Author: Cassie Gasaway
Successful business owners often say that if customers don’t come to you, you must go to them. The same goes for selling products. Don’t wait for customers to buy your products. Show them what’s for sale and explain their options.
Let’s review five ways to increase sales and improve customer relations.
Listen to what the customer is telling you and try to meet their needs. Photo Credit: ATA
Know Your Customers
You know your target audience, but how well do you know individual customers? The better you know each customer, the better you can recommend products and services. Tailor your suggestions to each customer’s needs to personalize and improve their shopping experience.
Understand who your customers are, what they want from your shop, what they value, and how much they can spend. Knowing their skill levels, shooting habits, and archery goals also helps you determine what they need to improve.
Don’t drill them with questions. Talk archery with them. Ask them to share their archery experiences, and where they see themselves as archers in six months or a year. Follow the conversation from there.
Connect the Dots
Once you understand your customers and what they want from archery, introduce them to products that can help them improve or make the sport more enjoyable.
That’s the problem-solution phase of selling. You identified your customer’s problem, and then you provided an item to solve it.
Put the product in their hands and let them feel it. That makes the item more accessible and obtainable. Show the item in action or, better yet, let customers experience it. That helps prove the item can solve their problem, which further promotes its worth and value.
Highlight what the features of the equipment can do for the archer. Photo Credit: ATA
Explain Benefits, Not Features
When talking with customers, keep in mind many beginner and intermediate archers don’t care about product features. They care about how a product benefits them. An Entrepreneur article explains the difference.
“A feature is a factual statement about a product or service,” said authors Al Lautenslager and Jay Conrad Levinson. “Benefits clearly answer the customer question, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Factual statements aren’t why customers buy; benefits are.”
Employees and companies must translate how product features benefit users. You might tell a customer a bow has cut-out risers, noise-canceling dampeners, and a dual-cam system, but those features don’t mean much to most beginners. Translate those features into benefits. Cut-out risers lighten the bow, dampeners quiet the bow, and dual cams make a bow faster and more powerful than a single-cam bow.
What if you’re uncertain if something is a feature or benefit? Ask yourself what you’re trying to sell. Are you trying to sell your customer dual cams or a better performing bow? Always sell the feature’s benefits.
When to Stop Selling
There’s a thin line between selling a product and pushing it. Don’t get too “salesy” or you’ll look forceful or desperate. If you’ve explained everything about a product and the customer isn’t walking to the checkout counter, give them space and time to consider buying it.
Read your customer’s body language and facial expressions to learn when to walk away. If they’re curious and asking questions, stay with them. If they’re quiet or seem distracted, give yourself an out so they can shop on their own. Simply say, “Think about it and I’ll be near the entrance if you have questions.”
If the timing is right, try cross-selling items relevant to the main product. If you sell someone a new bowstring, recommend string wax, too. Or if a customer wants to buy a hunting jacket, show them matching pants. That strategy works best when customers commit to buying an item and have the budget to buy complementary items.
Don’t push unnecessary items on customers. Cross-selling can boost profits, but retailers should only use this technique to enhance a customer’s experience. Make sure the item adds value to their purchase. If they seem suspect about your motives, rethink or abandon your pitch.
These tips should help you sell more goods and services. If you want to go further, refresh your selling strategies with this five-step plan. And if you need help clearing shelf space, read “10 Creative Ways to Move Old Inventory.”