Effective Selling Is a Sequence Pt. 2: Building Rapport and Qualifying
Building rapport in retail sales can be a challenge. It needs to be quick and also requires you to be intuitive. Customers come in all different mindsets: talkative, quiet, visual, emotional and so on. The only thing you know for sure: no one wanders into your store if they don't have at least a passing interest in what you carry. I have often used "Do you mind if I ask your opinion about something?" Most people are pretty free with their opinions. The fact that you asked is complementary. To frame it so it's "safe" for them to express it, follow up with "We are on the fence about (here's where you pick out a piece of jewelry, a loose diamond, and show it) this piece. Some of us think it's great. Some are not so sure. What do you think?" From there, it becomes much easier to read a customer and start building rapport through aligning.
Qualifying is an interview process. This is where we allow the customers to express themself, in an attempt to assess the purpose of their visit. It must always be a give and take, pose questions and wait for the answers. The questions should be open ended early, and used for clarification later on. If you need time to think, repeat their answer back to them and ask if you have it right. Not only will this buy you a little extra time, but it will also show that you are paying attention. Do not rush this process.
A perfect qualify makes presentation and closing much simpler. "So let me ask you this. What if we could do this and that for X amount of money, and have it ready for you on Monday. We'd have a deal?"
Make sure you stop back for Pt. 3: Presentation and Trial Close.