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Telephone Talent and Retail Success

Retail Management Training

There is no doubt that these days there is less foot traffic in the Retail world. As a result, it is more important than ever that when customers embark on their shopping journey they choose to visit your store first over competitors’ stores. Then it is your job to use your sales skills to close the deal there and then.

The application of Retail Telephone Training will ensure more first store visits, more immediate traffic, more sales, higher margins and ultimately more referrals.

Much is said these days about setting yourself apart from your competitors. Yes, much is said but not much is actually being done!

Thomas Edison the great inventor said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” So go ahead and be bold enough to put ideas in motion that will differentiate you from the pack.

Start by improving “The Telephone Greeting”

When the phone rings at most businesses, it is answered without much regard for who is on the other end.  Many companies go as far as to answer the phones electronically! Remember that every incoming call is a potential customer and therefore extra money in your pocket.

It is very important never to ignore the ringing telephone.  Callers that hear endless rings with no answer, constant busy signals or are shuffled around a menu of options and instructions automatically think YOU DON’T CARE about them! Also, it doesn’t matter how many customers you are attending to on the sales floor, the phone must be answered. Take a moment to apologize to your current customers and ask their permission to answer the phone. You can always explain to the customer in your store that if it was them calling you would want to be there for them as a show of your “Total Customer Service” initiative!

Customers will respect your work ethic and be more patient and understanding of that which you are trying to accomplish. Once the customers in the store are content, remember that the ones calling are on the fence and still need to be enticed and convinced to come in.

When the phone rings, it is very important to prepare to answer that phone just as one would prepare for taking a customer that walked into their door.  Keep the mindset of the calling customer in mind.  They are calling you for help with their needs. They may not know much at all about your business, but they may be afraid to ask or appear ignorant.

They are calling you based on your advertisement or perhaps they found your phone number in the phone book or online.  The main thing to remember is that they probably have already made some calls to competitors and may be considering making some more after their call to you. After all, your company isn’t the only one of its kind to advertise.

How do you set yourself apart from the rest of the people they have called?

An enthusiastic attitude on the phone will set you apart from the rest.




Every phone call should be answered like it is the most exciting phone call ever received.  What would happen if someone called you to tell you that you just won the largest lottery ever in the history of lotteries? There would be some excitement for sure!

Answer the phone in this manner every time.  Knock the caller out of their seat.  Hear the phone ring once and it is time to go on stage.  Take a deep breath, clear your mind of all other thought and belt it out…“HELLO, AND THANK YOU FOR CALLING ACME FURNITURE!!!!” 

Have fun with it.  Develop your own style and voice inflection.  The main thing here is to immediately grab the callers’ attention by subconsciously saying, “I AM ALIVE! I AM HAPPY! I AM HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS AND SOLVE YOUR NEEDS!  NOTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD MATTERS TO ME RIGHT NOW, EXCEPT ATTENDING TO YOU!!”

Callers will respond with statements like, “WOW, you are in a good mood.”




Callers will always respond positively. “You must really like your job” or “Is this for real?”  Work on your telephone greeting to achieve these types of responses and make sure that if the responses stop coming, rethink or rework your greeting!

Once you’ve answered the phone and grabbed the callers’ attention it is your job never to let it go. Don’t answer the phone enthusiastically and then turn to mud.  Maintain that same upbeat attitude during the duration of the phone call to keep your callers’ involved. 

Enthusiasm is contagious and customers can hear you smiling on the phone.

Turning callers into buyers is very simple when you remember to consistently use an effective greeting and develop your “Telephone Talent.”

If you want to maximize your retail success, then you must train your front line staff extensively. Start with DMSRetail's "Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals" DVD Course.


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