Selling - Blending E-Commerce and Store Front SalesWritten by John Warzecha
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case that quite often a sale will occur, not based on what needs are met. but on extras that come with package. The only way that you can find out bells and whistles that will sell your system is by listening. Someone can have features similar to IBM, Compaq or Panasonic, but they can sell their own system by emphasizing features that fill a need that customer never knew he had- his hot buttons. These needs are discovered by asking questions and then listening. Here are a few cardinal rules: don't be patronizing or condescending- don't assume that you always know what is best for customer, or that your superior product knowledge entitles you to decide what is best for him. More importantly, don't try to sell most expensive item on market. This is very short-sighted. It has been shown that an unhappy customer can affect up to two hundred potential future customers. For example, a store owner was looking for a new cash register. He came into our showroom looking at some very sophisticated Point-of- Sale systems. He was impressed with flash, bells and whistles. I listened to his needs. I could have sold him $4,000.00 piece of equipment, because he wanted it, even though he didn't need it. His requirements were assessed and he was told that all he needed was a three hundred dollar cash register. It was essentially a cash box that would give him a total sales printout at end of day. When it was explained to him that his needs were for a simple cash recording system, he appreciated fact that we had looked beyond his enthusiasm and sold him an appropriate item. Eight months later, when his business had expanded dramatically and he needed an expensive system- where did he go? He came back to us and ended up buying $14,000.00 worth of POS equipment. An initial small commission turned into a very sizeable order a short time later because customer had been listened to. People resent being patronized or treated as if they are not aware of their own needs. They appreciate your advice but that advice should never be stated as an imperative. You may get initial sale because of pressure tactics but long term ill-will can result in missing out on substantial commissions. There is also another interesting fact: once someone has come to you after checking out your web site, and they have bought from your retail outlet, their next purchase will probably be from your web-site. This is providing that you have sold them what they needed, and not what you wanted them to buy.
John Warzecha, sales trainer, educator, and speaker, who holds a B.A., B.Ed., and an M.A., is V.P. of Communications at Wyka-Warzecha Enterprises, http://www.wyka-warzecha.com, a site devoting to helping website designers achieve amazing special effects with easy to use Java based products.
THE OFF SIDE OF ONLINE RETAILWritten by John Ginsberg
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1.Build trust - clearly a forgotten aspect of commerce, whether online or off. Since online retailers operate in an untrusted environment, their number one priority is to build trust amongst customers. 2.Cater for browser and buyer - for those who know what they want, help them to find it with ease. Offer a search facility and a call center number in case they can't find an item. For those who just want to browse around, give them a convenient starting point and guide them through a tour of your various departments. 3.Save customer profiles - many customers will return twice or even three times before making a purchasing decision. Allow them to save a profile up front which they can recall when returning. Don't ask for personal details until they are ready to buy. 4.Follow up - comparison shopping has never been easier, so make sure your site stands out from rest. Once a customer has saved a profile, send them an e-mail reminding them about their selection. And because shoppers tend to visit many web sites at a time, you'll need to constantly remind them of your web site address. Don't forget to include URL of your site in all e-mail correspondence. Be careful not to overdo it though, because it could be considered spam.
John Ginsberg is a senior consultant for Net Brothers, a leading Internet strategy consulting firm based in South Africa. He is also the editor of EyeBiz Magazine, an Internet strategy and marketing publication. To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.