3 Little Known Selling Techniques for Retail that will Boost Your Revenues

May 23, 2013 11:00 am Published by

The footfall in your store is quite good and new customers seem to visit your outlet everyday. Potential clients seem interested in your products but for some reason, sales don’t follow the same trend. The three selling techniques for retail in this article will give you a hand.

As a retail store owner, or one of the manager, you probably have faced the situation above more than once.

It is true that a high footfall is a very good indicator of a retailer performance, but footfall needs to be converted into sales, which is not always the case.

To solve this problem, you might have tried to mystery shop your employees in order to see how well they were behaving in front of potential customers.

You also might have trained your staff to improve their sales skills, their knowledge of the products you’re selling and the industry they are in.

Unfortunately, your revenues haven’t increased as much as you expected.

What if I tell you that there are three little-known tricks you can put in place today that will give a huge boost to your sales (and therefore your revenues) ?

That sounds interesting, right?

Well, let’s get started!

  • Selling Technique #1 : Less is more

It doesn’t sound right, does it ?

True, it doesn’t, how can less be more? Well, this is a counter-intuitive fact.

People are more likely to purchase products in a shop when offered a small number of choices.

How can this be possible?

A study conducted by Sheena Iyengar and Mark Lepper proved that choice is demotivating.

In fact, “these experiments, which were conducted in both field and laboratory settings, show that people are more likely to purchase gourmet jams or chocolates or to undertake optional class essay assignments when offered a limited array of 6 choices rather than a more extensive array of 24 or 30 choices”.

We, humans, are wired by fewer choices and simplicity.

  • To take away :

If you are selling one hundred products in your store, do not make the mistake to reduce to three. However, sort your products in five distinct categories. This tip is part of the most well-known selling techniques for retail.

The decision is easier for a customer to select which of those five categories he is interested in, rather than having to choose between 100 different products.

Train your sales staff to give fewer purchasing options when people are asking for advice on which products to buy.

Focus on the products with the highest margins and incentivize your sales people on those.

  • Selling Technique #2 : The loss aversion

This is a very interesting technique for retail that will transform the way you and your staff convince your store’s visitors to buy your products.

In economy, the loss aversion :

refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains (source).

In layman’s terms, we prefer to avoid losing €10 rather than getting a €10 discount.

Following the same principle, this is also why you would purchase a €60 insurance for a phone worth 80€ (and why the insurance companies are so successful).

So, how to use this powerful economic principle to your advantage ?

  • To take away :

Instead of focusing on the potential value that your customer will gain using your product, you need to focus on the loss that will occur if he is NOT using it.

Let’s take a practical example.

You are selling power saver instruments to business owners to reduce their electricity consumption.

Let’s compare the two following statements and decide which of the two is the most powerful :

  • Statement #1 : “If you purchase our great Power Saver CF567, you will reduce your electricity bill by 25%!”
  • Statement #2 : “If you don’t purchase our great Power Saver CF567, you will waste an average of €100 per month on your electricity bill!”

Using the loss aversion trick, you can notice that Statement #2 is the most powerful of the two because it focuses on avoiding losses  rather than acquiring gains.

  • Selling Technique #3 : Mystery = sales

Mystery = Sales

Mystery = Sales

Before explaining this third and last selling technique, I would like to ask you the following question : why do you think Apple is the most powerful tech company in the World ?

It’s true that they have great, reliable products.

It’s also true that their iPhone, Mac and iPad have slick designs.

The main reason Apple is such a powerful brand is because they use mystery at a prodigious level.

Everybody is speculating about the next iPhone : will it have a built-in projector ? Will it be available in different color than just black or white ? Will it cook bacon remotely (for this one, I’m probably dreaming) ?

Entire websites are dedicated to the rumors around the next Apple products.

And it works!

Mystery builds interest: people will talk about it, speculate. Words will spread and you can guess what the result will be for Apple: more sales.

  • To take away :

If you’re launching a brand new range of products in your store, do not give all the information away.

Announce a date, well in advance, about a special event that will take place in your outlet.

Release few pieces of information every week on your blog, your social media profiles, and by sending texts to your loyal customers.

If your plan has been correctly orchestrated, your customers will talk about your launch, spread the word, and your footfall will increase dramatically for the event.

There are plenty of other simple techniques for retail that will help you sell more and increase your revenues, such as giving away free samples, or launching a customer loyalty program in store.


Always remember that it is five to six times more expensive to acquire a new customer rather than keeping an existing one. Your customer database is your gold, so take good care of it!


Tell us about you: do you have any selling techniques that worked for you in the past?


Image reference.

Louis Grenier

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