Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sales Techniques That Really Work

February 17, 2011

In my current position I manage 22 Retail Shops, an 80 seat Contact Centre, a direct B2C sales force and a web sales team. My teams sell insurance, security, travel, automotive products and merchandise for the entire Group. To have such as diverse multi-skilled sales force you really need a system to drive the performance of the team and to hold managers accountable. To enable the teams to be effective in 2006 I introduced the Friedman Gold Stars sales system.

The system is very simple, it is a process to engage with the customer, in essence to become their friend, so that you can match your products and services to their needs to save them time and money. Then to measure the effectiveness a simple red dots for under budget achievement, green dots for getting budget and gold stars for over budget performance helps keep the staff motivated towards success. For managers it is about understanding that you need to keep your people free and clear to sell with little distractions and to coach this behaviour, similar to Greenleaf’s servant leadership.

For sales people the 8 steps to sales success are:

1. Precheck – making sure that you are ready to sell & that the store is presentable

2. Opening the Sale:
• Acknowledge every customer
• 180 degree Walk Pass – this is acknowledging the customer, but walking past them rather than approaching asking ‘can I help you’ which always gets a ‘no,
just browsing’
• Non-business related opening – breaking the ice to build rapport, as simple as saying ‘that’s a nice watch you have, where did you buy it?’
• Moving into business – saying ‘so, what brings you into the store today?’

3. Probing – finding out about the customer & their needs to match a product

4. Demonstration – selling the value that the customer wants

5. Trial Close – getting the sale by adding on another product

6. Handling Objections – investigating what is the issue, working through any price objection and using the objection to close the sale

7. Closing – identifying buying signals, asking for the sale and closing techniques

8. Confirmations & Invitations – confirms the sales and helps the customer get over buyers remorse and inviting back for another visit

I was introduced to the Friedman system in 2001 and have used it ever since as an effective tool to drive sales behaviour and success. What has been your experience with sales systems in your career?


Usability That Increases Goodwill

August 19, 2009

In my last post I reviewed the things that make diminishes goodwill. In this blog I now review the areas that increase goodwill.

***Know the main things that people want to do on your site and make them obvious and easy

***Tell people what they want to know. Don’t hide shipping costs etc. A good example is that advertises a flat $6.95 anywhere in Australia as a banner ad. A poor example is where you don’t know the postage until the end of the transaction.

***Save me steps whenever you can. Examples are a tracking number for the shipment order

***Make it easy to recover from errors. Assist customers so that they don’t make errors, but if they do then make it easy to fix them rather than having to restart.

***When in doubt apologise. You may have a clunky system and you can’t change it, let customers know that your system is far from perfect and apologise for it.

Analytics Defination for Retail

August 5, 2009

What is analytics as defined for a Retail web team?

The first part of analytics is to develop a unification plan to ensure that a customer has a continuous and seamless journey with the company. The customer should be at the focus of everything that we do – marketing offers should be tailored for each individual customer based upon their preferences and configuration.

So firstly we need to have a unification plan for each customer and this should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it is working. This can be achieved by asking customers or by watching their behaviour while on your web site.

The next step is to develop a data plan. This has been covered in section 2. Work out what data you have available and then how you will report on it. Always measure against your objectives and KPIs.

The final step is to define your analytics plan inclusive of:

• Ensure that your KPIs are linked to your goals as defined in section 1.
• Established the various measures and the interval for measurement
• Determine whether you will do real time analytics and optimisation, making micro adjustments ‘on-the-go’.
• Analytics is then the study of the measures that have been selected. The purpose is to understand just what is happening to your measures and why.

Analytics is simply understanding cause and effect!

An example could be Adelaide UBD sales:

Phase 1 – The raw data

Phase 2 – KPIs (conversion rate)

Phase 3 – Measures
1. Conversion by new release/older version
2. Number of customers who also bought another product
3. Conversion by promotional offer such as free shipping

Phase 4 – Analytics
1. Effect on the landing page to conversion
2. Impact of product placement (merchandising) on the page
3. Impact of customer demographic and segmentation on the rate

Online Bookshops in Australia

July 28, 2009

In the past week I have been writing a paper for Uni on the Australian Online Book Industry.  This is an important time for book shops especially with parallel importing being allowed on books.  On the blogs there has been quite a bit of buzz about this having no affect on book prices as most of the books sold now (outside of the new release 30 days window) are being sourced from overseas at a lot cheaper price but sold at the high Australian retail pricing.  In the Book Abyss post an example is a book sold at Big W for a couple of dollars more than the Amazon delivered price is sold in Dymocks at $25.  Both books are sourced off shore at under $15.  So the argument is that parallel importing won’t change retail prices.

But it is interesting to review that even with these changes the Australian online bookshops are not using the digital medium as well as category killers such as Amazon and that there is a lot of work to do in order for these companies to remain relevant and competivite.  The big gap (in my opinion) is for the Australian brick and mortar business to leverage their off-line business to provide true differentiation through buy online and pick instore fulfilment concepts.  By doing this and reducing costs to reduce book prices they can then reduce some of the impact of Amazon in this market.

Do you agree?

Welcome – First Post

July 16, 2009

Welcome to my blog.  I am using this site to help me get an understanding on how to build a retail web management program to increase sales.  I am keen for any advice or assistance!! Please fill in my poll to get started.