Our realtor turned to us and said, “Now, where would you put your couch in this room?”
Immediately we started mentally arranging the furniture in the house she was showing. By the time we had visualized the family room, kitchen, and office we were ready to write the offer.
Visualization is the key to getting a shopper to move from gathering information to making the purchase. Realtors know this technique. You should, too.
I have just posted a new FREE eBook on the Free Resources page of my website titled Close the Sale with Assumptive Selling based on the presentation I did for the Independent Garden Center Show a couple weeks ago. The eBook shows you how to get customers into Visualization Mode and also shows you other smart things you need to do at the close of each sale to help your customer solve the problem that brought her into your store.
Today’s post talks about how to teach these concepts and techniques to your front line and sales staff.
(Hint: you should read the eBook Close the Sale with Assumptive Selling before reading the rest of this blog. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)
FINDING THE BENEFITS
If you have ever been involved in sales training you have heard about Features and Benefits. You have to show the customer the Features and Benefits to make the sale. While I agree wholeheartedly with that approach, the real problem is that most sales people spend all their time on the Features without showing the true Benefits. Why? Because Features are easy to explain. The packaging often tells you everything a product does. Benefits are a lot harder to determine, especially because the Benefit for one person might be completely different than the Benefit for someone else.
The best game I ever played with my staff to get them to think about Benefits was a “Dutch Auction.” I broke the staff into teams and asked each person to pick three items off the shelf. Each team ended up with a dozen items. Then I would call out a Benefit. The team had to bring me one item from their collection and explain to me how that item offered the prescribed Benefit. If they were successful with their explanation, they got a point.
Some Benefits you can use are:
Show me an item that …
- Saves a customer time
- Makes a customer healthier
- Keeps a customer from having to bend over
- Helps a customer feel smarter
- Helps a customer feel stronger
- Will make all of her friends jealous
This game gets your staff into a different mindset away from just what an item does, but how that will help a customer.
A Feature is what an item does. The Benefit is why that is important.
Another quick way to get your team up to speed on the Benefits is to bring your top ten new items to the next meeting and have the staff brainstorm all the possible Benefits of each item. Write up the list after the meeting and give a copy to everyone.
COMPLETING THE SALE
Have a contest at your next meeting. Have each person pick one item off the shelf. When they bring that item back to the group, explain the importance of Completing the Sale. Then send them out to collect every possible item related to the original item that a customer might need. Once they return, tally up the prices and reward the person who had the highest total. (Note: if no one has Completed the Sale to your satisfaction, send them back out with a total amount they have to reach. This will stir their creative juices.)
Follow up: Have each person create a checklist for their item of the complimentary items you’ll want to ask the customer to see if she has. Do that with your top ten items in your store. Those checklists will bring you gold.
TIPS AND HACKS
There are certain items you sell that people often misuse. There are certain items you sell that have a downside to them that sometimes kills the sale. There are certain items you sell that get the most negative feedback post-sale. Identify these items and bring them all to the next meeting.
Assign a different product to each person and have them research how and why each item is misused, mistrusted, or complained about. At the next meeting have them do a quick presentation with two points:
- Here is the issue
- Here is the tip you can give to make the customer enjoy the product and get the best use out of it
Nipping objections and complaints in the bud before they even happen makes happier, smarter customers who will return more often and bring their friends with them.
Now you know how to get your team to Close the Sale with Assumptive Selling.
PS One Assumption I am making is that you have read and followed the steps in The Meet and Greet eBook I published yesterday. If you Meet and Greet properly at the beginning it is far easier to Close the Sale at the end.
PPS Yes, you can hire me to do these presentations for your organization. You can even hire me to do a workshop with your sales staff using some of the activities I have shown above and in yesterday’s post. A training workshop like the latter takes about 1.5 to 2 hours and will transform the way your staff works with your customers. When you’re ready to make your customers happier to buy more, contact me.