May is often the number one month for UK on-course golf shops and it should be one of your best for Drivers. The summer season is all about selling and a plan to boost sales is essential this month. In the second part of our “How to Sell More” Summer series, we look at a tried and tested selling strategy and why product knowledge is so important.
We are constantly sold to. Whether we think so, or not. That cup of coffee you’re drinking was sold to you. As were the shoes you’re wearing, and car you drove to work in this morning.
And, we are all sales people.
Selling is the last part of a process and, even if you know your customers inside and out, and spent years perfecting your product ranges, there’s still some way to go before you see money in the till.
Giving your customers what they want is the key to the success of any business, and understanding their pain points, and needs, is fundamental to selling to them.
When a customer comes into your shop to buy a new Wood, a good sales person will look at the real need, or desire, behind the purchase. Think about it. The customer doesn’t really want a new Driver – he actually wants to hit the ball further, or straighter, off the tee. It’s your team’s job to persuade them that a new Driver would help with that goal.
When a customer comes in to buy new golf shoes, she doesn’t want new golf shoes. She wants to feel comfortable walking 18 holes and win the comp on Captain’s Day with dry, blister-free feet, in a pair of shoes that look so good, she’d even wear them off the golf course.
“Understanding the benefits of your products means understanding what is important to your customer and the reason why they would enter your shop or visit your website”, says Anthony Welfare in The Retail Handbook. “Selling involves focussing on the benefits of your product – telling the customer why they should buy your product”.
PRICE IS RIGHT
Good, Better, Best is an age-old selling strategy tapping into the customer psyche. It appeals to their inclination not to buy the cheapest, “Good”, or spend too much and be oversold to, “Best”. In theory, this strategy pushes customers to play it safe and go for the middle option: “Better”.
To make this strategy work, you’ll first need a third product offering, with a different price position, and enhanced features and benefits. It’s worth looking at your product portfolios. If you currently offer two styles of shoe in a range, you could think about a third to test this strategy, and get extra cash in the bank.
Price alone is rarely enough to seal the deal, even with the advantage of the Good, Better, Best approach. Says Crossover’s Business Development Director, Mark Hopkins, “Everyone in the sales team must be able to sell the benefits and features of all the products in your shop, and transfer that knowledge to educate the customer. The best retail sales teams know to listen to the customer to get an understanding of what he, or she, needs, and use that to offer a solution.”
Being aware of the additional features in higher priced items is essential for winning sales and increasing customer value.
“I often see staff in the pro shop excel when it comes to selling Hardware: the passion, and belief, in the benefits of new Irons, or Drivers, always comes across well, and helps to sell to the customer. Unfortunately, it’s not always the same with other product ranges. Can you honestly say you feel the same passion when it comes to Gloves, or Outerwear? If you can’t get excited about a new shoe from the Ladies’ range, replace that with knowledge.”
Making the customer feel informed gives him, or her, the confidence to make the right purchase decision, even if it’s the more expensive option. Continues Mark, “Knowing the products well will also lead to a more natural approach, when it comes to up-selling. Afterall, how can you sell a higher value item to a customer, without knowing the benefits that justify the extra spend?”
Crossover Technologies is the developer of XPOS, the leading sales and stock management solution used by retailers around the world. For retail advice, updates and market information, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. To find out more about XPOS and how it can take your business to the next level, visit crossovertec.co.uk