Natural Foods Merchandiser

Top 4 ways to maximize communication at checkout

1 | Get checkout workers on the floor. One reason sales don’t happen near the cash register is because that’s often the only place checkout employees have ever been. If they’re not used to selling on the store floor, they won’t feel comfortable even making an attempt near the exit. The customer assumption is often that those at the register only know how to scan items for price, so help your employees prove them wrong. For that to happen, your checkout people must prove their expertise in the field, says Rick Littlefield, owner of Eureka Natural Foods in Eureka, Calif.

2 | Be complementary. Rather than just mentioning any product within reach of the counter, try to make it a complementary item to what the customer is already purchasing. “That’s seen as thoughtful instead of just trying to get another sale in,” says David Hinckle, owner of Burlingame, Calif.-based Earthbeam Natural Foods. For example, if a person is purchasing a lot of gluten-free products, suggest a gluten-free magazine like Living Without to help her learn further about the topic.

3 | Give customers a chance to start over. Just because they’re buying something doesn’t mean they are getting what they came into the store for. The standard “Did you find everything” question may sound scripted, but if asked, a customer might respond with a question that could lead to another purchase. Urge your employees to step out from behind the register and help people get what they are looking for.

4 | Card them. Floor salespeople often have a business card to give customers for extra questions they may have—checkout employees usually don’t. In case your checkers are making extra connections with customers, provide them with contact cards so they can be reached for further discussion.

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