19 July 2024, 07:50
By Kevin Cundiff Mar 02, 2016

Six sales practices to ditch in 2016

You probably know which sales tactics are helping your numbers, but do you know which ones are costing you valuable sales? Fortegra’s Kevin Cundiff looks at six of the main offenders …

Just like making your brand attractive to customers, there are sure-fire ways you can push them straight out the door and into the arms of another furniture retailer. In fact, according to RightNow’s Customer Experience Report, 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience. And, let’s be honest, many sales professionals don’t even know they’re the cause when it happens.

You don’t want to be one of the retailers losing brand loyalty, do you? If your team is engaging in even one of these six bad sales practices, now is a great time to turn over a new leaf. Ditch these bad habits, keep customers happy and rack up more sales in 2016:

1. Leading with price
Of course everyone will eventually want to know how much cash they’ll be dropping on that new couch. But that doesn’t mean you need to bring it up as soon as their eyes meet the merchandise. Leading with the product’s value is a much better way to hook customers and make the sale. Once they see the value of the purchase, that price tag won’t matter quite as much.

2. Using jargon
Throwing out too many design terms or using sales-ese can make customers uncomfortable, even if they know what you’re talking about. Try to use more approachable layman’s terms when selling. Technical speak may be second nature to you, but that doesn’t mean everyone else gets it. If customers don’t know what you’re talking about, why would they buy?

3. Providing too much information
If a customer asks a question about a product, it’s obvious you should give them a full answer. But unless that customer is indicating they want more, there’s no need to drive the message into the ground. If you overload them with information, customers may feel overwhelmed, and more willing to walk away from a purchase.

“Technical speak may be second nature to you, but that doesn’t mean everyone else gets it. If customers don’t know what you’re talking about, why would they buy?”

4. Giving up early
Just because you get turned down after your first attempt to make a sale, doesn’t mean the customer won’t change their mind. Encourage a sale more than once when communicating with customers, and give them that second chance at a purchase. However, avoid being too pushy. There’s nothing worse to customers than an overly aggressive salesperson.

5. Not asking enough questions
Do you and your team know what your customers actually want before you start trying to sell to them? Everyone’s tastes are different, so they may not be interested in the same products your previous customers were. Prepare discovery questions that can help you identify the customer’s reasons for buying, their budget and preferences.

6. Having to always be right
There’s a reason the saying ‘the customer is always right’ has stuck around for so long, and no-one likes a know-it-all. Letting consumers feel knowledgeable about products can make them more comfortable and help ease them into a sale.

Want an easy way to up your numbers in the new year? Ditching these off-putting practices is a great place to start.

Kevin Cundiff is vice-president of retail for Fortegra, a single-source insurance services company that offers a range of specialty programme underwriting, credit protection, and warranty solutions.

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.