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How Important Is Your Retail Sales Force?

Choosing a super retail sales force.

Entrepreneur

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Consumers often form their impressions of a shop by evaluating its sales force. So look for initiative and problem-solving skills in employees who can ring up repeat sales for your business and keep customers satisfied.

Whether selling shoes, computer equipment or plants, retail salespeople assist customers in finding what they’re looking for and try to interest them in buying the merchandise.

They describe a product’s features, demonstrate its use, and show various models and colours. Therefore, you need to hire people with experience in your trade area – or at least people with a willingness to learn.

Related: It’s Sell Or Die Because Sales Are The Lifeblood Of Every Company

While these are the basic requirements for selling items, not all sales approaches are the same, and not all salespeople will fit your line of goods or shop. For example, some sales personnel, particularly those selling expensive and complex items, need special knowledge or skills.

Selling automobiles requires explaining the features of various models, the meaning of manufacturers’ specifications, and the types of options and financing available to prospective buyers. Selling fine jewellery involves a certain level of expertise beyond that required for a costume jewellery clerk.

Depending on the type of shop and your policies, your workers may also handle returns and exchanges, wrap gifts, stock shelves or racks, arrange for mailing or delivery of purchases, mark price tags, take inventory, and prepare displays. Neatness and artistic talent are useful. Salespeople must be aware of special sales and promotions. They must also recognise possible security risks and thefts, and know how to handle or prevent such situations.

How Many People Is Enough?

The quick answer is as many as it takes to ensure complete customer satisfaction. In reality, simple economics preclude this. There are as many answers to personnel needs as there are types of retail businesses.

Related: The Sales That Really Count

Nonetheless, here are a few points to consider in deciding how many staff members your business requires:

  • Size: A single-floor firm will need fewer staff than a multi-floor shop of the same size.
  • Type of product: The higher the price and complexity of the product, the more personal selling is required. More personal selling means more people.
  • Opening hours: The number of workdays and the hours of business may require shifts and flexible work times. Changes in holiday business will also affect staffing.
  •  Patterns of trade: The concentration of sales at certain times of the day or on certain days of the week will affect staffing needs.
  •  Sales density: The higher the sales per square foot, the more staff you’ll need.
  • Business location: A home-based business increases its chances of experiencing zoning problems with every employee it adds.

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Sales

How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure you don’t screw it up.

Marc Pillay

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How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, however, they can be rectified in many cases. If the wrong amount of money is transferred, it can be reversed; if the wrong information is given, it can be corrected with a polite apology.

In business matters too, there is a ‘second chance’ that allows for an error to be straightened out and which sometimes can even be turned into an advantage. But there is one time when this is not the case: The first impression.

Making a good first impression is an opportunity that must be maximised. The old saying holds true: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Research has shown that first impressions are of critical importance for three out of four buyers – that is a whopping 75%. Some aspects of your external appearance play a role here, but mostly it is what you say, how you say it and also what is conveyed non-verbally.

It’s all about tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language, and it’s about capturing the mood in which the customer finds them self at that moment.

The following points can help you make a positive first impression on the customer:

  • Approach the customer attentively and with a friendly smile
  • Observe the customer – how do they respond? Are they reserved or receptive, cautious or forthcoming?
  • Take the emotionality of the customer seriously
  • Try to adjust yourself to the mood of the customer
  • Give the customer the feeling that you accept and understand them. Create common ground this way, which will leave the customer with good memories and which will shape their future relationship with you.

Do you already take all of those factors into consideration? If not, try to pay attention to them, and you will quickly see that you will have greater success with them.

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Sales

What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

The one surprisingly simple success tactic that works every time.

Marc Pillay

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What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

Customers want to be taken seriously. Someone who invests money does not only want to receive a product or service. It’s also important to make the customer feel appreciated and on an equal playing field with the sales person.

To do this is surprisingly simple: Address him by his name. By doing this throughout the sales conversation, not only when you greet him, your communication with him becomes much more personal and ‘warmer’.

Nothing is more unpleasant than talking to a person face to face not knowing his name – this has certainly happened to all of us at some point. But how can we possibly remember the names of all our customers?

Here are a number of tips that will help you:

  • Be truly interested in the customer and do not only pretend to pay attention
  • Carefully memorise his name during the first meeting, and write it down if necessary – it is no problem if the customer notices you doing this
  • Repeat the name from time to time during the conversation
  • Memorise the person behind the name – face, figure, voice, distinctive characteristics
  • Try to link the customer’s name to an image. Convert his name into a picture, and link objects or situations to it. The saying also applies in this case: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

You’ll see that after just a short while, the names of your customers will stick in your memory much more easily, and your customer interaction will become more promising.

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Sales

How can I make more sales?

Taking a good look at your existing sales strategy may reveal some areas for improvement.

Tim Berry

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My sales are ticking over nicely but I’d like to increase them now, as I feel that we have the capacity to meet increased demand. Can you give me any advice on how to go about growing sales?

The first thing you need to do is reassess your sales strategy and its impact on sales. Look at what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’ve done that, you can consider introducing some new sales strategies, such as finding new ways to sell more to existing customers, or even how you can find brand new customers. Perhaps you’re charging too little. And your marketing strategy could probably do with an overhaul to ensure it’s relevant in today’s marketplace.

Read the full article here.

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