Why first impressions count on the shop floor

First impressions are vital in creating a positive image. As an in-store consultant, you personify the brand you are representing giving you a unique opportunity to set the tone. Making this first impression a positive one, can lead to lasting brand loyalty and repeat business. Let’s take a look at how to get this right.

How long do I have to create a first impression?

Emotional opinions are formed within seconds of an interaction. Have you ever felt overwhelmed by over enthusiastic salespeople? Or underwhelmed by a lack of warmth from retail staff? If so, then you know this initial contact can affect the opportunity to build rapport and ruin any chance of a meaningful customer interaction.

Your main goal as a consultant is to provide excellent, personable customer service, whilst boosting sales for your brand. Get this interaction wrong, and you could turn the customer away for good!

A first impression starts before a conversation has even begun. Here are a few things to consider when working on the shop floor:

1. Presentation

First up is presentation. Being well presented lets the customer know that you care about your work. As you’re representing a brand first and foremost, consider whether you are showing their image on the outside. Has the brand recently released a new lipstick? Are you working to promote a fragrance? Wear your brand to give customer confidence in your opinions. It’s also a great conversation starter!

We always provide style guidelines when booking you for work, so you know exactly what to wear and how to be presented. This will reflect our own expectations, as well as any brand or store specific notes.

2. Body Language

Next, think about body language. Customers can and will watch from afar before approaching a consultant. To avoid missed opportunities, make sure customers understand that you are always happy to help by actively approaching every customer (more on traffic stopping below!) During quieter periods, stay engaged by keeping the area presentable. This will give the impression that you’re ready to spring into action and offer assistance when needed.

3. Communication

Lastly, make your first communication with the customer positive. Even if you enter a store to browse, do you feel better knowing someone is available if you need them? A simple welcome greeting can make all the difference. From there, think of how you like to be spoken to when you go shopping. Would you want to buy a product that was offered to you before you’ve even said hello? Do you feel better when the consultant takes time to get to know you? Ask open questions to start with, to allow for a more natural conversation before implementing some further sales techniques.

Once you’ve joined our books, we offer training opportunities to help develop your communication and sales skills.

4. Traffic stopping

If you’ve worked in retail, traffic stopping will be a very familiar concept to you. If not, you’ve likely been traffic stopped in the past! This is the technique that underpins all interactions. Put simply – to traffic stop, is to approach someone in store to encourage them to try your products. This is where your confidence, and conversational skills can shine. Just bear in mind the communication points discussed earlier – you catch more flies with honey, so keep it natural and genuine.

The agency perspective

Remember, whilst working as a temporary consultant, you’re not only representing yourself, but also the brand, the store and us, the agency. For us to get a good first impression of you, it is key that your profile is completed to a high standard, and that you really engage with the interview process. This lets us know that you’re passionate about what you do and gives us confidence that you will represent our clients well.

Once you’ve joined our books, it’s important to remember that each job gets a number of applications from other staff. Continued strong communication, and engagement with the application process really makes a difference! Every client is different, so with every application make sure you:

  • Tell us why you’re the best consultant for the role
  • Note your relevant experience
  • Have a complete and up to date profile
  • Have uploaded suitable photos
  • Are quick to communicate – we often get last minute requests, and if you save the day it can leave a great impression!


To apply to join our books, start your profile here. To learn more about how we match our consultants to your brand, click here.