These 7 simple steps are crucial to a successful sales outcome. This information can be seen as a refresher to integrate into your own sales methods or, to the uninitiated, the beginning of greater success with customers.
- The Greet
- The Approach
- Qualify - Ask open ended questions
- Feature / benefit sell – overcome objections – trial close
- The Add On
- The Close
- Thank the customer
Firstly we will run through steps 1 and 2: The Greet and The Approach. These two processes really set the scene and can be the difference between the beginning of a sale, or the customer walking straight back out the door.
Step 1. THE GREET
While probably the easiest step of the process, The Greet is often misunderstood or just completely missed altogether by retail bicycle sales people.
The greet is simply an acknowledgement that you have seen the customer and is useful in setting an expectation of how long it will be before you can serve them. A lot of staff become very task orientated when working the shop floor, stacking shelves, building bikes and generally chatting to other staff and often completely ignore The Greet for new customers walking in the door. This can be perceived as salespeople being rude and results in the customer feeling like they are not wanted in the store or good enough to shop there. This is a common complaint on forums in regards to Local Bike Shops and is a sure way to lose women as customers.
Examples of Greetings
- “Hey, How are you guys? Give me a few minutes to finish up and I will be right with you.”
- “Welcome to <Bike Shop Name> I just need to complete this transaction and I will be with you. While you are waiting have a browse around.”
Step 2. THE APPROACH
“The reason for the approach is to connect with the customer...and build trust.”
The reason for the approach is to connect with the customer on a semi-personal level and build some initial trust into the relationship.
While The Greet and The Approach seem like the same thing they have completely different outcomes and should be practiced. I will often run a Greet and pretend to have some other business to attend to in the store, giving the customer time to look around before I go to The Approach.
The approach can really determine if you are going to make a sale or not. This is a rookie mistake and can make a sale crash and burn really quickly, especially with women. You will be judged on your honesty in this interaction so make it sincere and don’t be too cheesy!! This is where running The Greet and walking off to do something else pays off. Watch the customers and what they are looking at. Sum them up in your mind and come in with an Approach they can relate to. Creating this pause is also helpful in breaking from any automatic or robotic behavior you may have gotten into and allows you a moment to freshen up for a new customer.
Examples of The Approach
- “Thanks for waiting guys. Those are some pretty sweet trail bikes we just got in that you're looking at. What are you currently riding?”
- “I saw your dog outside is that a Labrador?”
- “We have a kid's play area over there if the little ones want to do some coloring in?”
- “That’s an awesome watch! Where did you get that from?”
- “Have you ever ridden an enduro bike? They are easier to set up than you think.”
Keep in mind that the best sales people don't run a script; they are actually genuinely interested in people and are excited about the sales process and the benefits to the shop and the customer. This is where honesty is paramount to a successful sales process. We all know when we are being duped and it feels awful. Integrity is key.
Next we will move to the body of the process: Qualify, feature/benefits/closing and the add on.