Suggestive Selling Techniques for Retail

Suggestive Selling Techniques for Retail

Every retailer wants to make sales while catering to customer satisfaction. If you are reading this, chances are you are looking for a new way to increase sales in your business. But how can your salesperson push for more sales without turning customers off? Suggestive selling is a powerful and effective way to do that, nudging customers gently towards more items purchased per transaction.

In this article, we would explore the following;

  • What Suggestive Selling is
  • Benefits of suggestive selling, and
  • Suggestive Selling Techniques 

What is Suggestive Selling? 

Suggestive selling is a sales technique adopted by retailers to get customers to add additional items to their purchase. With this, the customer explores further to find out if there is something else they need. An example of suggestive sales could be a salesperson suggesting an accessory to complement the main item purchased. They may sell a laptop bag that goes well with the new laptop the customer wants to buy. A restaurant employee could practice suggestive selling by encouraging a customer to order a side dish or glass of wine that complements the main meal they just ordered. 

Suggestive selling should not be confused with upselling. Upselling is a technique used to get customers to spend more by buying an upgraded or premium version of what is purchased. Upselling involves marketing more profitable services or simply making customers aware of the different service levels you offer.

The central ideology behind a suggestive selling strategy is that customers already have the intention to buy a product, so getting them to buy something else that could complement or complete the main item should not be so difficult. 

Benefits of Suggestive Selling

By asking open-ended questions, the sales associate gets a better knowledge of the customer’s preference. With this knowledge, he can suggest relevant items and services that result in better purchasing decisions and increased customer satisfaction. By practicing this, you gain customers’ trust, and you position your business as a reliable source for products. 

For these techniques to be effective, your salesperson needs to be tactful. The goal is always to benefit the customer, having them happy at the end of the purchase and not to push a sale at all costs. The key to making a suggestive selling strategy work is to be more initiative rather than pushy. Though it may take a while to strike a delicate balance between nudging them in the right direction and putting them off, once your employees know the right thing to say, it is just a matter of implementing the correct techniques. 

Techniques for Suggestive Selling

1. Personalize the Conversation: 

The first and most important strategy to suggestive selling is engaging in personalized conversations. Asking the right question to understand the customers’ needs encourages customers to find out more about what you have in store. Have your salesperson ask open-ended questions like what they want and why they want it. These inquiries show customers that you care about their needs, building trust and rapport, which naturally leads to more sales opportunities.

Additionally, any time a customer is found in doubt or having a tough time making up their mind about a product, your sales associates should step in to give them information to help them make an informed decision based on their needs.

 2. Respect your Customer’s Budget

As effective as suggestive selling is, it can quickly go wrong if your sales personnel do not know or respect the customer’s budget. For example, the cost of dresses can swing between a few thousand to a few hundred thousand. If a customer is checking a lower-priced dress, your salesperson should not be on them to move over to an expensive shoe option to match the dress. It is best to find out what the budget is and help them find a solution that fits.

3. Showcase complementary Products Together

Itemizing different products as perfect pairs is an excellent way to increase add-on purchases. Grouping items that are commonly bought together or naturally complement one another is one of the top merchandising tips. For example, dressing up a mannequin in complete outfits gives your customers ideas on how to style what they are about to buy.

Complementary products can also include those that help care for the item the customer is considering. For example, if a customer is looking to get a white sneaker, your sales associate can recommend cleaning tools to keep the shoes white and as good as new. This suggestion is helpful, and they might end up taking you up in your offer.

4. Mention Special Sales: 

Suggestive selling can be dicey. You do not want customers to think you are focused on getting high sales, so tact is paramount. When you make sales less like sales and more like an opportunity, your customers will likely grab the offer.

For example, let us say you sell TVs and your customers are looking to purchase home theatres. They are worried about pricing. Say their budget is #100,000; if you mention a durable and superior set on sales for #150,000, which original price is #300,000, you will likely capture their attention.

People will always look for avenues to cut costs. If you can stress the value of what they are getting and why the products are much better for their money, you can frame it as an incredible opportunity customers will not want to pass up. Online stores can do likewise by showing the original and discounted prices, and the value of selling that product increase even more if the reviews are great.

5. Improve Associate Training

It is important to note that none of these tips will work if sales personnel are not well trained for suggestive selling.

Make training a big part of any push of your improved sales techniques. Emphasize friendly conversations. Teach your sales associates a few questions to ask that quickly helps them learn your customers’ budgets and preferences. Also, teach how to navigate challenging or technical questions asked by customers.

How Your Retail POS System Can Help

Although associating suggestive selling techniques with your Point of sales software might not occur to you at first, the insights your POS software provides can arm you with the knowledge you need to increase sales. Point of sales software can help you keep customer management by keeping track of what customers purchase. When repeat customers walk into your store, you can personalize their experience by asking them about their experience with a product they have purchased in the past. This tactic opens the door for an additional recommendation that suits their preferences. Are you wondering how you can incorporate pos systems into your retail operations? Talk to us at