Now compare that to a good conversation. When one party speaks the other one listens closely to the other and then replies, or even takes action, based on what was said.
So let me ask, how are the conversations with your customers?
Are you having a good two-way dialogue with your customers? The best retail salespeople listen as much as they talk. Their ability to engage customers in conversation comes from their desire to learn more about their customer and then use that information in the sales process.
Or are you or someone else on the staff droning on about products or the store like the bore at the function you can't wait to get away from? I believe that most associates who do this aren't even aware of how their customers perceive them. They confuse talking with having a dialogue.
For specialty retailers there's a direct link between the quality of the conversation you have with your customer and maximizing the opportunity that customer represents. Good conversationalists and intent listeners have the ability to recommend additional products, which increases average sale and units-per-transaction.
Here's a simple test you can ask yourself or someone on your staff. After a customer leaves the store, what do you know about them besides what product he/she was looking for? If you or your employee can rattle off two, three, or four things (what they own, what they like, favorite colors, etc.) about the customer or their situation, it was a good conversation.
If you or your staff member don't know anything about the customer besides what they're looking for, chances are you or you employee might be guilty of too much talking and not enough listening. At the very least, there aren't enough questions being answered.