"The Retail Help Kit" produced by The Spa Association includes this valuable resource for identifying and satisfying your most challenging retail clients.
Every retail client brings past experiences, personality traits, gripes, and other baggage with them, says The Spa Association’s (SPAA) executive director Melinda Minton. "The Retail Help Kit,” one of several educational kits produced by SPAA and free to members, offers numerous insights into successful retailing, including identification of several difficult personality types and the best ways to tame them.
1. The Skeptic. This type of customer can be cynical. She sees the glass as not half-full, but half empty, often with a crack in the base as well. She may be sarcastic, condescending, and antagonistic. Let this character know she is right and she is understood.
2. The Bargain Hunter. Believe it or not, this type of customer does not just want to save money, she also wants to know that she’s being smart about her purchase. She needs reassurance that she’s getting the best possible deal. While giving her a basement rate deal is not necessary, it is wise to reassure her that she really is a great negotiator. Make sure that she leaves feeling like the winner.
3. The Obnoxious Big Shot. This customer needs to be the center of attention. Play up on the fact that she is a “very important” client. She may respond well to statements, such as, “This is a very exclusive product. Many of my clients would love to have this moisturizer if only they could afford this kind of luxury and quality.” Know-it-alls also fit nicely into this niche. “You are so knowledgeable about skin care, surely you have heard about the latest in transdermal hydration. Well, our brand was actually one of the first with that state-of-the-art technology.”
4. Indecisive Ingrid. This type of customer cannot make up her mind. The longer that this prospect wallows in indecision, the more fearful she will become about making a mistake. Firmly push her toward a safe decision and then reassure her until the sale is closed. Reinforce the sale with a post-closing call to congratulate her on such a wise purchase.
5. The Hostile Piranha. This personality type is angry—plain and simple. Other major elements of her life are not going well and you are her target for revenge. Before any major damage is incurred, de-fang this client by saying something such as, “I know exactly how you feel” when fielding her complaints. Emphasize, relate, and elevate by saying such things as, “I wish more customers were as honest about their feelings as you. It is so much easier to find a solution when customers are knowledgeable enough to just state the facts like you have."
For more information on The Spa Association, visit www.thespaassociation.com or call (970) 226-6145.