The glorious autumn colors continue to wind down and the crops so carefully tended and nurtured are being harvested. Fields are being cleared and managed in anticipation of the bountiful opportunities that await future cultivation.
In the jewelry world, similar tasks occur to harvest the yield of the season that is ending. Merchandise is being cleared and managed to create robust outcomes. Preparations for the upcoming season are taking shape. Our stores are being groomed to their most attractive, cleanest and best advantages. Our back rooms are overflowing with new and trendy merchandise. Display materials are overflowing. The energy of our stores is growing with every new shipment! Dreams and plans for holiday celebrations hold greater focus with each passing day. The Holiday Season is now upon us.
Assuredly, in our businesses, bringing in bountiful sales and profits occupies tremendous portions of our thoughts. As with anything worthwhile, thoughts are fleeting unless they are attached to more concrete actions! As with planning our crops, planning the actions for achieving abundant yields (exceeding stretch goals) is the groundwork for our success.
Continuing with the harvest theme, the crops of product knowledge, customer service, sales presentations and appetizing closings determine the abundance of the harvest, both in terms of satisfaction (both customer’s and salesperson’s) and profit.
Prepping the sales soil relies heavily on how thoroughly salespeople familiarize themselves with each and every feature of each and every benefit of the merchandise we stock. It’s wonderful to marvel at the delights of the fascinating items arriving each day; conveying the excitement and wonder to customers is what brings in the cash! Actually listing the benefits and features among staff members creates a greater awareness and enthusiasm for each product.
Having staff actually practice “elevator pitches” improves product awareness and presentation finesse. This is a basic component of creating delight in the minds of purchasers. During the very important set-up time of the store every morning is the perfect opportunity to review product knowledge and review the features and benefits of all the new merchandise as well as the merchandise that has been in the cases for a while.
Nurturing the people with whom we do business is absolutely critical to the success we reap! Never underestimate the importance of providing excellence in the interactions with the humans who cross our paths. Kindness to all, an attitude of sincere caring, the ability to deeply listen to people (and to really hear what they may not be saying), knowing how to under-promise and over-deliver in all our communications is the basis for interpersonal success.
Practicing conversational skills and openings goes a long way to smoothing and building customer interactions! Many, if not most, salespeople are naturally skilled in conversational niceties. Freshening conversational openings, adding congenial humor and briefly sharing oneself keep the interest levels of our customers at peak levels.
Toning up those smile muscles is a great exercise too! You will have more new customers coming through your doors in the upcoming weeks. Remember to sincerely thank them and invite them back no matter if they made a purchase with you or not. Attempting to capture name, address, phone, e-mail, and most importantly – permission for follow-up – is essential to building a relationship that will last well into the future.
Tending to the minute details of the needs assessment through asking the correct questions will deepen the relationship and your ability to close the sale by selling based on the reasons the customer wants to buy.
Demonstrating each product to our customers in a masterful fashion with features and benefits will not only deepen the relationship we are building with those we serve, it enhances the perceived value of the items we are selling.
Refreshing all of our presentation techniques (including those nonverbal actions that build appreciation from the customer) adds a new and creative spin on how we demonstrate merchandise. Using the appropriate features and benefits information we have about our products, plus adding our personal excitement about each product coupled with what we have heard each customer express about their purchasing desires (gleaned from really focusing on the customer) produces abundant satisfaction in the sales process.
Additionally, the Holiday Season is the most lucrative time to sell add-on items. Too often we assume the customer is looking for one item for that one special person. The fact is they may need to purchase multiple items for multiple people and should we plant the seed it just might end up being jewelry. Again, the easiest way to sell additional items is to get the customer to tell you what additional items they may be interested in through asking quality add-on questions. For example: What does she have that she will be wearing with this? Who else is on your Holiday Gift giving list? What other special events do you have coming up? Etc.
If we have carefully cultivated the crops of product knowledge, customer service and presentation skills, appetizing closings should create plentiful sales! Honing those wonderful closes will encourage each of us to use fresh and practiced approaches to finalizing the sale! Using the NA=A/DA theory will make your closing extremely easy – Need Assessment equals Answers thus Demonstrate the Answers.
Hopefully, we have done such a fantastic job with each of the crops, that we cause the customer to simply say, “I’ll Take It!” Then the task becomes one of “Harvesting All the Crops” for the customer, add-ons, purchasing all items presented, referrals and additional purchases on return trips. Masterful jewelry “farmers” reap the best crop yields!
Here’s wishing you a bounteous and delectable harvest season!
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.