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sales training: accessories, consumables and add-ons Understand your customer


and you’re halfway to the sale This month, in his regular column for IER, Paul Laville, Managing Director, T21 Training has some great pointers for you when it comes to selling accessories, consumables and add-ons.


T


he immediate advantage of selling ‘accessories’ and ‘add-ons’ is that they


increase the basket value of a transaction and, providing you don’t just give them away, its profitability. They can also help your customer ‘feel good’ knowing that you’ve taken care of everything, given them all they need – every cable, every battery, every speaker, every assurance that when they plug this thing in and switch it on for the first time, it’ll do the job it’s supposed to. And if it doesn’t, at least there’s a personable face they can call. In addition, selling packages that include


everything the customer needs from the get-go cements the relationship the customer has with you, the store and the brand. It can inspire their loyalty, it can incentivise them to write a five-star review and tell their mates to shop with you. It can convince them to come back to you the next time they want to buy something you sell and reduce the chances of them going to one of your competitors instead.


selling packages that


include everything the customer needs from the get-go cements the relationship the customer has with you, the store and the brand


The downside? The downside is that salespeople often forget to sell the add-on, or sometimes it just isn’t considered. Maybe the value of the main product is high enough and the customer is being persuaded to spend yet more cash and you don’t want to risk losing the big sale. After all, if they want the extra stuff they’ll come back. Right? This year we carried out a number of mystery shops for a bunch of retailers. In each visit the


offering good advice on


its own is not selling, and at the end of the day when we’re on that shop floor, we need to be selling


test shopper was briefed to ask about TVs and make it clear that they wanted something which not only looked good but sounded good too. We had elderly people with hearing issues, young adults who wanted to cast hi-fi quality music, and people who lived on noisy streets. Out of 25 retail stores visited only three sales-people suggested and demonstrated a soundbar to match the TV. Most of the rest didn’t even mention it. Perhaps more worryingly were a few people in the middle who, in the face of very strong buying signals, suggested that our shoppers could buy a soundbar later on – some even suggesting that they do so online. It’s a fine distinction between ‘offering good


advice’ and ‘selling’, but offering good advice on its own is not selling, and at the end of the day when we’re on that shop floor, we need to be selling. Yes we want the customer experience to be excellent, and no we don’t want to push the customer into a hard sell. True, each customer interaction has to be judged on its own conditions but I’m always mindful of the old cliché that if you don’t ask, you won’t get.


30 | www.innovativeelectricalretailing.co.uk


Point is that when you’re selling, when you’re talking to customers, you need to be probing to find out what else they need to at least get them started and then show them why they need this additional piece of kit. What benefit does it offer them? Will it play music from their phones, will it enable them to hear the dialogue in a movie more clearly even above the trains racing past their living room windows? Is it, actually, essential to make the thing work? The term ‘Accessories’ isn’t exclusive to add-on


sales. Soundbars and speakers for example can be sold on their own, but these things are defined as ‘accessories’ because they usually integrate with other products and combine to form an ‘eco-system’ at home. Sure they don’t always need to be acquired in a single transaction – because yes, that can be expensive – but the customer should at least be made aware that they fulfill a beneficial purpose and create more enjoyment, or will enhance or illuminate the features of the integrated products. And why not at least try to sell them? What have you really got to lose? There’s no need for the ‘hard sell’ or to be really pushy or desperate; the key to great selling is simply in knowing your customer, understanding their situation at home – what else they have, what they want to achieve, where their ‘pain points’ are – and then showing them how the thing they’re buying fits in.


the key to great selling


is simply in knowing your customer


So please be mindful of ‘the bigger picture’.


Ask probing, open questions and always think about what else the customer might need. If you get into the habit it’ll become second nature, and it won’t be long before you see your customers coming back to you, writing those great reviews and bringing more money into your business rather than into your competitors’.


October/November 2019


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