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The ultimate guide to active selling

What kind of selling is done in your shop? Yes, that’s right… what kind of selling?

This weekend while running errands, I stopped in a local restaurant for lunch and was immediately greeted, “Welcome to...”, which seemed to catch on like wildfire. I’m sure the restaurant’s intent was to immediately acknowledge their customer and make them feel welcome, but it got me thinking about the different experiences that customers receive and how a warm welcome shouldn’t end there.

activesell Does your floral shop represent active selling or passive selling? We all know that active selling generates higher sales and profits, while passive selling encourages the customer to shop at another establishment that makes them feel more important. But what are the most important points of active engagement?

Webster’s definition of active is action; moving; engaged in activity; initiating action and change; action vs. state of being; producing profit, interest or dividends.

Active selling begins with an initial greeting to each customer who enters the shop, continuous interaction with the customer as he/she browses, being available to answer questions relating to floral products, exhibiting an ability to understand a special order and create it upon demand, and the expertise to provide all services required.

Passive selling is product sitting on a shelf; no personal interaction with the customer; no one available to provide expert service to the customer and no one available to answer questions relating to the product itself.

Which type of salesmanship (active or passive) drives the most sales, generates profits, and creates a service-oriented image?

Here are the Top Five ways to create an active selling environment:

1. Speak first

Be sure to be the first one to speak, asking each customer if he/she needs any assistance. If yes, help the customer efficiently and quickly. If not, simply allow the customer to freely roam and let her/him know that you will remain available should a need arise later.

2. Stay visible

Customers are more inclined to enter and shop when they can see someone actively working in the department. Even though some of the work you do such as watering, processing, manicuring or designing may seem routine, customers find it interesting to watch. Take advantage of it to generate additional sales.

3. Customer first

Always remember that the customer comes before anything else: phone calls, unloading product, watering, socializing with a teammate, lunch hour or quitting time. There is nothing more important than your customer.

4. Quality

There is no such thing as a “reduced quality plant.” There are only good products or bad products. Poor quality products have no place in a floral shop at any price. Use this as a qualifier: “If the product is not good enough for your Mother, then it’s not good enough for someone else’s Mother, either.”

5. Finish the sale

Remember, a customer purchases a product because they want to be recognized by someone else when they present the flowers to them. Make sure that everything that is sold to a customer has your finishing touch and will leave the shop as an impressive gift. Go the extra mile and package the product properly. Close the transaction by thanking the customer for the purchase and inviting them back the next time they need another special gift.

So, there you have it. A first impression is a lasting impression. Properly greeting customers will be the difference between repeat sales and a one-time sale.

Active selling should always be on the front-line of your business plan to optimize sales and profits. When service is good… customers recognize it, and they’ll come back for more.

Melissa Jones is an experienced mass market and e-commerce buyer with over 15 years in the industry.

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