Learning about what customers really want and engaging them based on their needs was the major emphasis of a presentation by sales and management consultant Brad Huisken on Wednesday.
Huisken, the founder of IAS Training and a columnist for JCK magazine discussed some sales techniques and staff training methods that jewelry retailers can use to improve sales in a seminar titled “Build It and They Will Come—But What If They Don’t?”
Huisken said a salesperson’s main job is to create personal relationships, and he or she can do this through their sales presentation. “Contrary to popular thinking, the goal isn’t necessarily to make a sale to every customer,” he said. “The real goal is to create personal trade, repeat business, and referral business.”
The most important way to engage a potential customer is to learn what’s important to him or her in selecting a gift. “Then you can make more money, because you are selling based on their needs and not what you want them to know when selling,” he said.
He said jewelry stores are able to stay in business based on their initial sale. But in order to prosper, they must be successful at bump-ups and add-ons, where the profit margin is greater. “It doesn’t take a wizard to know where the profit is in jewelry,” he said.
He also talked about the importance of having a sales presentation that’s flexible enough to meet customers’ needs and help them understand the value in a product. “Value is just perception,” he said. “It’s just words. It’s important to have the right story at the right time.”
A vital ingredient to sales success involves a constant staff training program. “Your most powerful asset is that human being greeting another human being,” he said. “Sales training doesn’t work if you are going to make it an event. It has to be a consistent ongoing process, because they aren’t going to take responsibility for it themselves.”
He said he will always believe that people want to be successful at their jobs, and therefore it’s important to give staff members the knowledge and tools to make their aspiration a reality. “We’re hiring people not knowing if they are any good and not doing anything to help them get better,” he said. “Inspire them to the next level.”