I’d like to talk about staff selling face to face with your customers. Do they need training?
I, who knows nothing about paint, went to the hardware store to buy white paint for the kitchen. My only guidance was my partner instructing me to purchase one that was water based. My first port of call was a small, local hardware store, not one of the mega stores.
The long story shortened to one sentence is when I asked about white paint, there was no questioning. The salesperson directed me to the cheapest paint. I walked out and next went for the longer drive to the Mega store.
Your takeaway? Your assistants, your clerks are not sales staff that receive training in sales. Help them to help your customers like this.
1. Find what their problem/needs are first
I would have loved the conversation to go like this: ‘What are you planning on painting? Things you should think about for the kitchen is x,y,z.’
2. Find what your customer’s level of knowledge is
‘You asked for water based paint. Why? Do you know about the different type of paint that would be suitable for the ceiling and walls?’
3. It’s not always about price
Price wasn’t my main consideration, yet that was the only point the sales assistant was working on. It might have been important for the customer before me, or after – but it wasn’t mine. So teach your sales people to remember not every customer is the same and listen in their questioning if; or when, price comes into it.