All professional and personal qualities necessary for the seller in order to achieve success can be divided into two large areas. The first is technological knowledge: complete information about the product, its features and advantages, as well as about the process and stages of sales. The second area is socio-psychological. The seller’s task is to communicate effectively with other people, which means to understand them. He must, firstly, understand the person, and secondly, interest, inspire him to buy, make him a regular customer - all this is impossible without knowledge of the psychology of communication.
Therefore, the head of the retail company should always remember how important the sales managers working for him, sellers, are just like people who have their own characteristics and potential.
A sale is the result of a mood; you have to tune in to a deal, both for the seller and the buyer. The seller himself must be in a good mood before starting work with the client. For this, a positive attitude towards your profession and customers is very important. Sometimes, they say, more important than what they say. Sign language and facial expressions will say more about a person than a thousand words, even the most beautiful. A good seller is distinguished by the fact that the language of his gestures corresponds to what was said, because this ensures the authenticity of his words and promotes trust.
A successful seller is important to be different from others. The most common question and answer in any store: "How can I help you?" And "No, thanks, I just look." After such an answer, the seller has no choice but to move away from the customer. The seller’s standard question leads to the customer’s standard answer. It’s better to find another option to start a conversation that will show the store visitor that they are happy, but they’re not going to impose anything and "vparivat".
Close or open - that’s the question
The recipe for success is to “listen actively.” When the seller asks questions and listens carefully to the customer, he demonstrates a real, not artificial interest and desire to find the best solution for the buyer. So sympathy and trust are awakened on an emotional level, and professional salespeople really know how to influence the emotions of customers. Moreover, questions are the most important tool for communication, although not all of them are expressed in the usual interrogative form. A strategic and skillful approach is important here, but without the desire to deceive the client.
Various questioning techniques will help to quickly recognize the interests of the client, with their help you can direct the conversation in the right direction. Open-ended questions are the so-called Icebreaker, which aim to establish contact and provide important information necessary for the further course of the conversation. It is recommended to ask general, detailed questions that will allow the client to communicate their desires and interests. For example: “What is important for you in shoes?” Or “What height of the heel do you prefer?”
Another set of questions is closed questions. Knowing the difference between open and closed questions, each of them can be used when it meets the purpose and moment. Open questions provide important information about the client, closed ones suggest a choice between “yes” and “no” and make it possible to hear from the client the answer that is relevant at this stage of the conversation. A classic example of three “yes” is when the conversation is directed in such a way that the interlocutor answers in the affirmative three times, which forms his subconscious trust in the seller.
Questions in all their diversity
Consider what questions are and in what situations they can be asked by the seller to achieve the desired result - to establish a trusting relationship with the client and bring him to the final stage - making the purchase.
1. Supporting questions - signal interest and the absolute composure of the seller. To formulate such a question, one must be able to listen to the interlocutor. In the case of confirming questions, you actually try on yourself “clothes from someone else’s shoulder”, summarize the client’s answers and give him the opportunity to make clarifications or corrections. “If I understand you correctly, you are looking for boots with the following characteristics ...”, a skillful salesman summarizes politely but unobtrusively in the process of communication.
2. Tactical issues - they do not serve to obtain information, but they help, first of all, to take stock or to maintain a conversation. One of the vivid examples of this form of questions is a counter question, which returns the initiative in the conversation back to the client, and then the conversation can be started anew, aleatherg: “What did you not like in the previous model?”.
3. Rhetorical issues - on the contrary, attract the attention of a potential buyer. This is not about one of the classic questions when the answer is not expected. It is important to pause during which the client may think about a possible answer, otherwise such a question loses its meaning. For example: “The new technology of leather dressing makes boots waterproof! How does this happen? (Pause) Thanks ... ".
4. Suggestive questions - consist of statements with the addition of "... right?", "... right?", "... do you agree?" and with a built-in response to encourage approval, create a favorable atmosphere during the communication between the seller and the visitor. With the help of a leading question, you can obtain confirmation of information already received from the client or expected, however, you should always wait for an answer, in contrast to the rhetorical question. It is better to ask a leading question when you are sure that you will get a positive answer.
