Here are the problems with training your staff, and believe me I have heard them all.
Too many owners and managers work on correcting results, rather than working on correcting the actions that caused the results. To try to improve a result is pointless unless the actions that caused the results have been addressed and corrected. Supervisors often times talk to their people about not hitting their sales goals, add-on percentages, closing ratios, etc. Telling them that they have to make improvements or start making the numbers is similar to a sports coach telling their players that they need to score more points.
The secret to any great relationship is, without a doubt, communication. That is especially true in hiring, training and retaining great salespeople. I believe that every jewelry store should conduct a Weekly Staff Meeting. This is a great means of communicating information with the entire staff of the store. Every person that works in the store should be required to attend the Weekly Staff Meeting. Should you not be able to get everyone together in one meeting, it is up to the owner or manager to conduct two meetings so that everyone is included.
The secret to any great relationship is, without a doubt, communication. That is especially true in hiring, training and retaining great salespeople. I find that many owners and managers spend the majority of their time answering questions. Some of the questions are truly legitimate, others not so much. People tend to ask questions, where they should know the answer, just to get attention, because they are lazy and not wanting to think and be responsible, or because they haven’t been trained to the degree where they should be.
The secret to any great relationship is, without a doubt, communication. That is especially true in hiring, training and retaining great salespeople. I believe that every jewelry store should conduct a Morning Huddle, every morning, 10 minutes prior to the store opening. This is a great means of communicating with the entire staff of the store. Every person that works in the store that day should be required to attend the Morning Huddle.
Jewelers can no longer afford to sit back and wait for customers to come to them - sometimes they are not coming. A progressive jeweler has to make sales happen. Sitting back and waiting is a recipe to a store going out of business or to not maximizing opportunities or potential sales and profits. In today’s retail environment we have to make things happen! To sit back and hope that sales turn around or get better, or to keep doing what you have always done is insanity. I believe that as long as there is competition in your community, there is an opportunity for a sales and profit increase.
There are three ways in which an individual salesperson can increase their personal sales and profits, thus increasing the sales and profits of the entire organization. They are:
Increase Closing Ratio
Increase Average Transaction
Five ways a salesperson can increase traffic
1) Network - Get involved in something. It is not always what you know, but who you know. The more people that you know out in your marketplace the more potential customers you will have. Join the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, the PTA, get involved in a church or civic organization, Make-A-Wish, your child’s soccer group, basically anything where you feel comfortable in getting to know a multitude of people.
2) Ask every customer for a referral or recommendation - I know that people getting engaged tend to hang out with people getting engaged, people that buy nice timepieces hang out with other people who may be in the market for a nice timepiece, people that buy and wear fine jewelry tend to hang out with people that buy and wear fine jewelry. Ask every customer for a referral or recommendation. By saying “Let me give you a few of my cards, if any of your other friends are getting engaged I would love to meet and work with them as well.”
3) Provide exceptional customer service that causes word of mouth advertising - I will go to the grave believing that the most powerful form of advertising is one human being telling another human about a product, service or company. People that buy or receive a new piece of jewelry tend to want to show it off to all their friends and acquaintances. If they say, “You have got to see my new earrings. Aren’t they gorgeous?” – you lose. If they say, “You have got to see my new earrings I just got at ABC Jewelers. Aren’t they gorgeous?” - then you win. If you want to scare yourself, the next time someone is paying by check, if they say, “who do I make this out to, or where am I again?” then apparently you did a lousy job of selling yourself and the store.
4) Carry & pass out your business cards - You never know where your next customer might come from. Carry and pass out your business cards to everyone you come in contact with. Be it the post office clerk, grocery store personnel, the bank teller, or even the policeman writing you up a ticket, hand them your business card and say, “since you wrote something up on me, I would love to write something up for you sometime,” or, “if you are ever in the market for jewelry - here’s my card, be sure to come and see me.”
5) Start an Effective Clienteling program through use of telephone, e-mail, text. See last month’s article on Effective Clienteling (www.southernjewelrynews.com).
How to increase your Closing Ratio
Be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge and education. Read the trade journals, other business books, attend seminars at trade shows or elsewhere, Google any topic where you think you need to further your education. Remember there are four areas where I think salespeople need knowledge. They are: Sales Techniques, Operations, Product Knowledge and Customer Service.
Self-Evaluate yourself and your sales presentations. The concept is to discover what you didn’t know that you didn’t know, then learn what you didn’t know. Sales should be a profession where you never stop learning. There is always something new to be learned, retained and applied.
Ask yourself do I have __ years of experience in this industry or 1 year __ times?
How to increase your average transaction
Learn how to sell more add-ons – Get the customer to tell you what they are going to buy next through quality add-on questions. Look at every selling scenario that you encounter, then come up with 3 or 4 add-on questions for that individual presentation. Then use them. Develop a Wedding Party Checklist as a way for bridal customers to add-on to themselves. Use the Double Reverse and assume the customer will be buying more than just the one item. For example: “Not only can we take care of a gift for your daughter’s graduation, we can also take care of anyone else you have on your graduation gift giving list.” Don’t forget to practice and use the “Don’t let me forget” or “remind me to show you technique.” For example: “Don’t let me forget to show you a gorgeous necklace that we have that will match your earrings perfectly.”
Learn how to bump-up a sale or to increase the initial sale – Do this through using words to increase perception of value. I know we have all had the experience of a customer wanting to spend X amount, and then suddenly they are looking at something that is priced at 2XX, and they buy it! It all comes down to how you can increase their perception of value using pretty word pictures in order to substantially increase the customer’s perception of value in having the absolutely, most spectacular piece of fine jewelry craftsmanship available anywhere. “Our award winning jeweler personally designed this ring, and the compliments she is going to receive will be absolutely incredible.”