Last week, an online store was having a big sale on helmets. My mum had been wanting to update hers for awhile, so she thought she’d grab one while they were such a good price. But first she needed to check which exact helmet she needed – which one would fit her head, what features she did and didn’t need, which looked best (women!!) – so she ventured on into her local bike store to try on their range so she’d know which one to order online.
There she met a sales assistant who took her through their range of helmets, who tried numerous versions on her head, who asked her questions, who really engaged with her. He spent over an hour with her, being so thoughtful and helpful and knowledgeable that my mum said she couldn’t, in good conscience, leave without purchasing from him… even though his helmets weren’t on sale and were actually almost double the price of the online one. And my mum loves a good deal!
So what can we learn from this? 1. There are customers who still want to try before they buy. 2. There are still customers who will buy because they like the person they’re dealing with. 3. You can put a price on experience and knowledge ie not everyone is going to go for the cheaper online offering; for some things, people are still willing to spend more for expert help and support.
The biggest lesson is that you don’t need to throw your hands up in defeat if you see an online store offering the product you sell. You just need to step up your game. You should possibly look at getting an online presence yourself but, most importantly, sharpen your sales skills. Be helpful. Be kind. Be an expert in the area you sell in. Be likeable. Make it impossible for a customer to leave without wanting to buy something from you.
I’ve spent years successfully operating in the retail space so if you need sales training or business coaching, get in touch with me at Business Changing: firstname.lastname@example.org