How to compete with Amazon if you are a small business owner? And why Do You Still Need to train Your Staff in Sales?

Today everything is online, and everything is automated. So why do you still need to train your staff in sales? Well, the short answer is everybody loves human touch. No matter how much we love researching and buying things online, nothing can beat a human interaction. That feeling that somebody is going an extra mile to answer our questions in detail. And when I mean in detail, I mean personally and even giving us few extra tips on how to use a product or service.

Today businesses are struggling with their transition from offline interaction to online interaction. Meaning, they find it really hard to get their head around the way the communication happens online. I had a client the furniture industry, who was complaining that online does not work for him. Prospects were sending him messages on Facebook asking what kind of furniture would fit thier living room. And my client’s reply was ‘pop into a shop, we have a variety of choice’. Now if you are a prospect looking for a piece of furniture, do you really want to waste your time going to a shop if you don’t know what’s in their? I know that is what used to happen 10 years ago. But today we can buy furniture online with few clicks. I bought two armchairs on amazon last year, and I am really happy with my choice. It was also delivered within 5 working days.

So, if you are a small business owner and want to compete with somebody like Amazon that promises a great price and fast delivery, the only card you got to use is Personal touch. As Amazon doesn’t provide that. You can’t even ask questions. So quick personal response, asking detailed questions and a personal touch will help you to stand out and beat giants like Amazon. I really believe that going forward Small Business Owners will have a full time staff working on online customer support and answering questions and doing sales.

Now when we understand why should we have personal interactions online let’s take a look at how should we interact.

  • Have a quick response. I did have another client in the services industry that installed a chat bot on their website but was missing chats. Meaning two weeks later they discovered they had all those leads that were wasted because nobody responded to them. Remember, if you don’t respond quickly your prospect will just go to your competitor.
  • Train your staff to close people. Meaning book them for an appointment if they are a qualified prospect in your services business. Don’t ask them ‘when do you want to come in?’ ask them ‘do you prefer tuesday or thursday appointment?’
  • Turn objectives. When your prospect is giving you an objective, that means they are probably interested. They are just voicing their concern. You don’t just go on a website selling Dyson hoovers to tell they are expensive. People just don’t do that. When you get an objective, just ‘smile and agree’ with a client. And only then explain why their concern is not really a concern. That smoothes things up, and calms a customer down.
  • Re-impulse and close a customer. If somebody is asking you questions that means they are interested. When they questions are starting to dry out, there are pauses just ‘close a prospect’. All well trained sales people know that this is the key in getting those demanding clients.
  • With difficult/unhappy customers let them ‘lash out’, don’t interrupt them. All call centres guys know when they get an unhappy customer, they just need to let them talk without interruption. Meaning they do say ‘I understand’, or ‘I hear you’ phrase, but they are strictly trained to let a customer speak. Because sometimes people just need to ‘let it all out’. Just remember what was the conversation like the last time you rang somebody to complain to?

So, Sales training is they key thing in every business lead conversion process. Weather you do it online or offline. And the amount of leads that you are going to convert into sales depends how smooth and well orchestrated that process is within your business.

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