3 Vital Ingredients To Increase Sales
Having a high performing sales team in any business more often than not ensures the overall success of any retail store or business. This, of course, needs to be backed up by high performing teams back in the office where the products are developed, refined and supported. This picture of success tells us that there are multiple factors that determine success, namely, skills, service and product knowledge.
In this post, we look at the 3 things that must be included in any sales training programme to increase sales and the bottom line:
1. Sales Techniques
Having a set of well-tested sales techniques for your business sets the foundation for any training programme. Of course, most high achievers say that selling is more of an “art” than simply following a set of processes. Take a retail store for instance. The entire store may be well versed in selling techniques, but do sales staff know the art of approaching customers and making small talk?
2. Product Knowledge
An in-depth understanding of products allows sales people to introduce new information that is not easily found; customers are unlikely to want someone to simply read from the packaging. This, combined with practical know-how of sales techniques, is a sure win, right? It would have been back when international business and overseas visitors were few and far between. The notion that we are living in a “global village” is well and truly in here today. To increase sales, staff need to understand other belief systems they may not be so accustomed to.
3. Cultural Awareness
The increasing affordability to travel overseas, open immigration policies and the reach of the internet have meant that most businesses cannot simply rely on the local population to become successful. Cultural awareness training is about ensuring the words we use, our body language and the products we recommend are appropriate to a wide range of customer demographics.
A common New Zealand phrase, “sweet as”, may be understood very differently by someone from a non-English speaking country. Likewise, the proximity in which a sales person stands next to a customer and their hand gestures should also be “filtered” by who’s in front of them. Let’s not forget about the appropriateness of products to recommend. Items of cultural significance, or certain foods, tend to have a higher prevalence to cause offence to certain ethnic groups.
In summary, we are firm believers that for any sales training programme to be successful, it must include the three soft skills mentioned above – sales techniques, product knowledge and culture awareness. These soft skills should be introduced and applied concurrently, because in any authentic sales situation, these don’t occur in isolation.