27 May Are You Losing Customers Because Of This?
With the recent drop in sales as well as drop in customer traffic, our first instinct may be to look at reducing our price and introducing promotions to attract customers. Tons of businesses can be seen doing this both offline and online as a desperate attempt to lock customers. However, price may be sensitive towards customers, it may not the core issue that is causing a loss of customers! The core issue may be closer and deadlier than you think, and that is your sales skills and abilities.
Customers may use price, lack of free gift or product not useful as reasons to not purchase your products even when they are on promotions. However, you may see the very same customers purchasing an even more expensive product or service from another store instead. Customers nowadays have the capabilities and cash to purchase products. However, like our phones, customers have become smarter consumers. In order for us to retain and lock our customers, we need to take a look at how we sell our products!
As such, the million dollar question would be what areas of my sales skills do I need to improve? Let’s take a look at 3 areas that may be causing you to lose customers.
- Sell first, ask never
- Selling math and not medicine
- One Size Fits All Selling Method
1. SELL FIRST, ASK NEVER
Let’s do a small exercise together, let’s think about our recent shopping experience. How many questions does it take the salesperson to ask before selling us a product? Most of the time it’ll be 3 questions:
- What are you looking for?
- What is your budget?
- What brand do you prefer?
After you answer these three questions (sometimes just two) the salesperson would proceed to begin selling. If your most recent shopping experience is online, then that number goes down to 0. So why is asking such an important step before selling you ask? Well, let me illustrate with my sales experience. I asked a customer of mine those 3 questions, promoted one of our products. She said she will consider it and proceeds to walk out and never come back. Sounds common correct? It doesn’t end there, I decided to ask 2 more questions to my next customer and those 2 questions helped me to close that sale!
What questions did I ask? I asked my customer “Are you using this for personal use or office use?” and proceeded to ask “What’s wrong with your previous device?”. These 2 questions were simple but crucial as it gave me an idea of what the customer wants instead of guessing their budget and guessing which product would suit them. She told me she needed a device for office use and the previous device was slow and laggy. As such, I sold her one of our premium products that runs faster, smoother and charges faster to fit her office usage. She took it without hesitation and I managed to sell a premium product! Just with those 2 extra questions, I managed to close 2 more sales that very day!
We are obviously not mind readers, as such, we need information to sell effectively and this information comes from (you guessed it) – asking! Rather than focusing on selling hot products or affordable products, we can take one step back by asking what our customers want and what they need before attempting to sell our products to them. That saves us time from guessing while also allowing us to focus more on selling the product to the customer instead of debating and convincing them based on prices.
2. SELLING MATH AND NOT MEDICINE
“Sir/Miss, our package A includes (1,2,3), our package B includes (1,2,3,4) and our package C includes (1,2,3,4,5).”
“Sir/ Miss, our product here has the latest processor, best camera, and largest storage in the market!”
I believe you’ve heard these phrases a ton of times, the question now would be, does it immediately make you feel the want and need to buy the product? The answer is probably no. Most salespersons out there are focused on selling the overwhelming number of specifications to the customer in hopes of impressing the customers with their products and services. However, selling is more than just a numbers game, more specs does not mean better selling, sometimes it is just as simple as selling medicine at a pharmacy or clinic.
Take my recent trip to the pharmacy for example, I was looking for sunburn medication (thanks to the ever blazing sun at the beach during raya) as well as itch relief medication (no thanks to the enormous amount of mosquitoes and flies). One of the promoters approached me, asked me what I needed and guided me to the respective products. She explained to me based on my sunburn condition, she would suggest product A as it would rehydrate my skin while also relieving the effects of sunburn. She then suggested product B for itch relief as the cream helps to alleviate the effects of the itch. I bought it instantly with no confusion and a 100% happy shopping experience.
I doubt you have ever heard a promoter selling panadol to you by saying “this product has paracetamol in it, one of the best ingredients in the market!” If we were to ever hear that I believe most of us would buy the panadol for the promoter instead! As such, we need to shift from selling our products based on their specs to selling our products based on its functionality! Rather than saying this package contains what services, we can highlight the benefits brought about from the different services. Instead of saying “this product has the best processing chip in the market” why not try saying “this product has a fast processor that does not lag when opening multiple tabs” instead. Rather than focus on selling and mentioning the amount of specs the product has, we can think of what functions the products bring instead.
3. ONE SIZE FITS ALL SELLING METHOD
Most of the time we may develop a single method to sell all our products, from the way we greet to the way we close sales. Although it’s good to have a standardized way and tempo for selling, it is crucial for us to personalize and differentiate our selling method according to our customers preferences. Let me introduce to you Salesperson A and Salesperson B, my ex-colleagues.
Salesperson A, has a very standard way of selling and greeting. Be it the customer is young, old, male, female, tall, short … you get the picture. Everytime he sells a product, he would use the exact same script to sell. He would start by telling the customer this is the hottest product, introduce the camera features, mention about limited stocks and lastly tell them about any add-on deals. He does the speaking 80% of the time and his sales achievement that month? RM 45,000.00
Salesperson B on the other hand, has a more fluid way of selling and greeting customers. For gamers, he would highlight advanced gaming features; for vloggers or camera enthusiasts, he would focus on the camera quality as well as the 5G technology. He would vary his script according to customers preferences and usage.His sales achievement that month? RM 120,000.00
You may think I am joking but I kid you not, it is because of the personalization of selling that allowed him to easily connect with customers. Not only did he get the highest sales achievement that month, he managed to establish good customer connections and secure a bunch of returning customers. It is good we have a standard way of selling, but selling should be fluid and personalized according to everyone’s needs and preferences. Instead of practicing a one size fits all approach, it would be beneficial for us to have a standard way and experiment from there to personalize according to customers’ preferences.
In short, it is crucial for us to revisit how we sell our products and services to our customers! To ask more instead of sell more, to talk functions instead of specifications and to personalize our selling method instead of standardization. These are some of the important yet often missed out areas that can potentially save our business from being ruined.
Obviously there are a ton of areas in sales skills for us to brush up in order for us to truly excel and triumph over our competitors. You want to upskill and learn these sales skills but don’t know where to begin? Fret not! You can start by visiting our website for more information on sales skills and other programs that can supercharge your business today!
Written by Bryan Law Chu Zheng,
SHRA Corporate Trainer
Bryan is a member of the SHRA trainer team. He is a major in Psychology with a retail background. He has a deep passion for human interaction and personal development.
You can catch him dancing or playing the uke on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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