What if you knew what was on your customers’ minds? You could ease their concerns, improve their shopping experience, and create more repeat customers.
Mind-reading is impossible, of course, but you can get customers to share their thoughts and questions through open, honest dialogue that builds lasting relationships. Read on to learn five basic ways to engage your customers and foster mutually beneficial partnerships.
1. “I’m new to this. Don’t judge me.”
Unfamiliar surroundings can intimidate new customers and fuel insecurities, which leads to stress. And stress, of course, hampers decision-making, said sales expert Jeff Shore.
To create more sales, you must make customers feel welcome at your shop and comfortable with your products. McKinsey found that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re being treated. Treat them with respect and you’ll earn their business.
Introduce yourself, be kind, establish rapport, and show you’re there to help. Create a customer experience that’s all about them. Try not to tell your personal hunting stories or flaunt your scores from last night’s league shoot unless you’re asked, or unless it relates back to them as a customer.
Put aside your biases, and listen to each customer’s desires. Use that knowledge to help identify products and equipment they’ll love. Positive experiences help put them at ease and make lasting impressions that they’ll share with their friends.
2. “Can I trust you? Are you certified to teach archery?”
Customers must trust you, your instructions and your product recommendations. They want to know they’re in good hands, and that you won’t take advantage of them. That’s especially true if you’re teaching them archery. To help instill trust and create lasting customers, display your archery-instructor certification prominently. An archery certification is more than just a piece of paper or title. It’s a validation that build credibility.
Getting certified to teach archery tells customers you’re capable and qualified to be their instructor. It shows them you know your stuff. It tells them they’re being taught and advised by a safe, knowledgeable instructor. Advertise the fact you — and your staff — are certified instructors. It assures them you run a professional store that’s staffed with experts.
3. “What equipment do I need and how much will it cost?”
Professional archery shops offer lots of products and equipment. After establishing trust and good relations with your customers, introduce them to your products.
Ask – and respect – what your customers can spend. A Gallup poll, for example, found that nearly one in three Americans maintains a household budget. Ask your customers if they have a budget, and then work with them to find equipment that suits their needs.
Be straightforward about costs, but show your value and offer your expertise. Customers will pay more for quality and service, said marketing expert Ryan Jenkins. Use that insight to your advantage, but don’t take advantage of it. Your customers trust you to help. Don’t try to sell products they don’t need.
4. “What are you doing?”
Customers are curious and inquisitive. If you work on their bow, explain what you’re doing and why. Explanations help justify your service costs and build trust. Further, your involvement and interaction makes them feel special, valued and appreciated. Monster Worldwide Inc. says good customer-employer relationships keep customers in the communication loop about their equipment, and the products and services you offer. That interaction and personalized help gives you an edge over your competitors.
5. “What should I do next?”
Don’t just sell your customers equipment and leave them hanging. Explain when their equipment requires maintenance. What should they expect from their equipment? Show them how to make simple repairs or tweaks like adjusting their sight pins and changing the draw weight.
Be sure to promote your classes, lessons, leagues or events. Remind them that your classes and events are taught by certified instructors, which helps ensure customers learn proper form. In turn, the better they shoot, the more likely they’ll have fun, positive experiences.
If you take good care of your customers and they seem satisfied with their experience, don’t stop there. Ask them to refer your business to friends and write reviews on Yelp, Google or social media.
Not sure where to start? The ATA has programs to help retailers grow their business. From business support and marketing resources to workshops and information on archery classes, ATA programs and trained staff help you serve current customers, reach new ones and sell more equipment.