How on earth can this happen? Opra Winfrey calls it a Racist moment, however I call it nothing out of the ordinary in business today. Sales people in retail are struggling all over the world.
This woman working as a sales person in a Zurich high end store walked away from a major sale.
For once this sales loss became world news. A ridiculously high cost hand bag, no doubt covered in glitter. The woman would not show it to Opra and indicated it was out of her price range. Unfortunately Opra sees it as a racist comment but this is standard practice in many stores world wide.
Sales people for some reason just make too many assumptions, they judge customers by appearance, possibly look at their race but generally these sales people have had no sales training and have never attended Sales Classes or have ever had the chance to attend a sales course of any kind. They may understand features of their products but have very little understanding on what their customers wish to buy. Unless they ask their customer questions how can they expect to sell high value product?
This episode in Switzerland is nothing unusual, people who sell high ticket items, especially in retail have no sales training, there Sales Manager (if they have one) has usually had no Sales Managers Training either.
Can you just imagine how this sales person in Switzerland must have felt after all this publicity? It is easy to criticize her but it is not her fault. I can guarantee she does not know the difference in sales skills between making a high value sale as opposed to a simple sale.Continue reading
Making Major sales at Christmas
Madness in retail goes on all year however it seems to get much worse the closer to the end of December.
I visited Farmers Trading Company a major department store in Nelson New Zealand a few days ago. My intention was the purchase of a small Nespresso machine I had seen advertised on Television the night before. This product looked as though it was great for travel as well as ideal for a small flat.
At this point I was not a 2012 type customer who normally does their research with the help of Google, I had been convinced by the high cost of the television advertisement it could be worth checking out.
Once I found the area where the coffee machines were displayed I could find no sign of Nespresso. When I eventually found a staff member for that area she had no idea whether they were stocked or not. She went off to check with a supervisor and duly arrived back with some bad and astounding news. The Farmers Trading Company had spent thousands advertising on peak time television but the only Farmers Store in this town of 70,000 people did not carry the Nespresso coffee machines.
On my way out I observed more madness, a couple were very interested in purchasing a set of garden furniture, yes a major sale in my book. The sales person showed them the product but displayed no sign of asking for an order. The couple were hot to trot, they asked to buy it.
“Oh but we do not have any”, was the answer the couple received from the sales person. The couple asked if the could buy the floor stock. “But we do not like to sell or floor stock” was the answer from the sales person. After hearing this I called out in a loud voice “A sales is a sale”.
The couple in unison said “we agree” and I then received the dirtiest look from the sales agent. At last the sales agent went off to see what she could do and as far as I could ascertain reluctantly agreed to sell the floor stock.
Why is it so hard to buy? Why is it a company would spend good money on nationwide television and not carry the advertised product in the store?
Well in my opinion it all comes down to training, staff must be properly trained, sales people must be aware of how to treat customers, what motivates them to make a purchase and above all, understand the difference between making a simple sale and making a major sale.
Things get worse in Nelson, wait until you read the next post. Coming soon.
In fact it is right here: More Christmas Madness
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I have spoken many times about objection handling and closing when it comes to selling. The message however does not always get through. Did you know that traditional closing techniques just do not work when making major sales? Trying to overcome objections during a larger sale can also cause you problems as well and contribute to lost sales.
The skills required for making big sales can be demonstrated quite clearly with the research Neil Rackham carried out in his Newcastle study way back in the early 1970’s.
Rackham found that successful sellers focus on objection prevention, NOT on objection handling. The research analysed how they did it and described it in his books. The sales courses aimed at specific industries also explain these skills in detail and if you are able to practice and obtain these important skills you will find a major improvement in your sales ability.
The same thing applies to closing the sale, Racham found the closing techniques used in smaller sales can lose you business when making major sales. Most commonly taught closing techniques do not work, the skill is to find better ways of obtaining customer commitment in the major sale and once again in our dedicated sales course we place a huge emphasis on this skill.
