Five Steps To Getting That Wetsuit Sale
Over the next month the ocean temps around the country will start to drop and surfers will be thinking more about wetsuits. While surfers buy wetsuits year-round, they often put with an older suit when the water is a pleasant 20 degrees. However, that attitude starts to change with the thought of winter groundswells, cold water and cold offshores. Keen surfers will start checking out the latest ranges in surf shops and if someone is thinking about a new wetsuit, there’s a good chance they’ll end up buying one. You don’t want to miss that sale, so we’ve gone to market leaders Rip Curl, to get their tips on selling a wetsuit.
STEP 1: ESTABLISH THE CUSTOMER’S NEEDS
You’ve got to establish the customer’s needs. This will help you both work out which wetsuit will suit them best and narrow down the choice.
Start with the big picture first. Find out if they need a spring suit or a full-suit by asking questions like:
- What will you be using the wetsuit for? Surfing? Stand Up Paddle Boarding? Beginner? Etc.
- What time of year will you mainly use the wetsuit? Summer or winter?
- How often will you use it?
- What is your budget?
The answers to these questions will help you and the customer agree on the style and thickness that best suits their needs.
STEP 2: SELECT A COUPLE OF SUITS TO SHOW THEM
Select a couple of suits and different brands show them to the customer. Two or three suits are about right but don’t go overboard or you’ll go back to square one and confuse the customer with too many choices.
STEP 3: EXPLAIN AND DEMONSTRATE THE FEATURES AND BENEFITS
Step 3 is to explain the features and benefits of the selected suits to the customer. This is where you really begin to focus the customer’s attention on making a choice depending on what they would like out of the wetsuit. Every customer is looking for something different, whether it be to be extra warm, high performance attributes through stretch or weight of the wetsuit it is important to know what features suit the customer best.
STEP 4: GET THE CUSTOMER TO TRY THE SUIT ON
There’s a saying that once a customer tries a suit on, it’s as good as sold. And that’s pretty much true. But don’t undo all your good work by giving the customer the wrong size suit. Taking suits on and off in the change room is a real hassle so do your best to get the size right the first time. Always ask the customer if they know their wetsuit size because a lot do. If they don’t, you’ll need to use your judgement.
A good way to get better at that is to practice guessing the wetsuit size for other shop crew – and mates I surf with. If you try this a few times, it’s amazing how quickly you’ll become a really good judge.
A good tip here is to get them to try the best suit on first. Many a customer has been heard to say, “I couldn’t afford an Ultimate till I tried one on”.
When the customer’s got the suit on, make sure that the fit is firm but not too tight, especially at the openings like the wrist, ankles and neck.
STEP 5: CLOSE THE SALE
Step 5 is all about wrapping up the sale. Remember, your customer wants a wetsuit, that’s why he or she’s in the store. They’ve chosen the one they want and they’re happy with it but it is a big purchase decision for them and they might just be a bit hesitant about making the final commitment to buy. This is where you can reassure them about the decision by explaining warranty and back-up service.
Be sure to remind the customer to keep the proof-of-purchase, because if they have a return they’ll need to include it with the wetsuit when it’s sent to the each brand’s individual service team.