Retail sales staff aren’t doing enough to close the sale

According to almost 40,000 mystery shoppers, Australian retail staff’s selling skills are in trouble, with numbers dropping in regards to creating upsell opportunities and closing a deal.

This is according to new data compiled by The Realise Group for the 2008-2009 financial year.

According to the company, there were significant improvements from the 2006-2007 report, but in many areas the standards have slipped across the retail landscape.

The results highlighted that only 48 per cent of sales assistants attempted to add-on or upsell a purchase, which is a decline of 4 per cent from 2007. In addition to this only 56 per cent attempted to close a sale, which is 8 per cent below the 2007 figure.

The basic customer service standard of approaching customers to offer assistance was one of the key positives of the 2006-2007 report, but throughout 2008-2009 this fell dramatically by 11 per cent from 85 per cent to 74 per cent.

“The results were a surprise, as our expectation was that the recession would have created an imperative to deliver on these critical standards to encourage sales,” said Katie Miles, managing director of The Realise Group.

“In these competitive times, sales staff need to be more than just a smiling face. They need to be equipped with the skills to turn browsers into buying customers and encourage shoppers to purchase more than they intended to.”

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