Columnists Brad Huisken They are not looking for jewelry, they are looking for you!

They are not looking for jewelry, they are looking for you!

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I absolutely believe that it is more important to sell yourself and the store than it is important to sell your jewelry. Frankly, a customer can get the jewelry anywhere. They can’t get the experience with you just anywhere. It has to be in your store.

In today’s retail environment it is all about the story you tell that creates the excitement in the customer’s mind that will cause them to buy from you. Every company has a story that is unique to only that company. Usually the advertising does a great job of telling the story – The question is do the salespeople convey the same message that is displayed in the advertising? Make sure you are selling yourself and the store by telling company stories.

When you are thinking about going to Disney Land or Disney World their advertising conveys the message that it is the Happiest Place on Earth. All the employees have a mission of making a Disney property the happiest place on earth. When you check into a Ritz Carlton Hotel – you expect a high level of professionalism and a great sense of eloquence. Employees of the Ritz Carlton are not allowed to say the word “yes” – they are required to say the word “certainly.” Just that one word “certainly” displays eloquence and professionalism. Should you rent a car from Avis – if the employees of Avis are not trying a little bit harder we are disappointed with the experience. One particular vacation company advertises, “Having the time of your life.” You can bet that the employees of this company do everything possible to insure that their guests have the time of their life. In retail jewelry, the same holds true.

What’s Your Story?

Selling yourself and

your company!

It is becoming increasingly more important to sell yourself and your company. Telling your story or a company story just might be the edge that you need to close the sale. The story should be phrased as 15 to 20 words highlighting the competitive advantage that you and your company offer. With competition increasing from others in the industry, the Internet, and other areas where customers can spend their disposable income, selling yourself and your company is essential.

I believe that it is more important to sell yourself and your company than it is to sell your merchandise!

I suggest that companies should have a brainstorming session with their employees and come up with the top 50 or 60 reasons why a customer should buy from you and your store as opposed to buying from the competition. When discussing reasons “why” these could also be called competitive advantages or usp’s - unique selling propositions. Then take these top 50 or 60 reasons and convert them into twenty or thirty word company stories.

For example, a competitive advantage of being independently owned might translate to a company story that sounds like: “One thing we are very proud of at ABC Jewelry is that our store is independently owned, meaning that the owner is also the buyer and all of the jewelry is hand picked for the finest quality and value. Meaning that as a customer you will receive the highest quality at a great value.”

It may come down to what you do not say that will make the difference between a sale being made or lost!

Another reason it is so important to tell your story or company stories is that the difference between making a sale and not making a sale may come down to what you don’t say as opposed to what you do say. For example, let’s say one of your competitive advantages is that you offer free cleaning and checking for life. During the sales presentation, you forget to mention it. The customer doesn’t buy at your store, then they are shopping at your competition and the competitor just happens to mention that they offer free cleaning and checking for life. Who gets the sale? Probably the competition because they mentioned the added benefit of buying from them and you simply forgot to mention that particular company story. Thus a lost sale.

Company stories do not necessarily have to be things that you offer that no one else does. They are simply reasons why the customer should buy from you, spoken in terms of a customer benefit. I assure you that if you sell yourself and the store you will find more people buying from you simply because not many of your competitors are proactively selling themselves rather than just the jewelry. This is where trust is developed. Trust is essential in order to sell your customer on dealing with you.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Mr. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 
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