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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER


There’s no better way to put across a good pitch than knowing your stuff. Our selling guru BRAD HUISKEN explains how to pin it down.


K


nowledge breeds confi dence. A little confi dence can go a long way in helping


you to not only make more sales, but also increase the quality of each sale. In selling, confi dence simply means this: when you make a sales presentation you know that you can make a sale. If you know your products well


enough, and you know your selling (people) skills well enough, is there any reason to think you won’t make the sale? Do you remember your fi rst day on the sales fl oor? I know I was scared to death. Then every day I gained a little bit more knowledge, a little bit more confi dence, and eventually I became comfortable with the whole process. Unfortunately, confi dence can also breed complacency. Many salespeople fall into the trap of becoming complacent, and they stop gaining new knowledge. I would highly recommend that you


ask yourself the following question after every sales presentation, whether you make the sale or not: What could I have done diff erently to either make the sale or to increase the quality and quantity of the sale? In other words, do a bit of a self-


evaluation and challenge yourself to improve and grow. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of mediocrity. Very, very rarely will the answer to this question be ‘nothing’. I am sure I could have done or said something diff erently or better during each opportunity. I know the true achievers in any business are the ones that are never satisfi ed with where they are and what they have produced in the past.


30 | Jewellery Focus In fast moving businesses like the


jewellery industry, where you have a lot of opportunities, there may not be the time after every pitch to do some self-analysis. Nonetheless, you need to make mental notes. The liability in a fast moving sales business is that there is always another customer or opportunity coming in soon, so we start to think: “Well, I’ll get the next one”. And yet, imagine what would happen to your sales and your income if you sold jewellery to every one that you approached.


The Four Elements of Success in Sales There has long been an argument as to which element of the four is more important. The answer is quite simple: they are all important. A professional salesperson will master them all. If you are just starting in the jewellery industry, I would suggest that you start with a basic understanding of product knowledge. If you cannot answer the simple questions that a customer may have, there are no sales techniques that can save you.


SELLING TECHNIQUES – These are the specifi c strategies used to complete a transaction. As a professional jewellery salesperson, there are many selling techniques that you must utilize in order to maximize every potential selling opportunity. Most importantly, you have to know what questions to ask the customer. You need to build knowledge about, for example, whether the purchase is one of emotion, what the appropriate add-on items may be. It could be specifi cs about the item or items


that the customer is interested in, and you need to develop trust and demonstrate your products in order to create value in the merchandise. The bottom line is that you are not just selling rocks and minerals; you are using the customer’s associated love and emotion to help the sale.


PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE – This, simply, is your knowledge of the product or service that you are selling, and your ability to answer any question your prospect may have about it. If a customer should see that the salesperson is weak in a particular area of product knowledge, they are like blood-hungry sharks and might just hone in on your weakness. On the other hand, you may accumulate all the product knowledge in the world and never have to use it. There are often customers who are only buying price, some will buy only the beauty, and others will buy the technical aspects. Therefore you have to be well versed in order to discover if you have a customer that is in need of a technically, or emotionally-based sales presentation.


OPERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE – This could be anything from how to write an order, complete the fi nancial forms, ensure delivery, and in some industries, the legalities behind the transaction. I have seen many situations where sales are actually lost due to a lack of operational knowledge. How many times have you dealt with a company where your contact or rep couldn’t fi nd a pen? All of the operational issues that will assist you in a smooth transaction between buyer and seller are a must from a knowledge standpoint.


jewelleryfocus.co.uk | November 2013


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