Selling to the client what he does not need is not profitable. It is much more profitable to give the client what he wants. But how do you know what exactly the buyer needs? Co-author of the book “Emotional Sales” Kristina Ptukha shared with Shoes Report magazine her recommendations on how to identify the needs and values of the client and build a successful sale on their basis.
Each buyer has needs and values that guide him when choosing a product. These two concepts have completely different meanings. To determine the need, you need to answer the question “how?”, While values answer the question “why?”. Imagine a situation: a woman goes to buy boots. Her need for boots is due to the fact that she simply does not have these shoes, and winter is near. At the same time, she can look for comfortable boots at a low price. Needs in this case are formulated as “convenient” and “profitable”. And what values can be guided by a customer? In other words, why does she need boots? She may want to impress her friends or prove her worth. Or she wants to save money for the family and impress her friends at the same time, at the same time proving to herself that she is deft and successful, once she was able to make such a bargain. There are many completely different values, and there are only four basic needs that each of us realizes in the product in different combinations. Consider these needs in more detail.
Need for efficiency a product that must fully fulfill its function. Winter boots with natural fur in terms of its main function are more effective than boots with lining. And boots with decorative slits are less effective than solid leather.
The need for product safety, which should not harm not only health, but also the wallet. Boots, which at the most inopportune moment, the heel will fall off or whose delicate suede leather will deteriorate after two exits to the street, from the point of view of the client do not correspond to the need for security.
The need for prestige It is relevant even in relation to cheap products and is peculiar not only to those who want to boast of a purchase in front of others. We all want to realize that we did not buy rubbish, but something worthwhile, so we often rely on the opinions of our friends and our own experience, telling us what is good and what is not good. For the realization that this product is better than another, people are willing to pay much more.
Need for convenience important to everyone, because no one wants to suffer with goods for which hard-earned money was given.
Need for profitability, that is, in a good combination of price and quality. The buyer can purchase a cheap product, realizing that its quality leaves much to be desired, but at the same time he will be aware that he made an uneconomical purchase and will regret it.
How to identify a need
If a person went into the store, this means that he somehow has a need for a certain product. Even if he went in “just to see,” his curiosity is clearly not accidental, and you can work with this. The main task of the seller is to identify the key need of the visitor and offer exactly what corresponds to it. As a rule, people freely tell the seller what they need. The main thing is to carefully monitor the buyer and ask open questions. Do not ask the customer “What exactly are you looking for?” Or “Can I help you with something” as soon as he crossed the threshold of the store. It’s better to look at which category of shoes he went to and point out the key advantage of the goods exhibited on this shelf. For example, in a German shoe store, the options “This is a better quality product at a reasonable price”, “These are the most fashionable models that can be presented in German shoes” or “These are the most wearing shoes” may sound well. Point out the real advantage of the product and look at the reaction of the visitor. If he was hooked on what you said, you can ask more detailed questions about what exactly the client selects for himself. Some people, in principle, do not want to talk about their needs. From them you can most often hear “I'm just watching” or “If I need something, I will ask.” At this point, most sellers get confused and move away, and in vain. Instead, they could name a couple of key features of the assortment so that the buyer can navigate the store himself. Sellers in prestigious boutiques in Milan and Paris are trained to instantly distinguish between two types of their customers and act: for those who are looking for the most prestigious, they show a zone with new arrivals, and for those who are looking for a good brand for reasonable money, they point to the basic a collection. You can also conditionally divide your product into categories depending on which groups of visitors it may be needed, and immediately orient customers, at the same time revealing their needs and values.
If the customer has shown interest in the category of goods that you indicated to him, you can ask him what brand he prefers. As a rule, visitors to your store already have experience buying similar shoes. After receiving the answer, be sure to agree that "this brand is wonderful, because ...". This method is called the technique of joining and it is very effective also in working with objections.
Consent is one of the steps in dealing with objections to live sales. Its essence is to agree with the client, but not with what he says, but with the fact that the subject of his doubts is really important. “- Oh, so expensive! “Indeed, the issue of price plays an important role.” After this, it should be clarified what exactly the client means by the word “expensive” (“poor”, “bad”, other options) and work with the objection already on the basis of the specified data. Read more about how to deal with objections in the Shoes Report magazine No. 112. This issue can be purchased from us as amended: 8 (495) 925 75 03
How to define values
Reaching out to customer values is a powerful tool for emotional sales. Values are harder to identify than needs, but still possible. To do this, put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and think about what kind of life situation the client selects for himself these shoes. People don’t buy “price-quality combination”, “comfort” or “fashion trend”. They buy the approval of others, healthy legs or men's looks. The assortment of your store is most likely united by more or less close values: get together with other sellers and collectively identify them to put into business.
When you understand what value a buyer is guided by when choosing a product, start as soon as possible and informally address an important situation for a client. Do not use hackneyed phrases such as “light feet” or “admiring glances”. It is better to describe in your own words the specific life events that may happen to the buyer if he purchases these shoes. It will not be difficult for you, because with the right attitude, buyers themselves willingly share their ideal "picture", because they need a special attitude from the seller.
