HOW TO GET YOUR SALESPEOPLE TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

Many retailers are worried about the lack of effort on the part of their salespeople.    Today, many salespeople come to work with all their problems and baggage for the day, which not only affects their ability to sell, but has a negative affect on the customers, who want to be greeted by a pleasant and happy employee.

For the retailer, salesperson productivity can be a matter of life and death for the business.  If the salespeople aren’t productive, they aren’t selling, and if they aren’t selling, the retail business is obviously going to suffer.  Here are 3 good tips to get your salespeople to wake up, get going and be more productive:

  1. Development – Show your salespeople that they need to continuously work to develop the knowledge, skills, processes and tools necessary to be an ever more efficient and effective salesperson.   Don’t expect your salespeople to learn on the job by trial and error.  At best, that is a very time consuming and costly approach.  At worst, it leads to mediocre performance, confusion and frustration on the part of the salesperson as well as the boss.  Most companies who claim to do on the job training are really making an excuse for their lack of ability to do anything better.   You need to have a structured training program for all new hires, and then, make your salespeople continuously improve themselves after that.  Generate learning opportunities for your people as they continue on with your store.  Develop specialized training to develop their “selling” skills.  They will end up feeling more confident and enjoying their job more.  Compliment them and provide them with bonuses or extra perks for sales “over and above” the norm.
  2.  Merchandise Intelligence – Encourage your sales people to really understand your merchandise.  They need to know far more than just the price.  In order to sell, they need to know how the products work, their benefits, features and anything else that is relevant to the customer.   Provide your salespeople with merchandise training and encourage them to research online.  The use of the Internet provides your salespeople with a method to actually help customers.  The more your salespeople know about your merchandise (and your competitors’ merchandise), the more they can explain to the customer and the more guidance they can provide.  Salespeople can become trusted advisors, not just salespeople.
  3. Suggestion selling, selling multiple or larger units, and “trading up” – Teach your salespeople how to engage in suggestive selling, selling multiples and trading up.  Suggestion selling is selling additional merchandise which is related to the original purchase. For example, after selling a pair of shoes, it is often appropriate to suggest a pair of socks, shoe polish, or extra laces. The suggested item normally should be lower in price and related to the original purchase.  Occasionally, unrelated items may be suggested to customers. There may be no relationship between a rake and a gallon of paint; but if the store is having an unusual close-out sale on paint at a bargain price, the salesperson might be doing the customer a service by mentioning it. For example, she might say something like this: “If you are interested in paint, our paint department is having a special close-out sale this week and offering it for one-half its original price.”

Sales may also be increased by selling more than one unit of the same product, or by selling it in larger amounts. For example, the salesperson might say, “These shrubs are $1.95 each or three for $5.” Or the same ideas can be expressed by saying, “These shrubs are $1.95 each. However, if two are purchased, you may purchase a third one for one-half its regular price.”  The salesperson should not look upon this type of selling as being high pressure, because most customers want to be informed about price differentials that can save them money.

“Trading up” refers to suggesting that the customer buy a better-quality and higher-priced item than she originally intended to purchase.  An illustration of this would be the average homeowner who is interested in purchasing a circular saw. One has roller bearings and is priced at $49.95 and the other has ball bearings and is priced at $69.95. Actually, the $49.95 saw with roller bearings is satisfactory for her because she normally uses a saw no more than 10 or 12 times a year. Moreover, the total amount of cutting time usually is only two or three hours each time she uses it. On the other hand, the roller bearing saw priced at $79.95 is designed for heavy duty use. Professional carpenters and contractors need such a saw because they use it from two to four hours every day. Thus, the price level of the product should be geared to what the prospect needs as well as what she can afford…another reason why its so important for your salespeople to spend some time talking to the customer to really find out who they are and what they are looking to accomplish with their purchase.

If you like this information, you’ll really like this SPECIAL REPORT “Top 5 Strategies for Retail Store Growth in Difficult Economic Times”.

About the author; Elias Amash is the President of GRIP.   Located just south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, GRIP features a 200,000 sq. ft. state of the art warehouse facility including a 2,000 sq. ft. product showroom. GRIP carries a product line of over 1,500 specialty hand tools, household items, automotive, air tools, wood working, and general merchandise. With its proven track record of excellence in supplying retail clients with innovative products, timely fulfillment, and world class customer support, the ideal solution to your retail needs in GRIP.

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