What are the 7 steps of retail selling?
Are your sales team struggling with productivity and customer satisfaction issues? Are customers leaving because they aren't getting what they want from you? Are employees frustrated by their lack of autonomy or recognition, and unable to recommend products confidently? If so, there could be an opportunity for improvement right under your nose. It might seem that if only you knew more about marketing or had access to better training materials, then things would improve. But perhaps this isn't entirely true. The problem may not lie within your own ability to sell but rather with the way you're currently approaching the sale. In fact, many retailers have been following outdated methods since before we even had computers! Here are some common sense tips on how to approach every potential customer interaction like a pro.
Here are seven ways you can use these techniques to make sure you get everything out of any prospecting call or visit:
1) Ask open questions that require little initial input. This will allow you to uncover needs, wants, pain points, desires, etc. These topics should form the basis of all future conversations. Once you've uncovered them, ask deeper probing questions such as "How did you hear about us?" or "Why do you think you need our product/service today?". Asking open questions allows your prospects to talk freely, which often leads to answers you wouldn't expect otherwise. You'll also find yourself thinking critically about each conversation in terms of its purpose - whether it was meant to gather information, close business, build rapport, etc. If you end up talking too much about your company, services, goals, history, etc., you risk losing control over the discussion. By letting your prospect take lead, you'll learn more about their point of view, opinions, and priorities faster than if you took charge. And keep in mind that asking good questions won't just create a more productive experience for both parties involved...it will help you stand out among competitors who simply give orders instead of engaging with prospective clients.
2) Use humor to put people at ease (and bring down walls). Salespeople tend to take themselves very seriously. They feel compelled to perform perfectly at all times, lest they come across as incompetent. That said, no one likes being around someone who takes themselves too seriously. Try using a joke once in awhile while still maintaining professionalism. After all, everyone appreciates lighthearted moments between awkward silences. A smile goes a long way, especially when trying to establish trust with new clients.
3) Be honest about your limitations. No matter how competent you believe yourself to be, admit when you don't know something. People respect those who are humble enough to admit mistakes. For example, "I'm sorry I didn't realize the other day that you were looking specifically for..." or "My apologies, I wasn't aware you'd already decided to stay with another vendor." When you acknowledge your shortcomings, others will follow suit, knowing that you truly care about helping them reach their goal(s). Honesty is always the best policy.
4) Don't let fear stop you from doing your job. Fear has a tendency to paralyze people into inaction, particularly in high pressure situations. However, overcoming fears doesn't mean ignoring them altogether, but merely acknowledging them and moving forward anyway. Take action despite the feelings, and remember fear is normal but shouldn't prevent you from taking advantage of opportunities. With that said, don't forget to listen to feedback from superiors regarding why certain decisions were made. Sometimes managers decide against pursuing a target client based upon past performance or negative experiences. Never assume an individual knows what he/she really means when speaking negatively about your brand.
5) Have empathy. Everyone makes mistakes. Instead of focusing solely on your errors, focus on learning from them. If possible, try to avoid making similar ones again. Keep in mind that people appreciate candor, and having empathy fosters honesty. Think of it as an act of kindness toward your colleagues. Also, if you ever have the chance to apologize directly to someone, never hesitate to do so. Even though apologizing may sound clichéd, it shows integrity, humility, and courage.
6) Always show appreciation. Give credit where credit is due, regardless of the outcome. Appreciation builds loyalty, encourages repeat business, and creates positive word-of-mouth referrals. If you see a competitor offering something free, respond with gratitude and offer something back. Say thank you after closing a deal, saying yes to requests, complimenting staff members, etc. If you genuinely appreciate people, they'll reciprocate.
7) Leave work early when necessary. Most successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of prioritization and delegation. Some people thrive off of constant stimulation, while others prefer peace and quiet. Whatever works best for you, strive to maintain balance. Too much stress causes burnout, which will ultimately affect quality of life. Remember, you cannot serve two masters at once. Prioritize well and delegate tasks accordingly. Delegation allows you to spend time working on larger projects while freeing up energy for less important matters. Doing so will ensure you accomplish more overall, and will increase employee morale.
