Retail Sales Training - Customer Engagement Techniques

Should we provide prices to customers who enquire about our products or services over the phone?

I get a lot of questions about this.

Recently Marco, a high-end bed retailer, rang to ask me this very question. Marco asked - If a customer phones in and simply asks for the price of a bed over the phone, should we give it to them?

Marco was worried that his prices would put the customer off coming into his store as his mattresses are at the top end of the pricing spectrum. You see, Marco can’t convert by relying solely on price; his point of difference is quality.

Most sales courses tell you not to give out the price over the phone, because they tell you that you have to control the sale, and that by providing the price over the phone you lose control of the sale. In Marco’s case they’d tell you the customer would simply bulk at the price and go elsewhere. But I don’t agree with that. Why would they come into store just to get a price? You’ve just annoyed them by not giving them the straight answer they’re looking for.

Instead you need to start your selling consultation over the phone. You should focus on four things:

1.    Building rapport and connecting with the customer

2.    Positioning your products or services as different - in Marco’s case he sells quality beds, not cheap ones

3.    Positioning yourself as an expert on these products and services, and 

4.    Inviting the customer into store

So, in Marco’s example, when the customer rings he should say:

Firstly, thank you for contacting our store. (You're building rapport with the customer by thanking them for considering your store)

We have lot of beds to choose from depending on what’s important to you . (You’re opening them up to choice)

We start at $999, which I realize is higher than others out there (Marco’s acknowledging he’s not the cheapest, because he’s not).

But that’s because we only sell quality beds. I won’t let anything I wouldn’t sleep on, or that I wouldn’t want my children to sleep on, in my store. In some stores, they’ll sell you a bed for $199, but personally (words like “personally” are powerful because they reveal something of yourself that is personal, and therefore authentic) I wouldn’t feel right selling my customers something that cheap because it’s not possible to manufacture a bed that cheap that’s also good for them.

We spend a third of our lives in bed, we deserve the best, don't you agree?  (Marco’s showing he’s looking out for his customers - showing he cares about them while gaining their commitment that quality is important when choosing a bed)

Most customers don’t realise just how much goes into making a good quality bed. You’d be surprised how many customers will spend more on a TV than a bed they sleep on eight to ten hours a night! If you like, come into store, I’ll tell you what to look for when buying a bed. It’s important you get it right because a good quality bed prevents back pain and discomfort, ensures you sleep sounder and can prevent moisture, mould and dust mites from building up in the mattress. You can try out some of ours and see the difference for yourself. I have a couple of cheap ones you can compare them too. (Marco is positioning himself as the sleep expert and inviting the customer in to store to learn more).   

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