Our current market situation has created a whole new ball game for those of us in the jewelry industry. The game has changed and for us to remain players we must change our approach to business and sales.
Are you willing to change?
Are you willing to try new sales techniques to create a winning team for 2009? Then let's get started!
History always repeats itself and the smart business owner looks into the past during tough times to know which direction to head today. It's the same as a sports team changing their playbook for the current season and you can do the same.
Looking back, when Henry Ford first started producing the Model-T automobile the horseshoe industry was in a panic - but some forward thinking horseshoe business owners looked at their current situation and knew they had to change their playbook to accommodate their current market - and they thrived brilliantly. Others tried to ride out the storm by not changing and lost everything.
You have a wonderful opportunity at this moment to change your approach to business and sales. And in this article I'll show you three techniques to modify your playbook and take advantage of the current market in 2009.
In my 26 years experience of training owners and salespeople, I can tell you first hand that the relationship between the customer and sales associate is the most important one in your business. Used the right way it can create the best year you have ever had!
Here's how we ensure you are benefiting from this relationship:
First: Be a hero - listen to your client's fears, hopes, and dreams! While most salespeople immediately jump into a sales pitch as soon as a customer walks through the door, be sure to train your salespeople to start asking questions about the customer's lives, their families, and their dreams. Create a safe environment for the client to feel free to talk and you have a client for life. This technique sounds so simple, but I have seen it work all across the country - start using it today!
Second: Ask your customer about their past jewelry purchases - whether they bought it from you or not and how much enjoyment they are getting from those past purchases. Notice how they begin to smile. Ask if they are wearing their new purchase every day or only for special occasions. Remember, they came into your jewelry store and they know you want to sell product. Asking questions lets the customers talk about themselves and creates a perfect sales environment.
Third: Train your sales associates over and over to allow the customer to talk and the sales associate to listen. A few months ago I wrote an article on the ‘Art of Listening to Your Clients' that received a lot of positive feedback. Remember that the biggest part of sales is listening - not the sales pitch - I call this "Listen to Buy." Listening is the foundation for a lifetime of business and referrals. Ask the customer questions and then have follow-up questions for the responses they give. By using this technique you will create trust and a huge client base at the same time.
The market has changed. And we must change also. Change your playbook to allow the customer to talk and the sales associate to listen. By taking an active approach to listening, you are ahead of the game.
Changing a few plays in your playbook can have a positive effect on your overall business. And listening to clients in today's market will create a winning season in 2009.
Ivan Levi is celebrating his 26th year in the jewelry industry. He is president of Ivan Alan jewels® and Ivan Alan SolutionsTM. His sales training seminars are heard throughout the country at trade shows and at in-store meetings. To contact Ivan for seminar information, call 800-235-1918.