For some strange reason the average sales course goes into great detail and training about handling objections and closing techniques. In virtually every case these relate to making simple sales. In my experience I have collected and read numerous books on sales training, and most sales managers teach this method to their sales teams. However if you are involved in making major sales and you adopt these training techniques it is very clear you be heading in the wrong direction.
In our courses we teach the techniques that have been proven to work through dedicated and tireless research by Neil Rackham of Huthwaite Research.
There are very few sales people in the world who have these skills, few organizations teach it and the reason is simply because they do not know about it.
My passion is being able to show a potential sales person how to advance to super sales person in a few short steps in record time. If you sell big ticket items and you are involved in making major sales we can help you providing you can read, listen and ask questions.Continue reading
Thailand is one of my favourite places and here is a photo of me surrounded by a great group of sales people involved in making major sales.
These people sell high end electronics and smart home for my really great friends RSGB in the new Paragon shopping center in Bangkok. Krisda and chalailak started the business years ago and they are the leading experts in smart home technology for that country.
I have spent many happy hours with these wonderful people and they love what they do. They all have the passion for the consumer electronics industry.
by: Geoff Ficke
Making a Minor Product Usage Change Can Propell Major Sales Advances
In the middle of the 20th century pre-packaged foods and mixes were not as ubiquitous as they are today. Typically, a middle class home had a housewife present and preparing her families meals from scratch. The advent of mass-market consumerism would rapidly change this tradition.
General Mills was a pioneer in developing and selling prepared food products. The Company Marketed first offered a line of dried cake mixes in the 1940’s and the convenience that these products provided was thought to be a sure fire winner. Sales were initially acceptable but not sensational. General Mills Marketing Managers could not understand what the missing element was that would make sales sizzle.
The great Marketing Guru, the Austrian Ernest Dichter was hired by General Mills to analyze the prepared cake mix business. Mr. Dichter is credited with creating such Marketing breakthroughs as the Focus Group and Behavioral Science as applied to Consumerism. He began his analysis of the products and housewives reaction to them in his normal analytical fashion.
Immediately he noticed that though the cakes baked utilizing the mixes were acceptable, they were dismissed by many housewives as not being as tasty, or velvety as cakes baked from scratch using natural ingredients. General Mills was very aggressive in promoting that the cake mix powder contained dried eggs. Mr. Dichter saw an opportunity.
The first step in achieving big sales is to make a list of companies who are really good and fit your company, products and services. The list will include all demographics and psychographics pertinent details of the companies, such as private or public, annual turnover, profit/loss, employee strength, nature of products or services, names and biodata of executives, reputation, if they invest in their people, etc. A list of about 100 companies will be adequate to start with.
Using this basic list, dig deeper and get more information about each of the companies by going through their balance sheets, industrial reports, news from print and digital media, and personal discussions with friends and employees and so on. Use this information to make a smaller list of about 25 big companies, depending upon the size and capacity of your own company.
Using this list as a starting point, scout around for selling opportunities for your products and services in any of these companies. When opportunities present themselves, start taking appropriate action by replying to inquiries, RFP’s, etc. and then follow it up.
New buying strategies:
Most big companies have changed their buying strategies. No longer is buying made by one-to-one contacts between the individual buyer and seller. Instead, big companies now have a team of executives to consult and decide on matters like change of suppliers or purchase of a new product or service or other similar matters. The buying team will have at least one high level executive and stakeholders from various concerned departments like finance, labor, R&D, IT, HRD, and so on. While typically executives have the power to say “yes,” they prefer to have all the stakeholders bless the decision. The object of this exercise is not only to make the correct decision but also to eliminate risks to the business.
The small-mid size company, which is the seller in this case, should also have its own team of executives and specialists, who will be able to interact with their respective counterparts and help to carry the discussions forward. This process offers many advantages to both the buyer and the seller in finalizing big deals satisfactorily.
In the matter of big sales, larger companies generally prefer to deal with other large companies and are wary of transacting business with small companies for various reasons. Big companies speak the same language, have similar systems and processes, and respect each other’s ability to deliver. In comparison, small-mid size companies have the advantages of more flexibility, the ability to innovate, make quick decisions, and to offer more concessions.
