Julie Ann Wessinger 2018-01-27 09:01:46
Sales cultures vary from workplace to workplace. The strongest and most successful of these cultures tend to be the ones that have committed time and energy to establish a service-oriented sales environment. Organizations that have not adopted this consumer-centric sales approach— of which there are many—certainly will not experience the same level of success. In fact, they will more than likely experience lower retention rates and a weakened reputation, as well as fewer overall sales. Wouldn’t you rather sit down with a salesperson who is asking you questions about what you want and need, versus using stock language and pushy techniques to build their not-sohidden sales quota? It’s safe to say that people are typically pretty turned off by these more in-your-face types. Some consumers even go so far as to plan their shopping around avoiding these in-your-face sales representatives. In fact, pushy sales associates concerned with quantity over quality might even be contributing to the growth in online retail sales, which increased more in 2016 than it had the three years prior.1 So what is it you need to do to improve your sales environment? SALES CULTURE Think about the sales culture of your company. What is it like? Do you have a culture of sales, or a culture of service? In other words, which of the following would you say your employees are likely asking themselves when working with your consumers? Option A: “How can I get this over with?” Option B: “What do I need to say to make a sale?” Option C: “How can I understand and fulfill this individual’s needs?” The hope, of course, is that your employees have an ‘Option C’ kind of mindset when interacting with consumers. However, the unfortunate truth, is that ‘Option A’ and ‘Option B’ thought processes tend to be more of the norm. To be successful in sales, your staff needs to take a service oriented vs. sales oriented approach. In other words, they need to learn how to work with each individual consumer and ask them the right questions to get to the bottom of their particular wants and needs. So how can you help your employees learn to become more service oriented? SERVICE VS. SELLING Let’s take a step back and think about it for a second—every single person in this world has wants and needs, especially when it comes to purchasing behaviors. And even though these wants and needs differ vastly from consumer to consumer, they still exist. You just need to figure out what they are. Knowing how to adapt your communication style to better mesh with your consumers is an important quality to have. But learning how to effectively uncover and fulfill the needs of each of your consumers though a consumer-centric approach is the only way to consistently make sales. Once that skill is mastered by your sales staff, they will begin to make sales with more confidence and ease. This “consumer-centric” sales style has to become the standard to see real results. It can’t just be a poster on the wall that everyone chooses to ignore; it needs to be a permanent mantra tattooed onto the skin of your organization. So what is it that you can do to help promote this consumercentric mindset throughout your business? SALES COACHING Proper training and information are vital to the success of your team, and like any athlete or business professional, coaches and mentors with expertise are the ones who supply that. You need to help your sales managers become these expert leaders by arming them with the knowledge and resources to do so confidently and successfully. A Bersin by Deloitte study actually found that organizations that effectively prepare managers to coach well are 130% more likely to realize stronger business results.2 The attributes of an effective coach: • Spots and foster talent and potential in people • Guides high performance and productivity • Instills confidence in their employees • Improves communication skills and strengthens relationships Research shows that coaching employees can also help your employees to feel valued. In fact, businesses that offer their employees opportunities to expand and polish their skills and abilities can outperform other companies in their field by as much as 202%.3 In other words, producing growth opportunities for your sales managers and frontline staff, while at the same time working to build a service-oriented sales culture is a win for your consumers, a win for your employees, and a win for your business. 1 “Report: E-Commerce Accounted for 11.7% of Total Retail Sales in 2016, up 15.6% over 2015.” Marketing Land, 21 Feb. 2017. 2 “From Player to Coach: Turning Great Salespeople into Great Sales Managers.” Integrity Solutions, 20 Apr. 2017. 3 “State of the American Workplace.” Gallup, Inc., 2017. JULIE ANN WESSINGER IS NATIONAL DIRECTOR FOR CLIENT PERFORMANCE STRATEGIES AT ALLIED SOLUTIONS. SHE CAN BE REACHED AT 813.546.0892 OR JULIEANN.WESSINGER@ALLIEDSOLUTIONS.NET. ALLIED SOLUTIONS IS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF PACB. “YOUR STAFF NEEDS TO TAKE A SERVICE ORIENTED VS. SALES ORIENTED APPROACH”
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