With a bit of practice, adopting these simple habits will surely boost your overall success rate. Now go forth and conquer!
Try implementing some of these tactics next week:
Ask open questions that encourage dialogue.
Use humor to relax tense situations.
Be honest about your limitations.
Have empathy towards others' weaknesses.
Always express thanks for favors received.
Prioritize your workload wisely.
Delegate responsibilities whenever possible.
You can implement these strategies immediately. Your first step should begin with gathering data through research, surveys, interviews, etc. Next, set clear objectives for the meeting. Finally, determine the desired outcomes and agree on specific actions to achieve them. Only then should you move onto discussing features and benefits. Following this format will ensure you cover essential topics, and maximize efficiency. To summarize, here are 7 Steps Of Retail Selling Process:
Open Questions: Ask questions that force your prospect to clarify his thoughts. This helps him share his ideas freely without feeling intimidated.
Humorous Jokes: Humility is attractive. Make jokes occasionally during meetings to defuse tension, calm nerves, and spark laughs.
Admit Mistakes: Tell your prospect that you recognize you probably missed the mark somewhere during the call/meeting. Then tell him exactly where you fell short, and provide solutions.
Focus On Needs & Desires: Focus your entire presentation on addressing problems and concerns. Rather than telling your prospect about all of the wonderful perks you offer, focus on solving her problems.
Listen Carefully: Remain focused on listening carefully to your prospect's responses. Answer his question fully, without giving vague replies.
Agree Upon Action Items: Agree upon specific action items that must occur post-call. Otherwise, you risk missing valuable opportunities to grow your relationship further.
Appreciate Others: Show genuine appreciation throughout your interactions. If you notice your colleague is stressed, help relieve his anxiety. Consider giving praise when appropriate. Do not underestimate small gestures that reflect your sincere desire to uplift others.
Remember, the ultimate objective of a buyer's journey is to convert interested buyers into paying customers. While these principles are applicable anywhere along the path, they are particularly relevant during the discovery stage when companies are deciding whether to continue pursuing a particular client or supplier.
When executed properly, this method will result in increased revenue growth year over year, higher customer retention rates, lower churn, and happier employees. All of which translate into greater profits and sustainability. Furthermore, this system can easily be adapted for virtually any type of enterprise, including startups, SMBs, B2B enterprises, corporate divisions, government organizations, nonprofit agencies, etc.
However, don't limit yourself to reading this article alone. Execute this technique alongside other proven systems used by top performers within your industry. Utilizing multiple approaches simultaneously increases effectiveness exponentially.
To recap, here are five takeaway tips:
Don't take yourself too seriously. Admitting your limits demonstrates confidence and competence.
Honesty builds authenticity.
Empathy fosters communication and understanding.
Leaving work on time reduces stress levels and gives you ample time to pursue other interests outside of work.
Prioritize, delegate, and automate wherever possible. Eliminate mundane tasks to free up mental space for bigger projects.
We've all been sold on something at one time or another, whether we were aware of it or not. We buy things from people who know what they're doing--and sometimes even if they don't! How did that happen? The 7-Step Sales Process can help us understand and overcome these "sales" moments to make sure our next purchase goes off smoothly.
Most companies have a standard sales approach that involves several steps (e.g., product presentation, qualification questions, needs analysis, counteroffers). But many organizations also use their own unique variations of this structure that may not be as efficient or as streamlined as possible. One way to improve your efficiency is to follow proven models like those developed by Harvard Business Review and others. These approaches give you an overview of what should go into each stage of the sale so you can focus more on the task at hand rather than having to memorize every detail of the sale cycle.
Here are seven major components within the typical sales model:
1) Presentation/product demonstration -- This phase includes everything from putting together a proposal or giving demonstrations to presenting products or services to customers or prospects. In some cases, presentations might involve live demos, but often times they are simply PowerPoint slides with voice over narration.
