The sales industry is an unchanging, yet ever-changing industry where every day offers unique challenges and obstacles. No customer’s needs are exactly the same, while many products can be very similar.
There is a cacophony of advice online on how to carry out sales effectively. They range from advice that asks the reader to gain or polish certain skills to advice that asks the reader to invest in certain tech-based solutions, etc.
We’ve spent some time sifting through this deluge to pick out what we thought were 5 sales tips that you and your staff “must know” to become effective salespeople and to reach greater heights.
With no further ado, let’s jump right into it.
1. Listen to Customers
One of the most important resources for you and your staff when making sales is accurate information on whom you are selling to. As luck would have it, the easiest way to obtain this information is absolutely free; listening to them when they express their needs or wants.
Learning to be a good listener and pick up on exactly what your customers are saying is one of the best ways to ensure that customer satisfaction is guaranteed. In fact, it is recommended that you listen to the customer first before espousing the merits of anything you want to sell.
After all, nothing guarantees a failed sale as much as trying to sell the wrong product to the wrong customer. Not only does the customer tend to feel ignored or annoyed, they might also decide to take their business elsewhere.
Therefore, it is important that you and your staff “learn to listen and listen to learn”.
2. Ask Customers Questions
The next tip we have for you is a good follow-up to listening; asking questions. Not every customer interaction is going to be straightforward and some folks sometimes have trouble exactly expressing what they want or mean. So, it’s only polite to inquire to clarify. Let’s look at why.
The obvious benefit is getting a more accurate picture of what the customer wants. By asking questions about their wants, you define it more clearly in your own mind. You rid yourself of preconceptions and begin dealing with specific details, which can be referenced against your product catalogue to find the right product for the customer.
Another benefit is that it makes the customer feel like the center of attention and like their perspective matters. Most people really enjoy this feeling of being listened to and having their perspective considered to be the most important.
This feeling is useful for the next point on the list, so let’s move on.
3. Build Rapport with Customers
This tip comes with a massive caveat which is, “don’t overdo it.” This caveat applies to every part of this tip so keep it in mind going forward.
Talking to your customers and building a friendly rapport is one of the most tried and true methods of building customer trust and creating return customers. Getting to know them, their habits, their preferences, and their personality can make selling to them a lot easier.
That being said, don’t overdo it. Best practice for this matter is maintaining a professional distance from the customer while being friendly and polite to them. Trying to hard to befriend them can misfire on you badly.
Customers who enter your store aren’t necessarily looking for friends. They are looking for a friendly source of information, someone who can help them solve a problem, and someone who will satisfy their business need in the moment. So, focus on occupying that role.
4. Become Adaptable
All customer service jobs have a touch of unpredictability to them. Each sale can be completely different and offer different challenges or parameters. As such, the next skill you need to give importance to is adaptability.
Customers can be a fickle bunch. They can make decisions on the fly that can benefit you or work against you. Being able to roll with the metaphorical punches and find a way to make the sale requires an adaptable mind.
This skill takes the information gained from listening and asking questions and applies it. It teaches you to figure out ways to progress or gain advantages during sales by going with the flow when you need to and playing hardball when you need to.
This is one of those skills that require practice and encouragement from the management to really perfect. So, make sure to commend your staff if they display adaptability and to encourage it in others.
5. Have a System
Once upon a time, this tip would have been more metaphorical and meant having a specific way you take notes or calculate price, or maintain stock. But in the digital age, this tip is very literal; get yourself a tech-based system that can handle the majority of the number crunching and the data analytics.
Some stores prefer to use offline and simple solutions like regularly updating Excel sheets. These are easy on the budget but hard on the staff due to their technical limitations. Others prefer services such as QuickBooks and WooCommerce through which to operate.
Some stores also opt for POS systems to help their staff ease the mental burden of keeping track of all the information needed to run the shop. By freeing their staff from this burden, they can then use their energy to do the first four things on this very list.
Of course, this begs the question: out of the hundreds of systems you could use at your store, how do you pick the right one? This is a larger topic that we will be talking about on this blog (stay tuned!). But for now, allow us to make a recommendation in the conclusion below.
This has been just a small look at what is considered some of the most universally useful advice for doing sales. We hope you found this list useful.
That being said, we would like a moment of your time so that we can tell you about Ewity.
Ewity is our easy-to-learn, easy-to-use, cloud-based POS system. With a robust inventory system, low technical requirements (you only need a device which can access the internet actively), useful data analytics generated to suit your needs, and an exceptional price, there’s no reason not to give it a try.
How much is to see what Ewity can do, you ask? Why, our Starter Plan is COMPLETELY FREE.
So, head on over to our website and use Ewity to take care of the fifth “must-know” sales tip on this list, so that your staff can spend their time focusing on the other four.