Tea or Coffee

Dear Tony,

I work in retail selling kitchen and bedrooms and find it very difficult to engage a customer when they first walk into store. I always ask if they’d like a drink and 9 out of 10 times they refuse, so I leave them be. I then find it difficult to approach them again as I feel like I’m pestering them. Is there a way around this?

Customers are quite defensive these days and are almost expecting staff to pounce on them; so their natural reaction is to refuse a drink and be dismissive. Naturally this puts you on the back foot and understandably you feel awkward to reapproach.

The key is to always look busy, but approachable. I recommend having a cloth in your back pocket so as soon as you see a customer walk into store you can start cleaning the surfaces. You must acknowledge them immediately by a simply good morning or afternoon. After approx. 45 secs I suggest approaching them and introducing yourself and saying the following: “I’m just making myself a coffee, what would You like tea or coffee?”

By asking it this way I guarantee you’ll get more customers agreeing to a drink, therefore resulting in staying in store for longer and more receptive to discuss their requirements.

 

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