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Competence

In this section, we will not elaborate upon retail preparation such as merchandising, displaying and all the other actions needed for the store to be ready for customers. We will focus on the sales advisor’s own preparation: to be ready to sell, in terms of competence (or the ability to sell).

When we say a sales advisor is competent, we mean that person can sell, and can sell in various situations and to different types of clients. Competent sales advisors can adapt quickly to new products, new clients and a new commercial environment. The capacity to adapt to product, clients and any situation are the true qualities of skillful selling. Can you imagine a car driver who is only able to drive on motorways? A true driver is able to drive on any road, under any weather conditions, safely. A competent driver will also quickly adapt his skill when driving a new car, by adjusting his driving in response to the performance of the new car.

Selling competence is even more complex: each customer is different; they buy different kinds of product and have different motivations. And, there is no second chance; sales advisors need to succeed and reach their goal by adapting very quickly to the client and the selling situation (Table 5.2.A).

Selling competence requires different skills:

  • - Knowledge
  • - Know-how
  • - Attitude

Table 5.2.A The 3 components of competency

Car

Insurance

Knowledge

What I need to know to sell

Car functions, specifics, similar competitively priced cars, bene fi ts compared to competition.

Financial instruments, similar competitive products, product bene fi ts compared to competition.

Know-how

How to sell

Listen to customer's real motivation, handle price bargaining, conclude sale.

Listen to the customer's real motivation. Explain in very simple ways. Reassure.

Attitude

The way I sell

Gain trust and be seen as a reliable person, and able to help.

Gain trust and more: become the financial friend/advisor of the family.

The only way to acquire competency is to be active: practice, experiment.

Golden Rule Corner

Know at least as much as your clients!

Know your company's official and published information: that's the minimum. Know their possible public information source and check it: that's a must.

 
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