The art of sales is not something that comes easily to everyone. And that’s okay … but if you’re in a sales position, you’d better have at least a basic understanding of how to approach clients and knowledge of the products you’re trying to sell.
I’ve addressed these topics in previous columns; this month, I’ll talk about ways to handle those uncomfortable moments when you’ve covered all of the features and benefits of a product you’re recommending and the client is just standing there (crickets). Maintain your position of power … you now have to ask for the sale!
This is the part of selling that many salespeople find most challenging. How do you ask a customer for money? In sales techniques, this part is referred to as “Closing the Sale”. If you’ve read my previous columns, you know that I’m a firm believer in keeping things real … that the key to sales is building relationships, and this step in the process is no different. It’s the bond you establish with your client that helps you succeed.
A few other tips to help you with this stage of the sale are listed below.
Get them to the cash register. If your lotion displays are placed away from the point of purchase, then you need to start walking back behind the counter to the register. The customer will follow you and you can then simply begin to ring up the sale.
Stop talking and give them time to think! In our society, we like things right away. When trying to get our way, get our point across to someone, or even make a sale, we feel the need to keep talking and will just keep going and going. This holds true for so many different types of conversations. Next time someone is apologizing to you, don’t say anything and see what happens! Holding our tongues can be a challenge, but when it comes to sales, this is exactly what we need to do at some point. Not for too long, but long enough to give them time to think about what you’ve just said. A polite smile and nod of the head is better than assuming that they don’t like the product you recommended and going right into another one – confusing them even more. Too many options are not a good thing!
Do NOT prematurely offer a discount! I’ve seen this too many times – salon staff will immediately offer a discount thinking that’s the only way a client will commit to buying the lotion. This is not true!
If you offer a discount right off the bat, you’re not giving them the chance to even consider the purchase. You’re also telling them that the product is not really worth the price you’re asking for it. DO NOT DO THIS!
You CAN create a sense of urgency. If a customer is indecisive about committing to the purchase, you can then offer a promotion or special discount that is good for that day only. It might be something you do regularly, but you don’t want them to know this. You want them to feel as if you are doing them a special favor, and that they need to take advantage of it right now!
Most importantly, don’t forget to maintain your confidence and smile! The more you practice, the better you’ll become, until it’s like second nature to you.
A 13-year tanning industry veteran, Danielle Ardito is the National Sales Manager for Devoted Creations. She travels the U.S. and Canada providing product education and sales training, working closely with salons and distribution.
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