If you run a retail store, one of the most important things you can do is help your staff understand your product range inside out.
Picture it: a potential customer comes to pay at your till and all of a sudden your shop assistant gets into an engaging conversation about what is in their shopping basket. You then find that the customer actually buys more because of the recommendations of a knowledgeable employee.
In this piece, we will look at ways in which you can educate your staff on products.
It’s important to find time where you can explain the product range to employees to give them an understanding of what they are selling and how customers can benefit. Try and make this consistent. Why not set aside some time before your store opens to train them so that they can be prepared for the day ahead.
The more often you find time to educate staff the more likely it is that essential product information will stick in their heads.
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Knowledge is important but replicating a typical scenario is an even better way to bring this all together. Pretend to be a customer and then let one of your members of staff ‘wow’ you with their product knowledge. Perhaps they might feel under too much pressure if it comes from you. If that is the case get another employee to play the role of customer if that makes everyone feel less tense.
You may well have a good idea of the type of customer who might make a purchase from you. It is unlikely that your product is going to appeal to everyone, so there will be a certain type of customer who gravitates towards you. You should be giving your employees a good idea of your typical customer in terms of who they are, what their interests are and what motivates them.
One way to give your customer an identity is by doing something called persona mapping. This is where you give your customer a name and can provide details about everything about a certain customer. With this information your employee will be able to recommend particular products to this individual and will help enhance their product knowledge even more.
Why not place your persona on the wall in the back of your shop. This will allow any of your employees the chance to look at this any time they need to.
Knowing a product and how it works only covers part of the process. It is very important that your employees understand how a product can benefit your customer. For example if you're selling sturdy coffee tables this will last longer than weaker ones giving customers something more secure and less to worry about.
It’s all about an emotional attachment and if you can demonstrate tangible benefits for all your product range the more likely it is that your staff will be able to communicate this clearly to customers.