Written by Expert Guidance, Members Only


~ Bob Phibbs is a Keynote Speaker at Pawn Expo 2021 ~

By Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor
SalesRX Online Retail Sales Training 

You want fries with that? This is probably the most derided add-on question ever asked. 

And at the time, the most valuable. 

Yet most retailers are thrilled when someone agrees to buy one thing and can’t imagine someone would want something other than what they asked for. 

But let’s return to French fries… Just by training their employees to ask everyone the same question, McDonalds increased their sales dramatically. 

As we look at a post-pandemic future it is easy to chase the next Instagram engagement idea, the “must have” live video, the adoption of more paid ads. 

But the best pawn brokers understand you should get more from the customers you have before you try to attract new ones. 

Why? Because a person who says yes once, is much more likely to say yes again. Provided you know what you’re doing. 

Using suggestive selling is a great way to increase your per-ticket sales and generate more revenue for your shop. 

Nowadays, you can’t get much traction by asking “Anything else?” because you trip the customer’s autonomic response lever to immediately answer, “No,” before they even consider what else they could purchase. 

Once you’ve connected on a personal level to a customer looking to purchase a fine watch for example, you’ve taken price out of the equation and made that transaction a purely emotional decision. 

The right sales training will make these techniques a natural extension of your sales staff’s approach to customer service. 

But make no mistake, suggestive selling isn’t a natural ability. 

That’s because most untrained salespeople feel relief that their selling job is over when they hear someone say, “I’ll take it.” 

But the fact of the matter is the selling part of the job is just the beginning. After all, when someone comes in and says, “I want a pair of earrings,” the employee is little more than an order picker or direction giver.  And even if they came in and said, “I need a new pair of earrings and a watchband,” the employee is still just fulfilling what the customer came in and asked for. 

But when the employee can show interest in the shopper in the first few minutes and get their trust, they can easily sell the add-on watch strap and maybe even a gift for someone else.  

This is important, especially post-pandemic, because your profit still comes from the second item a customer buys. 

Here Are Three Ways to Perfect Suggestive Selling In Your Pawn Shop: 

1) It’s Always About the Customer. To make them the center of attention, salespeople need to be able to customize their product suggestions to the individual customer… at that unique moment. Tastes and needs can change over time, so salespeople shouldn’t make general assumptions about what add-on is right for every customer. 

To make this work, salespeople need to constantly work on their communication and rapport-building skills. Customers will give you all of the information you need to make the right suggestion at the right time – as long as they trust you. 

Let that sit for a minute. 

That means there is a great deal of responsibility riding on how well those salespeople can get an oftentimes complete stranger to trust them. Maintaining rapport and using the right questions at the right time will guide your salespeople to the perfect suggestion most every time. 

2) Keep Suggestions Relevant. There can be a tendency to use the same add-on features and benefits for every customer. This doesn’t work well with higher-end items. Remember, these customers want the entire experience (including the product) to be about them; unique, special, bespoke. 

Coupled with robust product knowledge, proper sales training will allow your salespeople to show every nuance of the products they sell and how those products complement each other. If all your salespeople know are the general talking points about a product, then it’s hard for them to relate those products to new clients with different interests.  

For example, since jewelry buyers start online with all the information before they even arrive at your store, your staff are often left with the option of having nothing relevant to say. Role-playing is essential to being able to swiftly respond to each customer as an individual, not a generic prospect. 

3) Keep the Focus on Value. If the conversation stays focused on price, it’s nearly impossible to suggest useful add-ons. As long as the customer is focused on cost because you keep mentioning price before they even try it on, the customer can’t see value.  

Well-trained salespeople know how to steer the conversation toward the overall value of the add-on product separate from its cost, even if it costs as much as the original item. They also know adding jewelry to a dress doesn’t create jewelry and a dress – it creates an ensemble.  

Limit talking about price so the item can create desire in the customer. That means the goal is not turning the tag over and announcing but getting the item on the customer. 

In all things luxury, the focus must be on creating exceptional and personalized experiences for the customers. These suggestive selling tips are the natural outgrowth of that philosophy. It puts the customer at the center of attention. 

The right retail sales training will teach your salespeople all the techniques they need to maximize that approach… and maximize revenue for your store. 

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Sell more in your store by suggestively adding on to every sale. 

  1. Each customer must receive bespoke service which requires you to swiftly be able to keep the focus on what they are telling you. 

  1. The ability to pivot conversations and converse with customers based on what you hear requires role play. 

  1. Limit talk about price so the item can create desire in the customer.  

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