BUSINESS BULLET: Are you asking the right questions?

At this time of year, many retailers miss out on obvious ways to increase sales, says serial entrepreneur Colin Turner.

by Colin Turner

Christmas is coming. If you're a retailer, your goose should be getting fat. If not, this week's 'Business Bullet' may help.
 
Let's play a little game. Think about what happens when you enter a shop. Chances are that the assistant will come over and say something like: 'Can I help you?', right?
 
Your usual reply? 'Just looking, thank you.'
 
That's most people's default response. It cuts off further dialogue and the assistant leave you alone. Is this happening in your store?
 
Here's an alternative idea. Try welcoming a customer instead with: 'Have you been here before?'

To borrow a line from the dating world, this is a way of opening up the channels of communication. It is guaranteed to elicit a reply other than simply, 'I'm just browsing.' Instead, you'll get a 'yes' or 'no'.
 
Dialogue can then continue with either:

1. 'No? Then you be will interested to know that we have a very special offer to welcome first-time customers.'

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