Is Great Selling Great Service?
By Adrian Brown
business that became Dove Spa, I realised that one challenge which was consistently in front of me, was getting staff to sell – sell the brand, the product, the better bottle of wine, the next visit or even the £300 moisturiser!
Getting them to book the client in for their next appointment? Getting your waiting staff to offer the side dish or a better bottle of wine, or even bottled water? Put another way is it a challenge to get your staff to drive sales?
That product sale: the better bottle of wine, the extra side dish, shampoo or styling mousse could addan extra 10% to the total sale and if it is the £300 moisturiser, it could increase it a lot more!
At Dove Spa we had two fantastic trainers. They were really successful at getting the therapists andstylists to sell aftercare products because they got the staff to think differently about selling. They achieved this by getting the staff to realise, that by providing products to support the efforts they had made by delivering the treatment, they were actually providing a better service to the customer. As a result the therapists and stylists that they trained had happier customers, better product sales and more commissions. It was win win win.
The challenge you face as a business owner, manager or leader is competing against the prevalentbelief that selling is bad! Words that are often used to describe 'selling' include: slimy annoying, pushy, dishonest, manipulative, and sleazy and yuck!
You think that 'other people are sales people' but in reality, you (or should that be we?) are all in sales.We all sell. You spend a good percentage of your working day persuading, influencing and convincing others to give up something that they have for what you have. Dan Pink the author of "To Sell Is Human" calls it non-sales selling.
To provide great customer service, your staff need to be able to persuade, influence and convince yourcustomers of the value of your business, its products and its services. The assistant that washes your customers' hair, the therapist who performs the facial or massage, the waiting staff, the housekeeping staff, the reception staff, the chef, and the guys that wash the dishes, are all selling for you through their words and deeds. Selling is a vital component of providing customer service and done well, never offends or puts off.
Great selling does not feel like someone is selling to you, it feels like someone is taking care of yourneeds, providing you with solutions, reducing your pain and delivering joy. Great selling is great customer service, because to do great selling you have to really understand your customer. Great selling does not focus on the result, it focuses on the process, if the process is executed well the money flows in.
And yet selling is still seen as the dark art and it is often because of your own prejudices. You mayhate being sold to, and you are not alone. Gone are the days of the heavy sell. OK there are still heavy/hard sales folk out there doing alright, but the consumer is now far too wise to be taken in over and over again. You may get away with one sale, but the customer will vote with their feet and you will lose them forever. You and every other business owner, manager or leader is in business to make a profit. It is what sets business apart, from a hobby or a charity. Successful business people however, don't focus just on the money but how to make the money.
If you want your staff to sell effectively through great service, then they need to be thinking differently.If they think differently they will behave differently and that different behaviour is what will make the difference to your business. The one key thing to remember is that how your staff think, has a great deal to do with how you, their leader, behaves.
Here are three artefacts of behaviour that will help you to change your staff behaviour around sellingand providing excellent customer service.
How will the customer benefit from the purchase? How does the sale help toachieve your business vision? How will the purchase make the customer feel?
What do staff need to know to be able to sell effectively? What do they needto know about your business? What do they need to know about the products, and most importantly; What do they need to know about the customer?
Why is it important to make the sale? Why will this enhance the customerexperience? Why will the sale help bring the customer back again?
Selling may be non-sales selling. There may not be a tangible product to "sell". Every member of yourstaff is selling all the time. What can you do to ensure their efforts are effective?
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