Have you already fired up your sales team to have a high-performance holiday season? Are they prepared to answer the most frequently asked customer questions? Do they know what's expected of them?
If you answered no to any of the above questions, make sure to figure out what's missing in your pre-Christmas preparation process because time is running out. While you're at it, post the following checklist in your staff room (right beneath the details of your highly effective holiday sales contest).
Holiday Salesperson Checklist:
· Dress to impress.Wear clothes that fit with the image of your company - not too dressy, but not too casual either. Better to be clean cut than sloppy. Remember, first impressions go a long way.
· Greet customers within the first 30 seconds. Speaking of first impressions, at Christmas time more than ever, your customers are in a hurry. They don't have time to be waiting around for assistance. Get to the point: Quickly identify what the customer needs, show him/her you understand what they're saying, put it in their hands and politely (don't rush!) lead them toward the checkout process.
· Know your sales routine.Come to work prepared. Take some time to consider your everyday sales routine. Talk to your co-workers to find out what approach they like to take when dealing with Christmas shoppers. Asking the right questions is the most important step in connecting with customers – the rest takes care of itself.
· LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.Spend less time pitching your go-to product and more time asking questions and figuring out how you can best meet your customers' needs. Poor communication often leads to lost sales. Try rephrasing what customers tell you to show them you're on the right track. It's about building trust.
· Close with confidence.Once you establish what the customer needs and how you can meet that need, proceed to closing the sale. You know they're in a hurry and you can communicate that (not too pushy though!). Try simple lines like, "Here you go, sir/ma'am (hand customer the product). You can take this up there to Katie at the till (point for directions) and she'll get you on your way. Merry Christmas!" Quick, efficient and polite.
· Upsell ‘stocking stuffers' directly after the close. They're already buying from you and if they're parents, odds are they'll be game for small items to toss in the stocking. Suggest inexpensive add-ons their kid will "absolutely love. Kids/teenagers these days are all over these!"
· Have fun! Christmas shopping can be a stressful time for everyone. Customers appreciate patient and understanding staff but also upbeat, positive people. Smile. Show customers that you enjoy helping them find what they're looking for and they'll be happy to buy from you.