Sales refresher: first impressions

Leader marketing activation UK, LIXIL EMENA, responsible for marketing Grohe UK, Ebru Bircan shares a sales refresher on the best way to connect with and sell to consumers

09 Jul, 21

Leader marketing activation UK, LIXIL EMENA, responsible for marketing Grohe UK, Ebru Bircan shares a sales refresher on the best way to connect with and sell to consumers

Back to basics : first impressions

Like in many aspects of our lives, first impressions are key.

When it comes to sales, giving the right first impression holds great power in dictating how a sales interaction – and potential transaction – will play out.

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After a year of lockdown, even the most experienced and emotionally intelligent of salespeople can benefit from a refresher on the basics of selling and connecting with the customer.

As humans, we are naturally tactile, yet in 2021 we must find alternative ways of forming a connection and building trust.

Handshakes are out and masks are in which can create barriers between the showroom and customer.

With new conventions and guidance to observe around social distancing and hygiene in the showroom, brushing up on basic sales skills may have taken a back seat.

With every customer correspondence and transaction, there are three key ways to measure success of the sale – conversion rate, selling and cross selling.

Conversion rate

What percentage of those visiting your showroom are going on to complete a transaction?

Analyse your conversion rate closely to track business performance and to act as an indicator of when adjustments to strategy might need to be made.


Upselling, the skill of persuading the customer to invest in a better, higher cost product that offers better margins, can be difficult to approach in the current economic climate.

Whilst the events of the past year might have enabled many to put aside additional savings from refunded holidays and empty social calendars, for others they might be experiencing more financial hardship and grappling to adjust to new financial means.

However, where appropriate, truly getting under the skin of a prospective customer and asking the right questions can put you in a much better position to carefully negotiate an upsell.


The hardest sell is the first, so once a commitment to buy has been established harness your skills of cross-selling to enable the customer to see the benefits of making multiple add-on purchases too.

Many brands are making cross-sell opportunities easier and more attractive than ever for retailers by offering coordinated ranges; for example, mixer taps with complementing basins, or colour finished brassware with matching bathroom accessories to complete the look.

Consumers appreciate the value of having a harmonious design within their kitchen or bathroom without having to meticulously try and match together various different components of their new bathroom.

Here the retailer can not only provide products but a service too by removing the hassle and planning stages for the customer.

Developing relationships

Aside from measuring business, a successful sale usually starts with a customer relationship that has been nurtured considerately.

This means investing time and energy into engaging with and understanding the customer’s wants, needs, concerns and lifestyle.

As we’ll touch on in our next sales refresher, being in the know when it comes to understanding human behaviour and communication is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome when trying to negotiate a sale.

When first meeting a new customer, keep in mind the importance of first impressions.

Ensure the showroom is an approachable environment where staff are free from distractions and ready to assist.

Fine tune the balance between being forthcoming without being forceful.

Finally, when initiating the conversation with the customer, lead with an open question.

Rather than trying to guess what the customer might want or be interested in – let them give you the clues or indicators in order to dictate the next steps of the customer journey.

Just starting out in the industry or want a sales refresher on best practice? Head to for a selection of sales skills training videos designed with retailers in mind.