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The Key to Retail Sales Success

Key to Retail Sales SuccessTop retail salespeople greet or engage their customers more effectively than average salespeople. Their effective greeting allows them to set the stage for a successful sale. A question that I am often asked at sales meetings is what part of the sales process is the most important? If you cannot develop rapport and engagement then you will never be able to discover the customer’s buying motives let alone qualify, present, and close the sale. So the greeting is the most important key to selling until rapport is established.

Here are a few ideas from top retail salespeople to help you greet and engage your customer more effectively.

Attitude- The best salespeople have a positive attitude. An effective greeting starts in your heart and mind and is telecast to your customer by your body language. The customer sees your body before they hear your voice. I will dedicate an entire article on this as well as several videos to this important topic.

Body Language- Your body language sets the stage for positive verbal communication. We are hard wired to read body language.  It is a survival mechanism. Is your body language communicating a positive message to your customer? If your body language and words are not consistent, your customer may not be comfortable enough with you to complete the sale. Study your body language.

Stay Off the Aisle- Often customers that have been shopping are anxious or agitated. Letting them have the aisle while you stand back allowing them the freedom to move about will go a long way to easing their nerves. Our goal is to establish positive communication with the customer. Ninety percent of all top salespeople use this technique to help them greet effectively.

A Sincere Smile- Your sincere smile may be the most important part of your greeting. Your desire to help the customer is manifested in your smile.

Welcome Them- Welcome your customers with warmth. I used to say “Welcome to Kronheim’s Furniture” Think about a friend coming to your home. Treat your customers with that kind or graciousness.

Magic Words- Gerry Morris wrote a wonderful article about asking customers how they slept last night, which works great in sleep shops. Go to for more details about Gerry and his products. Gerry has been kind enough to agree to be a regular contributor to our Ezine. I know his insights will help all of us. I still like John F Lawhon’s greeting, “May I direct you to something?” If those words do not fit your personality find your own greeting that works for you. If your greeting works 70% of the time or more continue to use it. If not then tweak it until it does.

My Secret Greeting- I developed this greeting for my sales manager by accident. I was actually doing some psychotherapy with him.  I then started using it and found it to be extremely effective. It is my original contribution to retail sales. It is funny and it will make you money. I will be sharing it in the next few days on my YouTube Channel. Just click on my YouTube button.

Top salespeople build their own personal sales business inside the stores business. How do they build customer loyalty? Tune in next week.

Wishing You Success,




I want to be successful but I am naturally shy. My family thinks I’m crazy for trying to be a salesperson because they know that I am an introvert. I don’t have the gift of gab. Should I stay in sales or should I quit?




I was so shy when I started in sales that I would pretend that I had to go to the bathroom when a customer was coming in, so that I would go back down to the bottom of the rotation and didn’t have to face a customer. In the old days they didn’t circle you and let you come back up to the top of the rotation. If you love people you should stay in sales. If you don’t you should probably find something else to do that would fit your personality better. Zig Zigler is a self proclaimed introvert. The salespeople that are born with the gift of gab must spend much of their time learning to listen. An introvert is a natural born listener.  We just need to learn when to speak up.  Remember that many of your customers are introverts just like you! It will be easy for you to bond with them. You will have to step things up when you are working with an extrovert to keep their interest. I almost quit many times in my first year, but I’m glad I didn’t.




“Discipline Is the Horse You Ride On the Road to Your Goals”

Pete Primeau

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Comments (3)

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  1. Bob Imhoff; Wayside Furniture, Akron, Ohio says:

    A very successful step I take with a customer. I try getting names and address when a customer is just visiting and not ready to buy. Many really do shop around. And it’s not always for the best price! Customers need the right information in order too make them feel they made a good decision. The salesperson reaching out and doing more than what the customer expects is usually the one ending up with the sale. One technique use ( a sincere one too ) is my always trying to get a customers name and address who’s out shopping around and you just happen to be the first stop. It’s relatively easy being diplomatic.
    Once with that name and address…..I simply sit and write a thank you for the visit and opportunity meeting them. It works not just with a bedding customer, but in all furniture sales. It’s truly a professional step and can generate a lot of business that results in a better paycheck!

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Bob that’s great advice! Your success is a great example for other salespeople to emulate. Thanks for contributing!


  2. Adil Sheikh says:

    Hi. Thanks Pete and Bob. Good bless you guys… I know every situation is different, yet, what are some of the best and most common ways of obtaining names and addresses from potential customers walking around in the store ? What motivation if any can we give them to do this?

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