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Shane Decker On The Kinds Of Knowledge Your Sales Team Needs |  February 19, 2015 (0 comments)


Scottsdale, AZ—A good salesperson is a knowledgeable salesperson, says trainer Shane Decker. Speaking to retail attendees at the Centurion Scottsdale 2015 Show, Decker addressed five areas in which it’s critical that all store associates be well-educated: gemological knowledge, product knowledge, salesmanship, store procedure, and store culture. All employees must be thoroughly versed in how to open, close, fill out a job envelope, and so forth.

“Why do all salespeople need to be knowledgeable in all areas? Suppose a customer comes in wanting to buy a big diamond and the only person available is your watch guy. He’ll kill the diamond sale [if he doesn’t know about diamonds!]

 “You are only as good as your weakest link. Train your people constantly!” he exhorted the audience. Hosting regular sales meetings is critical, and he suggested that the first 15 minutes of each meeting address product knowledge, the second 15 address different kinds of customers, and that the second half of the meeting be devoted to role play training exercises. “Your associates may whine that they don’t like role play, but too bad. Do you want them practicing on customers?” he emphasized. “Good salesmanship creates a desire in the client to own the product.

Another critical area is store culture. “Store culture is what sets you apart from everybody else! Things such as turnover come under this heading, and to Decker TO stands for team opportunity, not takeover or turnover. 

Generational and gender selling is another area many jewelers don’t focus on, he explained. The best sales associate to help a customer is someone who is within 10 years of the customer’s age (in either direction), says Decker. Different generations have different experiences, different attitudes, and even different vocabulary. For example, the word “wicked” can mean good or bad, depending on the age of the person using it. “If you have a generationally diverse sales team your closing ratio will skyrocket,” he predicted confidently. He also pointed out that men and women buy for different reasons and it’s critical to understand that. Men buy peace of mind and freedom from risk [of making a mistake], while women buy style and sentiment, he said.

Also beware of sales associates with a poverty mentality. That drives your profits down. Associates need to be fully comfortable selling things they themselves can’t afford.

“Salesmanship is a lost art!” he exclaimed. “There are three kinds of objections: price, indecisiveness, and integrity. Don’t put people on the sales floor without knowledge of the different kinds of objections.” He suggested using old-fashioned flash cards with different objections on them so the salesperson has an answer at the ready.

“You should be closing all through the sale! Don’t wait till the end. Someone says ‘I’m just looking,’ you respond ‘great! I always do that before I buy.’ 60%-70% of the people you wait on can’t make up their own mind! Part of the price on the tag is that the client is paying you to help them make a decision!”

One of the best closes is the reassurance close, he said. If you make their reason for buying a bigger deal than the client does, often they’ll up-sell themselves. He cited as an example a man who had just bought himself a Harley-Davidson, over the objections of his wife.

“I’m in the doghouse,” he confessed. Decker said as soon as they admit they’re in trouble, just figure out how much they need to spend to get out of it. “The bike was $38,000. So I told him ‘you have to spend more on your wife than you spent on yourself.’ He said he wasn’t planning on spending almost $80,000 in one day. I told him, ‘You’re the one that bought the bike.’” The man spent more than $40,000 on a gift for his wife.

“Stores that train do much better than those that don’t. They have higher closing ratios and greater Yelp ratings,” said Decker. “Salespeople need professional selling skills. Don’t rely on brands to sell themselves! You are the brand!”

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