What does it take to be an outstanding retail sales associate? The retail sales industry in general requires a unique individual in order to truly be successful. This is particularly true in specialty sectors such as retail computer and technology sales.
There are a lot of factors that go into defining success in retail PC sales. Along with metrics and standards retailers have in place, we find there are traits common among associates who tend to generate more PC sales, particularly of premium devices.
Customers have varying needs. They also have varied moods. Sometimes a customer may come in excited to purchase a new laptop for their child. Other times they may come in frustrated that their old computer just died. When your staff can put themselves in the customer’s shoes and empathize with their situation, they have a better chance of understanding what the customer wants and needs.
Sometimes customers themselves aren't sure what they need or want. Empathetic sales associates do a good job of connecting with these customers to get down to the core of their requirements.
Being a retail sales associate is never an easy job, but patience can go a long way in making it a rewarding one. Patience is important not only for the associate, but also for the customer. Most of us have been in situations where a salesperson appeared frustrated or flustered, and it affected our overall shopping experience. We all have less than stellar days.
Customers may not know much about the computers or technology that your associates are well-versed in. As such, associates may need to explain the same concept, features, or benefits multiple times and in multiple ways. Employee patience, along with the right knowledge and sales training, can result in happier customers and more PCs sold.
Great sales associates are friendly and have a welcoming demeanor. They enjoy interacting with customers to find out about their needs and strive to make them happy by recommending the right solution. When customers have the right device and all the peripherals they need to have a great experience, there is a better chance they will turn into repeat customers and store ambassadors.
The best sales associates also aren’t overbearing, nor do they use pressure sales tactics. Many of us have experienced that and we most likely leave the store with a sour taste in our mouths. It’s important that along with product training, associates have access to sales training and tips to use when interacting with customers on the salesfloor. This helps produce friendly interactions during the buying process and negates the need for any pressure tactics.
Sales associates are called upon to adjust to customer needs on the fly, staff changes or shortages, as well as multiple store and brand initiatives. Toss in the constant innovations in new technology, and there is no doubt adaptability and flexibility are highly desirable traits.
Associates who maintain a solid knowledge base through targeted training generally find it easier to adapt to updates in form factors, processor capabilities, technology advances, and more.
Most successful sales associates do their jobs with minimal guidance. They take the initiative to learn about the tech products they sell. Once familiar with the do’s and don’ts regarding store policies, they generally take the ball and run with it.
Self-starters can be trusted to take action without having to be micro-managed. They want to be successful and will approach customers on their own to find solutions based on their needs.
Have you ever been asked, "What did I just say?” Sometimes you get that blank stare on your face and know you’ve been nailed because your mind was somewhere else, or you were already thinking of the next thing you wanted to say. This is what active listening is NOT.
Active listening requires associates to listen to what the customer is saying and then respond in such a way that demonstrates to the customer that they have been heard and understood. Associates must ask the right questions, but they also must listen to the answers. Incorporating active listening techniques in customer interactions helps build trust and a rapport with them.
Retail sales associates must constantly learn about new products and services in order to give the most current and applicable PC suggestions to their customers. Knowledge and expertise are what separates good associates from the rest. These associates sell the right products to the right people and provide them with a complete solution.
Sales tools that can be used on the floor with customers, such as the Intel® Retail Experience Tool, are useful in helping turn shoppers into buyers.
Retail PC sales is competitive. Not only are you competing against other local stores, but you’re also competing against online vendors as well. Your associates are the face of your store and they play a vital role in your success.
When vetting potential employees, consider asking questions around some of these traits and use your own active listening skills to get the best information from the interviewee. This can help you in hiring those with the right skill set and personality traits to create more sales for your store and better in-store experiences for your customers.
Encourage your staff to participate in the Intel® Retail Edge Program to find out the latest about Intel®-based products and technologies. This will keep them on top of their game and allow them to provide the best product recommendations to your customers.
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