Working in retail isn’t all fun and games.  Actually the only games we play are to push sales. Not much “thinking outside the box” in terms of motivating employees…just sending the same message ten different (but highly similar) ways. In addition to selling merchandise, there is the element of making the customer a repeat customer.  How can we ensure they will shop with us again? How can I make sure they wil consistently come back to my store, and internalize the value they are receiving by shopping with us? Enter credit cards and reward systems.  Boom. Now my customer can earn reward points for cash back in our store, special benefits only card holders have access to, and 24/7 assistance and attention if they run into any problems. But then after we come up with this tool, prove it is valuable to have for the company, how do we know when to spring it on our unknowing customer, when all they were expecting that visit was to buy their jeans and new pair of shoes?

It really is an art form of interpersonal skill and retail salesmanship to make a good assessment as to when to pitch the rewards credit card to a customer. You have to read into how their day may be going, how satisfied they feel with how their shopping experience went.  Did they find everything they wanted? Were they satisfied with their wait time for assistance? Did someone piss them off on the sales floor and this is why I am dealing with them at the moment? Also, as unfortunate as it sounds, by taking a peak at the brands they have selected, what they are wearing at the moment, what kind of handbag does she have can all provide information or “data” as to how receptive this customer will be to holding one of our retail credit cards.

It is important to not just throw the proposal out there, for you would be surprised how quickly someone will shut down and tune you out.  You have to ease into it, wait for the right moment in the point of sale, and then slip it in making it something they just can’t live without.  If the answer is no, kindly finish the transaction, then your next project is on his or her way….next in line!

 

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