GEAR: “A” Part One

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For the past few months in this newsletter we’ve been talking in detail about the ideal customer shopping experience in retail. If you’ve been following along you know that our process for this is called GEAR. Each letter indicates one phase of the sales process. Our first goal is to GET INVOLVED with the customer. Once we have that permission from the customer we begin to EDIT to determine what the customer needs.

That brings us to the third phase of this process.
Once you and your customer have agreed on the right product for them, we must take an additional step to actually get commitment (and the sale). We must make the product APPEAL to the customer. Our attitude should be, “I want you to make sure you’ve made the right choice.” Our goal is to get the customer to experience the product and connect with it. Too many people in sales are focused on just the right “closing technique.” Most shoppers today are well versed in all these techniques and they come across to us as, well, techniques.
Instead let’s simply give the customer an opportunity to interact with the product. The approach should be for the customer to experience the “feeling of ownership.” Once they’ve connected to the right product there’ll be no stopping the purchase. They’re in love!
If you’ve ever shopped at Sam’s Club or Costco on a busy Saturday, you have experienced this in action. On these days, you’ll find the staff cooking the products and giving them away. “Would you like to try a sample?” Why, of course. Once you try the product—taste it for yourself—and determine that it could work for you, the sale is made.
There’s a great reason why Anthropologie (women’s boutique) dedicates so much of their square footage to dressing rooms. They treat the dressing room experience as the most important part of the customer’s visit to their store. Why? They want shoppers to take their time, try on lots of clothes, and see how they look and feel. They know that once the customer has the feeling of ownership, the sale is guaranteed.
No matter what you sell, you have to look for these opportunities. You can easily see how nutrition and apparel can be implemented. What about your products:
A few years ago while working with a ski goggles company we learned an important truth about selling goggles (especially to women). Goggles, by themselves, didn’t look good on your head when trying them on the store. But if you also put on a helmet or hat, a scarf and parka, the goggles looked perfect. That’s the feeling of ownership—and that is the perfect way to make sure your product will APPEAL enough to be purchased. Forget closing techniques. Focus on the feeling of ownership instead.


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