Buyer Communication Scenario
So, how to “embed” an understanding of needs and a reference to values in a sale? You can use the following communication scenario.
Say hello politely and immediately inform the buyer about the benefits of your store. Russian retailers are trying to do something similar, saying "Hello, we have a special offer today!". But why only share? In addition to the buyer's stock, unusual consumer properties of the product or other differences of the store from competitors can be caught. If there are no such differences, then the chances of good sales are very few: the famous marketer Jack Trout said, "Differentiate or die," and this is the true truth. It is simply necessary to differ from competitors, at least at a verbal level: answer your question “Why should the buyer buy our shoes?” And use the answer if it is true.
Tell the visiting customer where he came from and what product he will find here. Or you can use the “good news” trick: there’s always good news - whether it’s the arrival of a “new batch of German shoes especially for the Russian autumn” or the gratitude of another buyer for wearing his boots for a long time. What you say must necessarily be something positive, concise and consistent with the real property of the product. Each brand knows why people buy her shoes: you can read about it in her brand book or on the manufacturer’s website.
After the buyer has orientated himself in where he went, you can ask, “What are you picking up for yourself today?” The idea of choice in the modern world is very important: people haven’t been looking for it for a long time, they are picking it up, and the word “today” in this context seems to tell the client that purchases can be made easily. Having received the answer, for example, “boots,” one needs to identify the factor of the buyer’s choice and find out his needs. Think up options for the question depending on the specifics of your store, or use the following: “What kind of boots will suit you?”, “What kind of boots will you like?”, “Do you already imagine what kind of boots they should be?”. If the customer responds with something like “I want black suede boots,” then there is contact. Say that especially for him you will pick up some interesting models (it is very important to speak not from the perspective of what you have, but from the perspective of what the client needs), escort the buyer to the black suede boots and orient him on the advantages of this product. There is a whole technique that allows you to strengthen the sale with the help of special questions. This method is called SPIN sales and according to it all questions can be divided into four types - situational, problematic, extracting and motivational. How and when to ask questions from each group is described in detail in the article "Technology of Selling Issues" published in issue 109 of Shoes Report magazine.
Watch carefully which category of black suede boots - elegant with heels, basic flat soles or others - the buyer reacts. Or ask a client: “Please orient me, what could it be: a high-heeled model or some other?”. Most likely, at this moment you will find out what kind of boots the buyer needs, and, most importantly, why he needs them. You will find out the basic value, an unobtrusive, but persuasive appeal to which can lead to a purchase. Having proposed the model for fitting, do not put pressure on the client, but ask him if this model is really convenient / pleasant / seems fashionable to him? If not, suggest something else. If so, leave the buyer alone with him, so that he has the opportunity to make a decision in privacy, and after making a purchase, use the upselling method: say something positive about the product and its benefits once again, congratulate you on your successful purchase.
Work with objections
There are times when a client is looking for something so specific - for example, burgundy patent leather boots with fur - that it is impossible to please him. This is called a fundamental objection, and in short sales it is very difficult to deal with. In large sales, in which the manager leads the client for a long time, you can find out why the buyer actually needed such a product and offer an alternative. Theoretically, the same thing can be done when selling in a store, but this requires a lot of time and a trusting atmosphere: it is not without reason that in some elite boutiques sellers sometimes even close their doors when working with a single buyer.
Objections are almost always there, but we must remember that they do not belong to the buyer, but to the product. In other words, if many buyers think that German shoes are unfashionable and Chinese shoes are of poor quality, they think so without reason and shoes from these countries often really correspond to their image. Of course, there are exceptions, but the seller must be prepared to work with an objection directly “in the buyer's head”. He must be able to correctly explain that high-quality shoes are also produced in China, and sometimes talented designers work for the Germans.
How to respond to an objection so that it does not look like a dispute? There are universal techniques, for example, "agree - specify - argue - summarize," but they are difficult to use in fast sales. Therefore, I recommend the American technique "I used to think so too - then I discovered - now I understand." It is fast, simple, but extremely effective, as it refers to personal experience. For example, a buyer asks “Will I look like an old woman in these shoes?” To which the seller can answer “I also thought that this model looks a bit old-fashioned, but then I studied the current fashion trends and now I see that they are just made in retro style. " The main thing in this situation is not to lie, because buyers easily feel falsity, and also do not argue with the client, because he has the right to his opinion.
Ptukha K. Emotional sales: How to triple sales. - 2nd ed. - M .: Alpina Publisher, 2013 .-- 194 s..
Finding out customer needs and referring to their values is part of emotional sales. In the book “Emotional sales. How to increase sales threefold. ”Kristina Ptukha and Valeria Gusarova share many other methods of invoking the feelings of the buyer, involving him in the sales process and offering those goods that can really make the customer happy.
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