When it comes to retail or showroom sales, more than the skill, the will of the salesperson matters.

Simply put, retail sales refers to any business with showroom infrastructure. It mostly involves selling high-end consumer products like phones, bikes, cars, cosmetics, jewellery, wellness, furniture, etc. We are in a time when the experience concerns the buyers besides the merits of the product or its quality. Businesses can no longer focus on creating a great product and leave the rest to fate.

Creating an unforgettable experience is as much the responsibility of the founders, leaders, and managers as it is of the salespeople who represent a brand. This is especially critical in the B2C segment. Most businesses have no shortage of competition, meaning buyers have endless options. So, how does a business truly stand out regarding the showroom experience?

Retail Sales Coaching

From my years of coaching founders from different fields, I have been able to figure out that there are essentially four key aspects to creating a great retail sales experience:

  1. Great First Impressions:

First impressions do matter a lot—it is no secret. And they especially matter when customers step into your showroom. It is pretty simple: Customers who feel unsatisfied by how they were treated or were made to feel will never return. Salespeople have the first 5-10 minutes to give their first speech or make an impact.

Customers are sensitive. They lose interest when they feel they are not understood or given the respect they deserve. For brand owners, it is essential to know that the customer experience in the showroom is directly proportional to their brand image. However, salespeople should be free to sell to make a lasting impression. It creates an immediate disengagement. For example, when a customer is trying to buy a property and the interior designer tries too hard to sell an element in the kitchen that the customer is reluctant to add. While the interior designing company is not directly at fault, it tampers its reputation. 

An excellent first impression can begin with something as simple as asking your customers for a glass of water. 

  1. Excellent product experience through compelling demos:
    When buying a product, a customer wants to know everything about it – what is it made of? How long is it going to last? What are the repair services? How frequently can they use it? Where has it been imported from? Is it safe for children? What is the warranty?
    These are some of the questions, and the range of such questions can vary significantly based on the product.

    To ensure you are giving a great customer experience, the sales representative needs to be able to explain everything well. Customers are inclined to be convinced by someone with a holistic knowledge of the product. What is critical here is to be able to ask the same question in a way that makes the customer feel at ease. For example, when asking about the budget, sales representatives tend to get intimidating. The simple way to ask this without making it weird is by asking, “So what is your budget for investing in XYZ product”? That is what clears the path for upselling.
  2. Successful agreement:
    The job of a sales representative doesn’t end when a customer has agreed to buy a product. Remember, you have to create experiences. Add personalisation or share details on the number of customers who have already made the purchase; for example, it helps reinforce the decision they have already made. After this, the store should aim to provide possible increments and discounts in the negotiation stage. For fixed-price stores, there is an added responsibility. It does not exactly fit the Indian mindset. Hence, they must explain how much money the customer is paying is worth. Adding something like how XYZ discount percentage has already been levied on the product can also help.

    Here, it is the closing stage. The sales reps need to close elegantly. It is key in ensuring that the customer will come back in the future. Dealing with customers in a transactional way does not help make for a great experience in retail sales.
  3. Building long-lasting relationships
    It is important to strike up a conversation with every customer who walks into a showroom with a buying intent. Addressing them by their names and understanding their background or buying intent can help establish a better connection. It helps ensure that the customer-business relationship is not a dead end after this purchase. Most businesses do not pay much heed to this step, and it often ruins them.

Retail sales are about using inherent behaviour and the right skills to make a lasting impact. Some skills are a must-have in retail sales for reps and founders.

Also ReadGroval Euler’s- Retail Sales Transformation Project For A Health And Wellness Company

Skills for Salespeople:

  1. Ability to build connections:
    The sales reps need to be warm. While having warmth is a behaviour trait, enriching them with methods that do not make them sound mechanical is essential. Training on how to be welcoming can truly help the business.
  2. Ability to get the pulse:
    While some customers buy the product they need, others buy it because they want it. The two can’t be treated similarly. Understanding the pulse and knowing what customers want is key. It is all about asking the right questions.
  3. Ability to explain the product:
    The features and the benefits are the top things a customer wants to know. And this comes with proper training and knowledge transfer. Including scenarios like how a chair would benefit their posture or how a table lets them seamlessly integrate charging points can truly help.
  1. Ability to handle objections:
    Not every customer could be pleasant. The sales representative must elegantly handle obstacles and objections and ensure the deal is closed.
  1. Ability to be precise:
    Salespeople sometimes try to close the deal too soon or want to go on and on. The right way to deal with customers and give them an extraordinary experience is knowing when to close the deal correctly.

Skills for the Founders:

  1. Create a culture of excellence:
    How well sales reps handle their customers depends solely upon the culture that is followed and practised. For founders, it is important to hire right, know if they are a good fit, and if they are willing to walk the extra mile.
  2. Analyse what is going wrong:
    Sometimes, the founders want to create a culture of excellence or correct their mistakes. They are either too rigid to get over and make a difference or do not know how to bring about change. Founders need to make quick decisions, and that comes when they are seasoned.

This is when people get into retail sales training and coaching. Every business is different, and so is every founder. I have had the privilege of working with some great founders and businesses. I help them understand how their products are different and how they can adapt unique methods that work for their enterprise. Concept showroom selling is one such aspect that I like to coach the founders on. I have realised that more than the skills, the will matters. I have seen people with mediocre skills but great will perform excellently. Customers tend to forgive salespeople even if they have some gap solely because of their willingness to do their best. 

This lack of will is the biggest challenge preventing one from becoming a great salesperson. But it is not on them alone. Often, managers and leaders implant a feeling of “you can’t do it, ” which paralyses their morale. Coaching is one solo way to overcome almost all issues in life, and being a great retail sales professional is no exception. The tendency to constantly compare their growth with others to an unhealthy level jeopardises their capacity to grow.

Want to know how coaching can help you evolve? Reach out to me [email protected]