RETAIL 101: 3 WORDS TO NEVER SAY TO A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER
When a customer first enters your business, the last word they'll ever expect to hear is "no." You would think this was an obvious no-no word but apparently not! Did you know Forever21 absolutely refuses to offer you what the mannequin is wearing even if the item is completely sold out? I find that kind of ridiculous mainly because the golden rule in retail is "The Customer is Always Right" and I do understand that maybe it causes more work for the employee but, after all, isn't that their job? To go above and beyond to make the customer happy? You should always have a YES mentality - as much as physically possible.
A customer wants to spend a ton of money but really needs you to ship the items for her...you better say yes! A customer will be out of town for 15 days but your exchange policy only allows 14 and she shows up on the 15th day and really wants a different size..within reason, say YES! In business, I've always found a way to try and say YES to every single thing I could when it came to customers. You want that item off the mannequin when there are 50 of them on the ground? YES. You want me to follow you around and hold everything for you? YES! If I don't have time, you better bet I'll grab an associate who does. YES YES YES.
OH MY GOSH, don't even get me started. The word "cheap" sounds cheap. Say this sentence to yourself "This shirt is super cheap!" Now, do you want that shirt? Probably not. One word I completely deleted from my vocabulary (unless absolutely necessary) is "cheap." Try replacing this word with affordable, a good steal, a great buy, or a good deal for example. Cheap will make your product SOUND cheap, and that's not good at all.
I can't tell you how much it makes my skin crawl when I hear Sales Associates use terms of endearment with customers they don't know. I know you really don't mean anything bad by this at all and the words "babe" and "honey" really aren't bad. After all, I am from the south and people just speak that way here and I'm certainly not modest or prude AT ALL. But when it comes to making a sell, the last thing I have ever done is use these words: babe, sweetie, sweetheart, honey, girl, beautiful, baby, etc. It can come off the wrong way and a little too intense for a lot of customers. Now, imagine you're helping someone's husband and the wife walks up and hears you calling him baby. You then greet her but don't call her baby and you mean nothing by that! She is not going to be a happy wife - which means no happy life..or better yet, no sale. If you don't see the issue, pay attention to the way Sales Associates address you and see if you can really see the difference words like ma'am & sir make. Also, no no no to touching a customer. No rubbing their arms or anything that may make them feel comfortable unless you know them personally.
Share this with your employees & coworkers and let me know what words you'd add to the list!