2) Qualification calls -- During this phase, qualified leads will come out of the initial presentation and determine if there is interest. It usually involves a series of phone conversations where potential buyers ask questions about the product or service being offered.
3) Analysis -- After qualifying a lead, salespeople need to decide which type of solution best fits their clientele. They'll analyze what makes sense for them and their clients based on information provided during the call.
4) Proposal -- Once a buyer has determined he wants to move forward with a particular company, his team must create a formal contract outlining his requirements. A good negotiation expert should then review and modify any additional terms before submitting the offer.
5) Negotiation -- Depending upon the complexity of the deal, negotiations could take days or weeks. However, once both sides agree on certain terms, such as price, deadlines, etc., contracts typically include nonnegotiable elements. Here, lawyers and other professionals work to negotiate a final agreement between the two parties.
6) Close -- When the deal is complete, the seller now brings in outside consultants to close the customer. Often, this means providing post-purchase support and ensuring timely delivery. Also, after signing a new agreement, sellers will submit monthly reports to show progress toward meeting agreed-upon goals. If needed, they can provide training sessions for employees, too.
7) Follow up -- While closing isn't the only thing that happens after making a sale, it's definitely one of the biggest tasks facing sellers. Ongoing communication helps maintain relationships for future business. And because it's crucial for businesses to stay connected year round, many sales reps keep regular contact with their clients via email or social media platforms.
So now let's look closer at each step in the 7-Step Sale Model. Read ahead to learn why the first step is key...
What is the 5 Steps sales process * Your answer?
In order to sell effectively, buyers must feel comfortable enough to share opinions openly. Some people may prefer to handle their purchases alone while others would rather discuss options with peers. Either way, it's essential for buyers to communicate freely during the sales process.
And since buying decisions aren't made overnight, buyers tend to want multiple viewpoints throughout the decision-making process. By taking advantage of different perspectives early on, sellers can ensure that everyone involved gets a say.
It doesn't matter if someone prefers to speak privately or to large groups, research shows that public speaking puts people at ease. So instead of feeling uncomfortable discussing big ideas with strangers, try practicing talking to small groups. You may find yourself warming up to larger audiences sooner than anticipated!
Next, check out the importance of asking open-ended questions...
What is the most important step of personal selling?
Asking questions allows buyers to express their thoughts and feelings about the product or service being pitched. Ask questions about their current situation and problems, and listen carefully. Don't interrupt until they finish speaking. Then repeat back specific details regarding what they discussed. Make notes of anything else you think is relevant.
If appropriate, ask if they'd mind sharing feedback with you later. Doing so lets them talk candidly about their experience with your product or service. For example, if they had a bad day at work recently, they may appreciate knowing that you won't pressure them further.
Afterward, compare notes with coworkers and see if anyone else has similar concerns. Based on these discussions, you'll likely gain valuable insights into ways to improve your offerings.
Now here's the last piece of advice for getting through the sales process successfully...
What is the most critical step in the sales process?
Even though it seems obvious, you'd be surprised how many sales reps skip right past this step.
Why do so many forget to mention benefits? Because listing concrete outcomes can sound too simple. Instead, it's better to describe how consumers' lives will change following a purchase. Think beyond just "I'm going to get rich." Rather, tell stories and share examples of how your solutions helped others solve real issues.
For instance, saying "My product saves my customers money," sounds boring compared to "One of my users told me her company saved $10K per month after implementing my software." Stories like this demonstrate credibility and encourage trust, which builds rapport faster than statistics ever could. Plus, showing empathy and understanding human emotions drives home your point much stronger.
Whether you're trying to convince a friend to invest in your startup or pitching a prospective employer on a job opportunity, using storytelling principles can really pay off.
To recap, here are the three main points to remember when approaching sales targets:
1) Showing empathy and understanding human emotion drives home your point much stronger.
2) Listening closely and repeating back specifics enables buyers to express themselves more clearly.
3) Offering benefits demonstrates value and proves ROI, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Finally, read ahead to discover the purpose behind the 7-step sales process...
What is the overall goal of the 7 Step Sales Process?
