Today’s consumers are far more informed than what they were a decade back, thanks to Technology & the advent of the Smartphone that makes every piece of information available on the palm of your hand. It pushes the envelope a step further to ensure a product reaches you if you wish, & all of it at the click of a button. Enter e-commerce, an online shopping platform where consumers are spoilt for choice under the banner of convenience & in all fairness, the benefit of aggressive pricing that helps them pick and choose.
Given the volume of information available on a product, its features, pricing, technology & anything else you can think of, it is exciting to see that the outcome today has moved away from being purely transactional to being experience driven at the Retail Point of Sale. A positive outcome to this situation would revolve largely around In-Store Sales Executive adapting to a consultative approach with the customers.
A few critical factors that the In-Store Sales Executive can adapt to bring about a successful outcome largely revolve around the 5 basic principles that one can follow while engaging with a consumer. They briefly are:
- Open – Conversation starters like – “Greetings of the day”, “How may I help you”, “ Will you care for some thing to drink” etc. are welcome steps for the Sales Executive to a strike a conversation with the customer making the customer feel welcome and giving him/her a sense of comfort. In this stage the focus is to establish trust of the customer that the Sales Executive is there to do his/her best & help the customer with the purchase. And needless to say a smiling face always helps to connect better while conversing with the customer.
- Understand – In this stage the focus is to understand customer needs by asking the right set of questions and patiently listening to the customer. Questions like – “what are the expected features ”, “what are the mandatory features”, “ What is nature of usage” etc. set the tone of the conversation in the right direction. The Sales Executive needs to be very patient and actively listen to customer since the Sales Executive is trying to understand customer’s need & building on this to add value to the purchase decision. Remember, the customer will see merit in the Sales Executive and thus the brand only if the sales executive will be able to add value to the product customer is planning to buy.
- Propose – Post proper understanding of the customer’s requirement the Sales Executive needs to propose appropriate recommendations along with proper justification behind the recommendations. In this stage the Sales Executive essentially enabling customer to visualise how the proposed recommendations will be the best fit for his/her requirement.
- Establish – This is the stage where the Sales Executive needs to build credibility of the proposed recommendations. This can be done by giving physical demos, showing relevant videos, sharing data points containing success stories etc. The objective for the Sales Executive to eliminate any doubt the customer might have and reinforce the visualisation of customer that was established in the previous step.
- Close – This is the concluding stage where the Sales Executive needs to talk about the offers, discounts etc. The Sales Executive needs to take “controlled” initiative & ask leading questions – “What colour”, “What will be good date & time of delivery”, “What will be installation process”,” what will be mode of payment”,that would help close the sale. It is important to drive the initiative in a “controlled” manner to retain the customer for future sale if the Sales Executive is not successful to close the deal in this attempt.
The 5 principles mentioned above will ensure high quality of customer engagement & differential experience with high probability of the customer coming back for another purchase or making strong recommendations in the Sales Executive’s favour.
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