why it is so important not to take this phrase as a specific request of the buyer, and to start working with him actively, even if there are no discounts at the moment. The store director must make sure that the sellers are sufficiently motivated and trained for such active sales, regardless of the presence or absence of a sale.
Although, of course, it wouldn’t hurt a single store to have permanent discounts - it’s not so important which ones - be it discounts on accessories, on the last size or on the second pair. Discounts help to manage sales, eliminating the assortment of stale goods, strengthen customer loyalty and slightly facilitate the work of the seller. It’s one thing to answer a specific customer’s question with the phrase “Unfortunately, we don’t have discounts now,” and another thing is to say, “Yes, of course, we have discounts. What are you exactly interested in?". The main thing is not to explain what exactly the special offer is valid if the buyer does not ask clarifying questions. Remember that for the buyer the question about discounts is just an excuse to make sure that he came in not in vain. You can prove it to him in other ways, and the success of the conviction will depend on the competent work of the seller.
How to convince the buyer without resorting to discounts?
If the buyer went into the store, it means that he has a specific interest, motive. And this motive is unlikely to be associated with a low price, otherwise a person would sit at home waiting for a sale, and would not go shopping. The seller’s task is to determine what motive is inherent in a particular buyer, and to build their communication based on the identified motive. You can persuade anyone: you just need to know how. According to the SABONE model developed by the Frenchman J.F. Krolar, there are only six motivating people or values guiding people. And the motive of saving is far from the most common, and people who value saving, contrary to popular belief, are not subject to the magic of discounts: even knowing about a favorable offer, they will continue to search for similar goods at an even lower price. Customers, for whom discounts have at least some value, are actually guided by the “convenience” motive. They like the product to be useful, and the purchase process itself is quick and clear. A discount of even 2% can convince them that they have a good offer in front of them, which should not be refused. It is important for people with the dominant motive of “safety” that the product is reliable and the seller gives a guarantee on it. If your store provides an extended warranty for shoes, notify the customer as soon as possible. There is a good chance that you will be confronted with a security connoisseur, whom such an argument can impress. If the visitor has a pronounced motive “affection”, then such a person needs careful service and special attention of the seller. He wants to be emotionally involved in the buying process and is willing to pay for something that will allow him to brighten up his everyday life. People with the “novelty” motive should be convinced with phrases emphasizing the novelty of the brand, technology, footwear designs, and people with the “prestige” motif - arguments in favor of the exclusivity of the product and the uniqueness of its properties.
Communicating with the buyer, it is important to abandon the view of the product in terms of their values and sell shoes taking into account the values of the buyer. An appeal to the convenience of shoes when selling it to someone who is driven by the “prestige” motive is unlikely to produce outstanding results, as well as a story about a guarantee to a person who cares about the novelty of the product. In order to understand who is in front of you, observe the buyer and listen to his words when he talks about what he is looking for.
When the buyer hesitates
Work with objections is a separate stage of the sale, which cannot be described in a couple of paragraphs. Therefore, here we would focus only on those cases when the buyer has already made a decision to purchase the goods, but says something in the spirit of “I will wait for discounts” or “I will come back later”. This often happens with regular customers who are loyal to the brand and are well aware of the store’s sales schedule. But they are not safe from a failed purchase, because the size or model you like can end. The seller can remind the buyer of this, or better, see how many sizes are available. It happens that the buyer likes the shoes, but its price is really high. In this case, the seller should try to find out whether the buyer has a great desire to purchase this model, or if the client thinks he can choose a replacement. Providing several other options to choose from, the buyer can be convinced that he liked the shoes - the very "one and only". Another way to push a client to a decision is to offer him to put the box aside for half an hour: urgency makes people make a choice. In addition, any buyer will be glad that they helped him make a decision, and with gratitude will take such care from the seller.
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