Sales success hinges on reaching agreements with interested parties. Having worked with hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs across industries worldwide, I've seen firsthand how poorly suited traditional sales methods can be for growing startups.
Instead, when starting a business from scratch, founders require access to mentors, advisors, and experts who can guide them along the path to success. Many successful CEOs today started their companies by learning directly under experienced leaders, either personally or online. Other entrepreneurs found mentorships with industry veterans. With proper guidance, however, almost anybody can become a leader.
This is especially true if you choose to build a scalable organization. To grow exponentially, you need access to investors, suppliers, partners, distributors, and other stakeholders. All of whom expect a return on investment in exchange for their contributions.
When developing products and services, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Entrepreneurs often spend years perfecting their offering, yet fail to consider how well they fit into the market space. Without clear direction, teams risk wasting resources chasing unprofitable deals. Fortunately, the 7-step sales method provides a framework for executing strategies quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
Ultimately, sales success comes down to striking the balance between tactics and strategy. By applying proven techniques above all else, businesses can develop lasting strategic partnerships with strategic buyers. As long as you stick to the plan, you'll soon realize that sales are truly worth its salt.
Harvard Business Review. "How Companies Win Customers Over Time." https://hbr.org/2014/11/how-companies-win-customer-trust-over-time [accessed November 30, 2016].
When I was growing up, my dad would often say to me and my brothers, "Don't be greedy." He'd remind us that if we were being honest with our customers, they wouldn't have any reason not to give us their money every time. He wanted us to treat people fairly. And his words stuck with me because he had an amazing way of putting ideas into practice. When he saw someone acting unethically or dishonestly toward another person, he'd let them know what they did wrong while at the same time reassuring them that there wasn't anything they could do about it. The conversation always ended on a positive note where both parties understood each other better than before. This taught me two very valuable lessons: First, honesty really does pay off. Second, just because something isn't fair doesn't mean it can't work out right.
My dad knew that sometimes life gets pretty unfair. That's why he took action against injustice whenever he came across it. If someone cut him off in traffic, he might honk loudly to get their attention so they'd pull over to the side of the road. But even though this didn't make sense from a strictly logical perspective (why should I yell at somebody who cut me off?), it worked well. People got angry enough by his actions to stop cutting him off immediately. By using simple gestures like these, my dad helped create social norms that encouraged people to be kinder to one another. We all want to feel good about ourselves and part of feeling good means helping others. So instead of yelling angrily after getting cut off, my dad chose to use his voice as a tool to help change behavior. It's a tactic many of today's entrepreneurs use too. They're able to achieve their goals simply by making small changes in everyday interactions with potential buyers. For example, you may notice your clients buying more frequently from your online store rather than going to your brick-and-mortar location, but don't assume they hate shopping locally. Instead of wasting energy trying to convince them otherwise, focus on ways you can improve their experience. You could ask them questions about themselves to find out what makes them happy, then customize products based around those answers. Or maybe they've been looking for a certain item and you offer exactly what they need. Whatever scenario applies, try to think beyond excuses and assumptions and look for opportunities to make small improvements. In doing so, you'll increase your chances of converting prospects into paying customers.
Another powerful technique used by my dad was called the "three card trick" -- basically, it went like this: If someone cut him off, he would politely tell them to move back six feet and three cars ahead of them. Then he'd point down the street to the next intersection and encourage them to go cross streets. With this method, no matter which direction the driver decided to take, Dad was guaranteed to see them again soon. The key here is to stick to your guns and refuse to accept bad customer service. Whether it's dealing with rude cashiers or aggressive drivers, stand firm in your convictions and keep moving forward. If you stay calm and polite, people will eventually respect you and become interested in working with you. Remember, nothing happens until first contact.
