What do customers think of your sales techniques?

  • News
  • October 8, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
What do customers think of your sales techniques?

Sometimes, it feels as if complaining about in-store sales experiences is a national pastime. One person might be offended that the sales staff in a store didn’t pay her enough attention, while another is irritated by their attempts at conversation while he’s trying concentrate on shopping. As part of our Five Days of Finance series, we asked our readers what kind of sales experience they prefer.

In your experiences this year shopping in New Zealand with retail stores that aren’t your own , how would you rate the sales staff?

When we asked respondents to rate their 2018 shopping experiences with New Zealand sales staff, with zero being “terrible” and 10 “outstanding”, we got a wide range of results. Only one person gave a zero response, but nobody felt Kiwi sales staff rated a 10, nine or even an eight. The top three ratings were six (30 percent), five (22 percent) and four (17 percent).

Clearly, consumer perceptions aren’t great.

Do you prefer to be approached by an attentive salesperson or allowed to browse uninterrupted?

As expected, responses to this query were fairly evenly split between “attentive approach” and “browse uninterrupted”. A little over 60 percent of respondents liked to be approached attentively, with the remaining 39 percent preferring to be left alone.

If the salesperson acknowledges your presence but doesn’t engage you any further, how do you feel?

Most likely, it’s the same 39 percent who reported feeling a sense of relief when the salesperson says hello but engages in no active selling. Some 29 percent of respondents felt ignored by this approach, and the remaining 35 percent didn’t have any opinion either way.

Do you often respond positively to an upsell/cross-sell/product suggestion attempt?

Within the three questions we asked about common sales techniques, cross-selling and attempts by the salesperson to suggest product were far more popular with shoppers than upselling. Only 43 percent reported that they often responded positively to an upsell attempt, compared with 65 percent for cross-selling and a whopping 91.3 percent for product suggestions.

Can you share a story about your best or worst retail sales experience as a customer?

The worst-experience stories provided all seemed to describe staff who failed to accurately assess whether the shopper desired hands-on or hands-off customer service, while the best stories were about staff who not only hit on the right level of attention, but provided a personalised experience.

Here’s a pick from the worst section:

My worst experience was walking into an outdoors store to buy a backpack. There were a couple I had seen online and wanted to have a closer look in store. I was ignored by the sales staff, and when I went to go find someone to ask for help, they addressed my (male) partner instead of talking to me. Needless to say I took my money elsewhere!

And one from the best:

When a sales assistant has welcomed me to the store and allowed me to browse until I looked to them for help. Then they were encouraging but not hard-selling, interested in my responses and suggested items I had not noticed before. I went back.

Here’s a final above-and-beyond good example:

A sales person who remembered what [I] bought last season and made suggestions about what would work with it from the new season. Brilliant!

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...


Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit