Why it’s important for your employees to know how to sell products

Female student searching for books in the campus library

The Retail Doctor described the idea of failing to sell to customers as, “cooking a recipe and then leaving the food in the pan without serving it.” If students are coming into your store, they are looking to buy something so it can be argued that we are wasting their time if we are unable to sell them the products they need. Your store employees should be doing more than simply waiting to deliver whatever is asked for. Their goal should be to fulfil customers’ desires.

However, your employees can’t do this unless they know how to sell your products. Therefore, it is key to train them on how to sell to customers. Here are some ways you can make sure your employees know how to sell products.

Provide training

Adequate training reduces a great deal of “selling fears” among your employees. Equipping them with the tools they need to properly communicate products to customers is much more effective in boosting their sales then forcing them to learn on-the-spot. Training is also more than just product knowledge but also problem solving and listening skills. Teach your employees how to show the customer that they are here to help them solve their specific problem.

Have incentives and contests

When there is down time in the store, have your employees practice sales pitches through contests. The Retail Doctor suggests a great tool of choosing “an affordable item and show them all you can about it.  Ask them to find other creative uses for the same item and to highlight those uses with their customers.  This process creates creative pathways in the heads of your employees as they show the item and how it is used. It puts learning and creativity top of mind.”

Asking the right questions

Instead of asking, “May I help you?” (which can be easily answered with, “no thanks, just looking.”) teach your employees to ask specific questions that can help them engaged with the customer. Examples include finding a specific color, size, or quantity of product that they are considering.  

Practice, practice, practice

As with anything, employees will only grow more comfortable with sales with practice. During training or down time in the store, role play a sale with one of your employees. Not only will this give them a chance to practice, but also provides opportunities for you to play a “difficult” customer or ask hard questions. Coach them on how to keep a conversation going and you will train them to think outside-of-the-box instead of shutting down in fear of the customer.

Do your store employees suffer from “selling fears”? How do you address those fears?

Need tips on how to talk to your employees about selling fears? Check out this video from Sales Insights Lab.

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