Obstacle or Vehicle?

For sales professionals, everywhere. When evaluating a sales interaction with a customer, ask yourself: Am I paving the way for them to make a decision or am I IN the way of a decision happening? I observe salespeople inadvertently blocking … Continue reading

Make the Simple Sound Simple

For sales professionals, everywhere.
 
I have the good fortune of working with several tile showrooms. The process of buying and selling hard surfaces is a bit different from selling furniture and lighting, but not that different. They are still retail sales interactions and sales interactions involving designers or contractors…so more similar than different.
As happens in lighting, the more complicated the product, the more complicated the salespeople are apt to make the interaction and conversation – thinking they need to talk simpleon and on about the product, either to try to communicate its value at that price or to establish confidence with the buyer. In both cases, talking too much is just talking too much.
What occurred to me in a call last week was how salespeople can make simple sound simple. Let’s say the retail customer came in looking for tile for a backsplash. A single product and a permanent application, so the stakes might seem high, but they really aren’t. The salesperson could say something at the outset of the conversation, like: “Thanks for considering us…we do these projects every day..they are pretty simple and here’s what tends to happen. Do you have a measurement of the space and a sample of the countertop?” (if yes, great, continue. If no, say, “Good…we will find a couple of tiles you like and make this work”). To continue with HOW the process works: “Today, we will select a couple of tiles that you like, you will take them home and see how they look in the morning and at night and with your countertop, and before you leave we will schedule a time for you to come back. You will be able to confirm the measurements and which tile you prefer. When you come back, we can place the order. It’s simple and we like to keep it that way.”
Will this work exactly like this every time? No. Does it need to? No. What it will do is keep the simple simple…and not complicate what is not a complicated process. Try it and let me know what happens.
(And yes, I know that the salesperson can also sketch the space and change the countertop and the floor tile…that’s for another blog. 😉)
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy

Raise the Standards…..

For sales managers, everywhere
…not the Goals.
I know. It seems weird, right?
When I look at the top producing teams I work with, it starts with the top. Ownership has standards that need to be met and sustained to keep a place on the team.
One of my favorite clients, Sherry Sheely of Sheely’s in North Lima, OH – an award winning single store operation – has a simple standard to be on the sales team: Write $1,000,000. Every year. Period.
Standards
After that, there are character and competence standards, but the primary standard is met and sustained by everyone. Their turnover is minimal and performance is extraordinary.
Are your standards high enough? Is there operations support to maintain that standard? Take a look…and if you need assistance, let me know.
Now, go help your team to sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy