Are You Communicating Properly?
Are you sure that you and your sales associates are communicating properly with customers? Are you sure there is not a generation gap of understanding between your older customers and younger sales help that is losing you both sales and customers?
This applies both to you vendors out there dealing with buyers at market, as well as you retailers dealing with consumers. What follows is a somewhat fictionalized, but mostly true, encounter that I personally witnessed:
Baby Boomer Customer (BBC): I am interested in those new Nano watch bands. But where is the watch?
Twenty-something Sales Associate (TSA): They are for the Nano.
BBC: I understand that, but where is the watch?
TSA repeats: They are for the Nano.
BBC: OK. That's fine, but where is the watch?
Looking blank, as if the customer is really stupid, TSA repeats: They are for the Nano.
BBC, getting frustrated and knowing that a Nano is music player: That is all well and good, but don't you think that if you are selling a watch band, there should be a watch?
TSA repeats: But they are for the Nano.
BBC: Thank you very much. (Walks away, unhappy, frustrated and still not understanding. No sale.)
What is the problem here?
Baby Boomer Customer knew what a Nano was - a music player - but had not followed all of its technology advances to know it is now more than just a music player and that a clock is now built into the Nano, along with many other touch-screen features.
Twenty-something Sales Associate, rather than demonstrating the Nano on the Nano watch band to the customer, assumed that everyone knew that the latest generation of the Nano had a watch.
Later that day at another store/exhibitor's booth:
Baby Boomer Customer (BBC): I see you have Nano watch bands. But where is the watch?
Twenty-something Sales Associate (TSA): They are for the Nano. (Shows the Nano on a band and demonstrates the clock feature) The Nano has a watch in it.
BBC: Oh, I see now. I didn't know that the Nano now is more than just a music player. My granddaughter/younger customers would love that! (Makes a purchase and walks away happy.)
What sales and customers are you losing through miscommunication?
• Make sure that your sales associates are well trained and don't assume that customers are familiar with all the features of a product.
• Make sure that they listen carefully and are attuned to signals when a customer needs more information.
• Make sure they know what questions to ask and how to ask them to provide customers with the information that they need to make an informed purchase.