In addition to thinking outside the box, another principle my father instilled in me was patience. My dad never yelled at anyone and rarely lost his temper. In fact, if you looked closely during family gatherings, you probably noticed he seemed almost bored at times. One day, my older brother asked him why he acted this way. His response was simple: "I'm waiting patiently for Godot." What happened later changed my whole perception of impatience forever. As a result of having grown up hearing this phrase, I became obsessed with figuring out its meaning. Turns out it comes from Russian author Anton Chekov's story titled "God Save Us From Them," where the hero explains that the only true form of happiness is contentment. While reading the book, I realized that people tend to rush through everything because they believe fast results equal success. However, taking my sweet time actually helps me enjoy the journey more. Why waste time rushing towards something you already desire? Slow down long enough to appreciate the moment and savor new experiences. Patience becomes self-fulfilling prophecy once you learn to trust yourself.
So now you understand some basic principles behind my dad's approach to life and retailing. Now it's time to put it to practice! Here are seven proven tips for increasing conversion rates in retail settings.
Never underestimate the power of timing. Wait for the best deals.
Be patient. Give consumers ample opportunity to explore the choices available to them.
Make sure every display conveys consistency.
Offer multiple options to fit different budgets and tastes.
Help shoppers reach decisions quickly. Don't force them to ponder endlessly.
Ask open-ended questions to turn visitors into leads.
Listen to feedback from existing customers. Adjust accordingly.
Always remember to smile. Your enthusiasm shows everyone you care.
After applying these principles consistently, retailers are beginning to witness impressive increases in conversions. A few years ago, eBay reported a 20% increase in revenue growth per visitor. Today, companies such as Amazon generate $4 billion in annual revenue from third party sellers alone. These numbers prove that smart marketing strategies can lead to big returns. Once you establish a steady stream of income from direct sales, reinvest profits to drive higher conversion rates. After all, this is the secret sauce of successful businesses everywhere.
What are the five 5 main important factors for a retail business?
While there are countless ways to set up shop successfully, the biggest factor affecting profitability lies within the walls of your storefront. To boost your bottom line, consider incorporating the following components into your overall plan:
Find the perfect balance between inventory and promotions.
Create personalized solutions for repeat customers.
Keep tabs on competitors' prices.
Use technology to manage inventory efficiently.
Get creative with pricing schemes. Offering discounts encourages impulse buys.
Advertise effectively. Tell potential buyers exactly what you want them to expect.
Today, savvy marketers recognize that consumers respond positively to customized offers. They also realize that spending money wisely saves plenty of money in the end. Therefore, setting clear expectations for product availability and quality allows you to meet your target audience needs without breaking the bank. Also, be aware that competition is fierce. Retailers must constantly monitor price points and adjust stock levels accordingly. By keeping track of market trends, you can anticipate consumer demand and ensure smooth operations. Moreover, technology plays an instrumental role in helping retailers automate repetitive tasks, reduce overhead costs, and provide real-time updates regarding inventory shortages. Lastly, be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances. If you operate in a competitive marketplace, you cannot afford to fall asleep at the wheel. Otherwise, you risk losing sight of your core values and ideals. Stay vigilant by seeking advice from experts and embracing continuous improvement initiatives.
What are the five elements of retailing?
Regardless of whether you own a physical establishment or run a virtual eCommerce site, it's critical to define your brand identity. How do you want to present yourself to your audience? Will you emphasize convenience or superior quality? Are you known for offering unique services or providing high value merchandise? Do you prefer to serve local clients or attract international tourists? Establishing guidelines for your company's image keeps you focused and gives you clarity of purpose. Once you've determined your vision, follow these general guidelines for creating memorable campaigns:
Know your ideal client. Define your demographic profile and figure out what motivates them.
Develop a strong message that resonates with your niche. Craft compelling copy that speaks directly to your audience.
Choose relevant images and colors that match your style.
Incorporate call-to-action buttons for easy checkout. Ensure they're placed strategically throughout website pages.
Provide free shipping and order tracking information to reassure anxious buyers.
Focus on building relationships with your audience. Treat them kindly and show appreciation.
Include testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers. Let them share personal stories.
Integrate social media tools into your campaign. Interact with followers personally via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
Encourage word-of-mouth advertising by asking friends and colleagues to spread the word.
Test various promotional tactics to determine which ones bring the highest ROI.