When shopping in a store, you may be greeted by a highly competent salesperson who guides you clearly through your buying journey and answers every question you have. Equally likely, you may encounter a salesperson who couldn’t care less about you or what you are searching for. To provide the best shopping experience possible for the customers and to offer valuable insight into their buying processes, it’s imperative that knowledgeable salespeople embody their brand image and are passionate about the brand they represent.
Contrary to popular opinion and conventional wisdom, the rise of e-commerce and mobile shopping has not crippled brick-and-mortar retail sales, as research shows that more than 90% of all retail sales still happen in stores. However, that doesn’t undermine the fact that the internet still has significant influence over customers’ initial perception of products.
The Ecommerce Foundation reported that 88% of customers conduct research prior to visiting a physical store, from product reviews to their specific characteristics.
Since more than half of the customers who shop in stores still want help from sales staff, it is important to leverage the information the customers already have and to use technology to complement your team’s efforts, establishing a strong sales force. That’s why training salespeople to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic is crucial for your brand success.
Because many consumers now have in-depth knowledge about products before going into stores to buy them, it is necessary that retail sales associates’ roles shift to help influence buyers in a new way. Instead of attempting to sell products by generalizing the customers’ needs and by merely relaying information about the products, associates must become consultants for their customers, turning product features into tangible benefits for each customer. By continually educating sales teams about the brands they represent, rather than stressing the product features alone, they are able to emerge as brand advocates, promoting a positive brand image to customers at all times.
Some of the most impactful characteristics of successful retail sales associates are product knowledgeability, enthusiasm, and availability, so it is crucial that your sales team embodies all three. According to CNBC, store associates who seemed knowledgeable and enthusiastic about products had 69% higher sales than those who didn’t.
Because consumers are more satisfied with their in-store purchases when assisted by passionate and available employees, managers at the retail level must actively strive for employee engagement through comprehensive product training and consistent promotion of their brand values. Naturally, people who are confident about their products appear more competent and trustworthy, so it is necessary to instill product knowledge and brand awareness in sales associates to help foster confidence.
MarketSource’s retail training program highlights the lasting benefits of having a fully engaged and enthusiastic sales staff. By informing retail sales associates more about the brands they represent, they gain a newfound confidence in themselves and the products they are selling. Connect with us to learn how to build a sales force that is knowledgeable and enthusiastic, ultimately improving sales and building brand loyalty in retail employees and customers for years to come.