It is not about the product, it is how the customer feels

It is not about the product, it is how the customer feels

Retailing is constantly changing and so is how we sell. I remember my early workshops training team members to sell product, we would do a session where we would get workshop participants to identify the features of the products and then convert them to the benefits of the product. We would then develop role play sessions on how to sell benefits.

Those skills are still needed, but If I have focused on “feelings” I think I would have lost the delegates attention and they would be wondering what I was talking about. Retailing was about selling “stuff”.

In 2016 the role of selling has changed. The new Coca Cola marketing campaign is an example of that change. The “Taste the Feeling” is about the consumer experience and how they react to the product with their senses.

Selling the features and benefits of Coca Cola drinks is not going to stimulate extra sales for the company or the retailer.

This means that the sales team have to have a completely different mind set in 2016 to those they had even a few years ago.

The art of communications with consumers is changing and will continue to change.

The retailer today has to start with how the customer feels rather than the product itself.

Zig Ziglar, the marketing guru, once said “selling is essentially a transfer of feelings”. The key is not only the customer’s feelings, but also how does the salesperson feel when they are with the consumer.

In my workshops today I start with the consumer. In a successful relationship with a sales team member the customer should feel happier at the end of the experience than when they walked into the store. The role of the team member is to make the customer feel happier. I would argue that consumers who feel happier are more likely to buy more product. Yet, how many retail transactions do you come across where the consumer feels ignored, rejected, embarrassed of frustrated. Hardly a way to grow sales and a business in 2016.

The emphasis should not be on the selling process; it should be on how we make the consumer feel happier.

How to make consumers feel happier.

There are various Blogs on making a customer happier.

The following thoughts are based on “” on ideas to make the customer happy.

  • This should be a genuine experience for both the salesperson and the customer. Make sure that all team members have a name badge that is clearly visible to the customer. Team members should use the customer’s name whenever possible and use their own name. Aim to build a genuine relationship with the customer.
  • Listening is a skill. Team members that really listen to the consumer will build relationship with the customer. We all say we listen, but as customers we find that listening is rare skill.
  • Always explain the ongoing support that is provided by yourself, the retailer and the supplier. This may be online or in the store.
  • The customer needs to feel they are a partner in the process. Gone are the days when consumers felt they were not in control. If customers do not feel they are partners in the transaction you will soon here about it in their online conversations.
  • Be honest with the consumer. My wife and I are in the process of having a house built. One of the tradesmen got behind with what they were doing and told me he would come back on News Year Day to finish. At the time I questioned his integrity, guess what, he came back on the 7th of January. Credibility was lost. If he had told us he would be back in early January, he could have saved the relationship.
  • At the end of the transaction always thank the customer. It can make a big difference to how they feel.

Walt Disney is quoted of saying “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”

Retailing today is about how the consumer feels. It is about the feelings not the “stuff”.