5. Clarifying questions - help to obtain additional information, and specific questions suggest a short answer containing specific facts. For example, the question “How often do you use shoe polish?” Suggests a very specific answer to it with factual information, from which we can conclude whether or not to offer this person anything at all. The information obtained with the help of clarifying / specific questions will help to adjust the product items that you are going to offer the client and better understand his needs.
6. Alternative questions - they offer to choose “this or that” from the options and create an illusion of choice, for example, when one of the options is deliberately rejected, due to which the remaining one seems more profitable. It is not recommended to offer more than two options, so as not to create confusion with the client. The option that is beneficial to the seller must be put last, then he will be remembered better. Alternative questions are very good at the final stages when you need to get the consent of the client. It is also effective to use them when the client is taciturn or makes poor contact, confining himself to general phrases and excuses.
Studies have shown that in a personal conversation, a person’s attitude on 7% is determined by words, on 55% - sign language and on 38% - the sound of a voice. The correct technique for raising questions will make all these percentages work for the seller, the main thing is not to forget that people buy from people, not from retail enterprises. The human factor plays a decisive role, therefore, a skilled seller always conducts a dialogue with the buyer, not a monologue, and always keeps the client in the center of his attention.
From words to deeds
A correctly asked question shows the client that the seller is interested in solving his problem, and not in attaching the most expensive pair of shoes in the collection. Having noticed genuine interest, the buyer subconsciously wants to thank the seller and is more loyal to the purchase. In addition, competent questions demonstrate the ability to listen and hear.
Each seller eventually develops his own communication techniques. For example, paraphrasing is a statement of the client’s speech in his own words. This is a difficult art, but it is worth it to master it: the buyer is convinced that he is really listening, and perceives the confirmation of his own phrases as a sign of approval, and is liberated. Such a question belongs to the category of confirming ones and can begin with the words: “I correctly understood that ...” or “Did I hear correctly that ...”.
When building questions, statements should be avoided. They are uncomfortably perceived by the client as a signal that the interlocutor is not interested in the client’s problem and is focused only on himself. The statement gives out a hidden desire to sell and is perceived as insincerity. Instead of “You are looking for spring shoes”, in a semi-affirmative tone, formulate the question so that the client himself says what he needs.
Questions should be formulated specifically. There are no customers who like questions about anything other than "onlookers" who came to talk about themselves and not make a purchase. The question should help the client realize the hidden needs and with the help of the seller make them explicit. Ask positively (without “no”, “no way” and “never”), turn statements into questions and give time for an answer.
Questions should be clear and understandable, which increases the likelihood of an answer to them. You can’t leave the topic or talk for a long time. Intonation is also important - otherwise the conversation may become like an interrogation. Be sure to wait for an answer and not interrupt the client, patience is a skill no less important in trading than the ability to ask the right questions.
When, under the influence of the seller’s correct questions, the client comes to the conclusions that the store employee leads him to, he considers them to be their own and reasonable, and therefore valuable. The fact that the seller helped him in this becomes unimportant and fades into the background. A person does not find manipulation in such a “directed” conversation, and a successful salesman, knowing this, trains his ability to ask questions throughout his professional life.
Thus, the ability to ask questions is a trained skill, not a talent from above. Often during training in sales training, business trainers pay much attention to the stages of the sale - from establishing contact to closing the transaction, and do not talk at all about what and how the seller should tell the client.
It is important to remember that effective sales training necessarily takes into account not only the technical side of the process, but also the psychological component - the personality of the seller, his character, natural ability to make contact and communicate. In times of crisis, when sales volumes are falling, it is important to keep people and give them an incentive to grow. Training is necessary not only if new employees come to the company, but also when changing strategic indicators, changes in technology and the sales system. Later, the skill of aleatherg questions can be improved independently, for example, recording conversations in the trading floor on a voice recorder and analyzing how much time the seller and the buyer spoke, what part of the conversation was devoted specifically to the questions.
A positive attitude, emotional charge and a desire to apply the acquired knowledge after training will last on average no more than a month. Therefore, it is regularly worthwhile to conduct tests to determine the degree of each seller’s sales skills. Regular trainings in this case turn out to be more effective than one-time ones, and when teaching the whole team when a single informational and emotional field is maintained, the invited and unbiased specialist will become the best moderator.
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