As a small-mid size company, you should be able to allay the fears of the big companies and highlight the various advantages mentioned above to ensure that the big sales are decided in your favor.
The benefits of making big sales:
It costs nearly as much to land a small deal as to land a big deal. By landing more and more big sales, small companies stand to gain multiple benefits such as increased market share, higher revenue and profits, as well as enhanced reputation among their clients and customers. With this approach many CEO’s have grown their companies at double the industry average in a shorter period of time.Continue reading
Wal-Mart may conger up some images for you, yet one thing Wal-Mart does is to have a Greeter to make people feel welcome. Even the old K-Mart use to announces “Welcome K-Mart shoppers.” Unfortunately, after the Greeting or the welcome message, you get lost in the sea of people and merchandise and it’s next to impossible to find someone to show you where to find what you’re looking for, because they’re too busy stocking shelves.
So always greet your customers. If all your people are busy with other customers, someone should at least acknowledge the new entrant. Even the post office gives you a number. Don’t ignore them or make them feel like an intruder. Let them know how long the wait will be and point them to a sitting area where they can peruse or sit with a bottle of water, look at a video promo or experience pleasantness. This is a good captive advertising moment. If your facility is big with lots to see, have a map with a numbered walking tour.
Burn this into your staff’s heads. People are coming into your establishment for ideas and/or to buy. Both are good for your business. The better the experience the more they will buy and buy and buy.
Lose “Can I help you?”
It’s like asking the Pope, “Are you Catholic?” As I said above, people come into your place of business for a reason. Of course you can help them. However, to do this your front-line people have to: (1) Make them comfortable; (2) Find out why they came in (their motivation); and (3) Find out what their perfect something looks like, that they are willing to spend and spend and spend on.
Now let’s wrap this up. Make your customer have a wonderful experience in your Center. To do this you will have to first convince yourself that it’s all about the customer. I’m not saying to succumb to abusive people that give no energy and waste your time. I am saying, however, if they are a motivated buyer and they have a pleasant experience, they may buy a lot more than they originally intended and they will tell their friends how great it was.
Second, show your employees what to do. Don’t think for one minute they should know what to do, or that you will insult their intelligence by spelling it out. This is your Center, and it should be done your way. They don’t know your way unless you tell them, and it’s your responsibility to tell them explicitly. Otherwise, they won’t succeed. You’ll get upset and the demotivating cycle will begin.
Finally, you have to monitor and give feedback. Look for the positives. “That part of what you did was good.” Don’t tell what was done wrong, but rather how to do it better the next time. “In the future, try doing this or that.” Realize, you cannot just instruct and turn your employees loose. Until there is recognition, reinforcement and reward, the behaviors you desire will not happen. So, to insure success make your business establishment a pleasant experience.
And now I invite you to learn more by reading other posts on this blog.
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It is an acceptable truth that not everyone is gifted with natural selling skills. nonetheless, one can learn such skills by participating in training seminar.
One thing that you can do is to participate in a professional sales training. This can very well speed up your learning skills in the proper way to generate sales. The lectures in professional sales training will doubtlessly assist you to interrelate in a better way with prospective buyers.
You can also build a relationship with your buyers that can last for a long time. There are many reasons which explains why attending such seminars can do good to you. It is very imperative to take into account the benefits it can give.
There are some perks that you can enjoy, when enrolling for a professional sales training. The training would definitely make a favorable impact for the company, as it can enhance profits and sales. This is one of the most important advantages of attending this type of seminar. The good thing is that you can calculate the results right away. You can also discover new selling ways that can assist improve on your sales target.
Another advantage of this training is learning how to build good relationships with customers. This is the latest trend when it comes to sales. In case the strategy is learnt, it can bring in long lasting buyers. You can be able to put together your products in the best way possible. This is because you can then understand situations and efficiently upgrade your communication skills.
Moreover, you can also discover the motivation and buying behavior of consumers. With sales professional training, you will be more self-assured with your selling products. You will have the understanding and skills that will make your more competitive in your field.
Obtain a professional sales training, as well as set goals for yourself that can push up greatest sales revenue!
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