41. Retail: Product Selling - Lecture

Freelance Retail

Freelance Makeup Artists in the Retail Environment


Selling a product isn't as complicated as it's made out to be. At its most basic, a sales program is defined principally by what you sell, who you sell to, and how you sell. Beyond that, it all boils down to staying focused on the details outlined next, suitable for both sales representative and for owners of small businesses

Love What You Are Selling!

The popular image of a salesperson as someone willing to "sell at all costs" is not the reality across the board in sales. A good cosmetics salesperson loves sales, is motivated by what they're selling, and transfers this enthusiasm and belief to the customer. Indeed, the customer is given options, including the one to walk away, in order to avoid such undue pressure. Learn how to listen to customers and to read their body language. Avoid interrupting or disagreeing with a customer, and provide your customer with space to talk. Know how to interpret a customer's folded arms, eye contact, and manner of standing toward or away from you. Make the customer comfortable and you're off to a good start in selling your product.

Be Knowledgeable

There is nothing more infuriating to a potential customer than to come across a half-hearted salesperson who claims uncertainty about what the product can and can't do, what it's made from, and what happens when things in it stop working. It is absolutely vital to know your product range inside out and if you do not know something a customer asks of you, let them know you'll find out and get back to them as soon as possible.

Help The Customer See The Perks!

As well as getting good product information to the right people, it is important to translate the product's features into benefits for the customer, thus making it easier for them to buy. Have you used the product, tested it, tried it out, or worked with it--whichever is relevant? Do you feel comfortable about being able to talk to a customer as someone totally familiar with the product? Ask yourself one simple question: Why should a customer buy my product? If the only answer you can come up with is "So I can get paid," you're selling the wrong product.

Explain The Product!

Good product information, including retail packaging, is important. Lots of salespersons and sales managers don't like to admit that sales can be completed by product information. They like to think it is their personal charm, intelligence, and determination that closes sales. For the most part, that is bunk. Not only can sales be made by product information, most sales are made this way. And this is more true today than in the past because of the proliferation of "big-box stores" and other forms of product sales without the benefit of interpersonal relationships. The product information should be informative, true and complete. Ideally, it should give the prospective buyer all the information they need to buy on the spot. For most prospects shopping without assistance, clear and easy to understand information, as described above, is important.

Emphasize the Benefits!

Make the benefits of the product loud and clear. Besides the actual utility, beauty, or even fame of the product, what are you offering above and beyond? Make it clear to the customer what key benefits the product brings to them, such as guarantees, warranties, and after-sales service.

Understand The Buyer

When presenting the product to the customer, bear in mind that most successful products are bought by people who have a need, and believe that the product will satisfy that need. This is often the result of marketing rather than selling, however. Selling the product rather than just offering it for sale almost always involves an emotional component. Take some time to look at the marketing side of the product. What images and promises have been created by the marketing around the product that you're trying to sell? In what ways can you continue this theme where it seems most appropriate? During your presentation, confirm that your prospective buyer will want or need your product. You will need to do this through a range of methods, including observing their reactions, listening to them, and asking them clear questions about what they actually need.

Know How To Open

Know how to open with a customer. Instead of asking the close-ended question "May I help you?", ask the more positive, open-ended "Are you looking for something for yourself is it a gift for someone special?" And be alert to making comments on the product before getting into a deeper discussion with the customer, such as "These red lipsticks are really popular this summer."

Transfer Customer Interest

Convert the customer's motivations into the product's characteristics. In marketing, this is known as "positioning", and it consists of equating the product with the customer's hopes and desires. Position the product in the best spectrum of the market possible.Do not pitch the product too high or too low in terms of affordability and luxury Position the facts about the product according to the person you're selling it to. You may have a handful of different facts, but it's up to your skill to know which of those facts best serve each individual sale. Position the facts so that they reflect the desired perception. However, don't fudge facts or lie outright. This is about perception, not deception. Position the facts so that they transcend the product itself. This means that the desirable, positive values associated with the product sell the product and have very little to do with the product itself.

Be Honest

Be honest. Long-term lovers of your product will only come about if you've been honest with them. This means being transparent in your delivery of product information and also admitting your own lack of knowledge or mistakes you've made where needed. Don't be afraid of honesty; it builds trust. Think like (not about) your customers. Think about what you'd like to hear and learn about the product if you were in the customer's shoes. Don't take the easy way out and brush your customer off when stock is low or your knowledge is sparse. Always make a genuine effort to follow up customer wants, and to physically take customers to a product, and demonstrate it, where possible. A customer given a hands-on demonstration will feel more involved in the sale and more likely to purchase than one who is told "It's in aisle 5 that way" and given a brisk hand wave.

Close The Sale

There are many styles and methods of closing a sale. One of the most effective has the called, ABC =  "Always Be Closing." As you confirm your prospective buyer's interest in the product, put forward trial closes like, "Does this sound like the product you want?". When answered in the affirmative, this may mean you have completed the sale on that product, and it is time to build the sale with related products.

Give Time

Be prepared to give customers time to consider. Appearing overly pushy is a turn-off for many modern-day buyers who do their own savvy internet research before coming to see you. They may want to go home and do a quick online search; let them do so with your enthusiastic and supportive pitch in their mind. If you've been truthful, helpful, considerate, and enthusiastic and the information you've given them matches with what they read online, it'll be your business they come back to for the product, or your product they'll prefer over a competitor's.


Cross selling, refers to selling a complementary product to the customer, which is in some ways related to the one she is actually buying. For instance, if you sell a customer a lipstick and then you sell some other cosmetic like an eye-shadow of the same brand, it means that you are cross selling, to make an extra sale. Sometimes, while cross selling, you might offer some kind of discount to the customer as well. In this case, it can be something like fifty percent off on the second cosmetic of the company that they buy. This might serve as a motivation to them, to buy that extra cosmetic, although they might not even need it at the moment! Or, the cosmetic line might have a scheme wherein if you buy cosmetics worth a particular amount at the moment, the next time you make a purchase, you will get a twenty percent discount on your entire bill. This will motivate the customer to come back and make a purchase, thus, making them a patron, a repeat customer of the company.