I call it opening the sale because it’s a broad subject which includes the approach, the greeting and the transition, 3 separate and distinct parts.
You can learn a little product knowledge, have some energy and get out there on the floor and give it a go. At this stage in development, your energy will take you a long way. Customers at a simple level will forgive that you may not know everything about the product. In fact, a lot of customers have done their homework and probably know a bit about the products and really want to see it in person rather than on a web page.
Every step in the selling process is a step earned from the previous step. For example, making a demonstration without having probed or know what and why a customer is shopping limits your ability to really zone in on the product that will really thrill your customers. The quality of the customers’ answers in probing is directly related to the comfort they feel because of your ability to open the sale and get the ball rolling in a person to person relationship as opposed to a salesperson to customer relationship.
What I am about to tell you is the difference between goal hitter and goal smasher. Let’s just say you are closing around 30% of your opportunities with a reasonable or even above average sale. This could be enough to hit the target, make the manager happy, and make some money. And that would be cool if getting by is your thing. It’s not mine. I want it all.
It is very hard to do but you must forget about everyone else in the store and certainly forget about the goal. Always remember or learn if you have to, that the goal is a result. You need to concentrate on the behaviors that cause the result never the result.
You must believe in process. That there is a logical sequence of events in selling. You open the sale then find out what they may want, make a demonstration and so on. Yes, there are exceptions but they ain’t the rule. And as I mentioned earlier the better each step is performed the better the set up for the next step in the process.
So, I am going to give you an assignment. Just between you and me. It’s a biggie. I am sure I don’t have to tell you that only 100% truthful answers will help you. Start tracking greetings. We often refer to them as UP’s. Just like a baseball player coming to the plate. Then track openings to demo’s. A demo is defined as showing product or talking about a service. Then track demo’s to closes. A close meaning you got the moola. What you are going to wind up with is information on where it is going upside down. When you confront where you are losing the sale you can begin to plan on fixing the problem. For years, I have talked about the front end of the sale. (opening, probing and the demo) and the back end (objections, closing). If it’s the front end go step by step to figure it out. For example, if you are greeting customers but do get them into a demo, work on your opening. If you are having trouble closing, first work on how well you handle objections.
Of course, none of this matters if you want to just get by. It can never be about hitting goal or making money. It has to be about how good would really want and can be. I have met a ton of great ones out there. Will I be able to add you to the list?
-Harry J. Friedman
About The Friedman Group
The Friedman Group is a retail consulting and sales training company focused on improving retailers through high-quality courses. Its proven track record includes over 5 million retailers trained, more than 150,000 companies represented, and 5% to 50% sales increases in its more than 35 years in the business.
The company, led by Founder and CEO Harry J. Friedman, has worked with the biggest brands in retail like Cartier, Neiman Marcus, Nike, Diane von Furstenberg, Samsonite, and more.