Selling in times of COVID

The lockdown due to Covid-19 has driven many retailers to despair. But burying your head in the sand has never been the solution for business success. Our guest author and sales coach Jörg Winter shares his motivation and anticipation for the successful re-opening of the retail sector. He writes about his personal experiences with clients, reveals how to get your team passionate about selling, and how to bring the relationship with your customers back to life together. 

Customers buy from winners

Her excitement is obvious even through the phone: In our conversation, my client who runs four stores even gets me excited: “I am so proud of us, of how we have dealt with all the big challenges of the past months!” My client talks the same way to her employees, suppliers and customers. Even though her sales have gone down and many things are more difficult than before the times of Covid-19. But she has made it through so far and says so with pride.

What I really like about her attitude is the constructive demeanour. It would be easy to tune in to the now commonplace lamenting. It is true, recent times have been and continue to be tough. But she did not give in. She pays attention to her own motivational effect. That is what people need: other people to encourage them – together, we will be successful.

And what about you? Do you carry your team forwards? Or, maybe, are you pulling them down?

You have probably heard it before: “We always have an effect!”

Many people are unfortunately not aware of this self-evident fact, as day-to-day business is what takes up most of our attention. We often forget about the effect we ourselves have. Do you want to get your team motivated and passionate about selling again? Then answer the following questions together:

  • How do I / we want to appear accessible to our customers? What do we need to do to achieve that? What can we do better? Find out together with your employees how each one of you can have a positive effect on your own attitude. That leads to higher self-esteem – one of the most important ingredients when it comes to successful retail. 
  • Get your day started together with a morning routine and answer the question: What are our plans for today? Daily goals do not only provide variety, but also more security. People feel safer when they know what is ahead.

Provide for a spirit of renewal: Clean up, rearrange and present anew together

A feast for the eyes. Are your wares presented enticingly? Do your best products catch the eye, or are they drowning in a sheer oversupply of interchangeable goods that everyone could get anywhere? Tidy out the place. Direct your customers’ attention to your most special products.

Surprise your customers. Change up the presentations on your tables. Especially applicable to this: your personal discoveries. They can and should be in the upper price segments. 

Do not be shy about high prices. As a specialised retailer, you do not stand out with price leadership, but quality leadership. If parts of your product range can be had elsewhere for much less money, discontinue them and provide for replacements. This works much more often than most people want to believe.

Inspire your customers. “That reminds me of…” “May I show you this as well…” “Why don’t you just get both!” Those are a couple of examples of how to get your customers in the spirit of discovering and buying. Casual, friendly and attentive. Think along with your customers and share your passion.

How to get over the fear of contact and breathe new life into your relationships with your customers

  • Reminisce with your employees about pleasant experiences and what made them laugh with your customers. That provides for the right focus and anticipation.
  • Talk to your customers about all the good things that happened during the lockdown.
  • Throw in a little joke here and there. An A-board with the wording “Please keep your distance. My smile is contagious even if it is hidden under my mask.” will remind your customers of what is important in a friendly way and get your team more relaxed.
  • Make sure you are eating healthy together. That strengthens your immune system and makes you feel good about taking care of yourself. Talk about the positive things you are all doing for yourselves and get each other inspired.

Your customers are yearning for encounters and shopping experiences. You have all the requirements to fulfil these essential needs in an impactful way. Give your positive energy free rein and get to selling.

About the author:

Jörg Winter has been a success coach for businesspeople and their employees in specialist retail for over 30 years. His topics: selling exceptionally well and expert teamwork. He is the coach for eleven information exchange groups.

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