Every store visit represents an opportunity. The best salespeople know this is true, even if the customer came in for a repair or to ask a simple question.
But with the days of hard-selling sales tactics behind us, salespeople need to adopt a new approach in order to convert every store visit. The answer? A consultative approach.
A consultative approach focuses on the customer as a unique person, not a walking wallet. Salespeople need to understand the customer’s needs and personality before they dive into the sale, otherwise they risk a negative customer experience.
So, how can telco salespeople turn every customer interaction into a sales opportunity with a consultative approach? Let’s explore!
Believe it or not, customers give salespeople a lot of information. Through conversations, they provide insight into what they are happy with, what they need, problems they are having, and more.
Salespeople who actively listen to their customers pick up on these golden bits of information, and in return, suggest solutions that will meet their needs. The following scenario illustrates how a salesperson can turn a complaint into a sales opportunity:
A customer enters the store and is visibly frustrated. They tell the salesperson that they consistently exceed their family’s monthly data plan and are tired of the overages.
The salesperson responds quickly and brings the frustrated customer to a quiet corner of the store where they can sort the issue. After bringing up the customer’s information on their tablet, the salesperson notices that one of the family members is using over half the data, leaving very little for the others and causing the overages.
The customer is intrigued and asks if there is a way that they can see their data usage from home. The salesperson shows the customer the telco’s app and sets it up on their phone. The salesperson also shows the customer how they can control and assign data to the family members on their plan. In addition, the salesperson asks the customer how the Wi-Fi connection is in their home. They respond that it isn’t great, and most areas of the house have poor signal. The associate explains that this may be the cause of the data overages and suggests that they purchase a Wi-Fi extender. The customer purchases the extender and leaves hopeful.
In this scenario, the salesperson was able to recognize the customer’s frustration and respond effectively. They used their problem-solving skills to identify the cause of the issue and recommend a long-term solution. Their approach cemented the customer relationship and resulted in a sale that the customer may not have been planning to make.
When a customer feels like they have been listened to, understood and their needs have been met, they will have a good experience.
Every customer that visits a telco store is unique and should be treated so!
While it’s impossible for salespeople to know each customer’s individual preferences, there is someone who can shed light on them: the customer themselves.
When interacting with salespeople, customers often reveal parts of their lifestyle or personality, as well as needs they didn’t even know they had. By asking the right questions and listening to the customer, salespeople can specially tailor offerings that fit their lifestyle – making the customer feel unique.
Do they enjoy the outdoors? Are they avid readers? Or listen to audiobooks? Do they travel a lot?
By authentically engaging with the customer, salespeople can suggest products and services that meet the customer’s needs, as well as illustrate how they can improve their life. The following scenario illustrates how asking the right questions helps salespeople create a personal experience that’s also profitable.
During a store visit to fix a technical issue with their device, a customer mentions to a salesperson about a trip they are planning to Asia. The salesperson further engages with the customer, asking them about the countries they plan to visit and for how long.
The salesperson recommends a plan that is more cost effective when roaming internationally and shows them the latest wireless charger that would be great for their stay in hostels. The customer purchases both and feels excited and prepared for their trip.
By asking questions and being authentic, salespeople can recommend solutions that enhance a customer’s life and create a personalized experience.
Not every store visit will result in a sale, but the goal of every interaction should be about building a relationship. In today’s super competitive market, customers are looking for brands they can trust and depend on.
Many customers visit telco stores with no intention of making a purchase. But sales associates can still capitalize on this visit by cultivating a trusted relationship that will pay off in the future. The following scenario illustrates how showing care and attention helps establish the salesperson as a trusted advisor, leading to sales opportunities in the future.
A customer visits the store to browse devices. They still have several months until they’re due for an upgrade and are just killing time while they wait for their child to finish a swimming lesson. This customer has no intention of purchasing a device, service or accessory today. But this does not mean that there is no opportunity with this customer.
Upon realizing the customer’s intention – or lack of – a keen sales associate engages the customer in a conversation about their current device and service. They learn that in two months, the customer’s eldest child will be attending university in another city.
After quickly checking the customer’s current plan and devices, the associate notices that they have a very limited calling and texting plan. The associate informs the customer of this and suggests that they come back in a few months to look at plan options that will allow them to keep in contact with their child during the semester.
The customer is thankful for the associate’s helpfulness and promises to return in two months.
Many salespeople might have ignored the customer when it was clear they weren’t going to make a purchase. By paying attention to the customer’s long-term needs, the salesperson built a lasting relationship that would be profitable for years to come. Respecting the customer’s intentions and providing advice on solutions that meets their needs is key to building trust and loyalty.
Through the previous examples, we can easily see the benefit of a consultative approach and how it helps salespeople look beyond the obvious to find sales opportunities in every interaction.
Unfortunately, a consultative approach isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Through specialized training and role-playing, telcos can instill these techniques in their staff.
But many telcos have failed to pursue this type of training, and their customer experience has suffered as a result.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to create an effective telco sales training program, download our whitepaper “How to Create Outstanding Telco Salespeople”. In it, you will learn what customers expect from their retail experience, why the telco store experience falls short, the characteristics of an outstanding telco salesperson and how to develop a successful retail training strategy.