Don’t Grill Em! 5 Steps Every Grill Dealer Should Know To Keep The Shopping Experience Personal

Five-Step Sales Process Leads To Success

I’ve been in sales and marketing all my life. Whether I’m selling grills, electronics or lingerie (yes, you read that correctly), the following five-step sales process has never let me down. Whenever I’d bring on a new hire, I made sure they learned and practiced this simple formula to successful selling. If you do the same, I guarantee you’ll hear the cash register ring!

It makes sense to greet the customer, but isn’t that so basic?

It is – which is probably why store owners aren’t checking as vigorously as they should to make sure it’s being done. The greeting is the start of a personalization process where customers feel special for walking in your door versus having gone to a big box retailer. It’s amazing the sales opportunities a casual, “Hi, what brings you in today?” will open.

Why is it so important to ask questions? Which are some of the key ones to ask?

Whether or not you successfully close a sale is a direct reflection of the questions asked upfront. Why? You’re pulling data points from customers without them even realizing they’re giving them away. When someone mentions their grill just died, you know you’re going to need to find them something in inventory. If they’re talking about the bonus they get at the end of the month, you know you have time to order in the perfect grill.

Remember that great salespeople listen more than they talk. Ask your question; then zip it and listen. There are no “stock” questions but here are a few common ones to kick-start your conversations.

· * Do you prefer charcoal or gas?

· * What kinds of things do you cook?

· * Did you have a favorite brand in mind?

· * How many people do you typically cook for?

· * Tell me what types of features are most important for you.

Once I get some answers, how do I match the product to the customer’s need?

As the conversation progresses, you’re mentally identifying what products to show the customer. The last thing you want to do is lose a sale by overwhelming someone with too many different models. You’re the expert. Repeat back to the customer what you’ve heard, (“So it sounds like you’re tired of your grill dying on you every couple of years and having to replace it, but you don’t feel like you do enough grilling to warrant a really big dollar purchase. Am I hearing that right?”), then show them no more than two or three grills that would meet their needs in various ways.

At this point, the customer is either starting to nod and say things like, “Yep, that’s exactly what I’m looking for,” or they’re starting to form objections. “I don’t want anything stainless steel.” “I don’t want to pay over $500.”

I expect to deal with objections. What is the best way to handle those?

Overcoming objections is where the art of selling comes in and where most salespeople go astray. When a customer starts listing objections my advice is this: Listen! If you try to talk over your customer, you’ll lose. Often, if given the chance, a customer will talk themselves out of their own objections. If not, the data points you’ve stored away now come in handy. Let the customer express their doubts and then circle back to what they’ve told you. “You said you’re tired of replacing your grill every three years. If you invest a little more upfront, you’ll get a better made product with a better warranty. The grill lasts longer and if something does go wrong, you’re protected down the line. In the long run, you’re saving money investing in one good grill versus what you’ve been doing, which is replacing a cheaper model every few years. We do offer 90-days same-as-cash payment options, if that helps at all.”

How do I close the sale?

There’s only one way to close a sale. Ask for it. “So, are you ready to take that home?” When you ask, you’ll get one of two answers. A “yes” leads to the cash register. A “no,” doesn’t mean no sale. It just means you have more work to do. Go back to asking questions. “OK, what’s making you uncomfortable?” Customers will tell you the reason for their ‘no.’ “I’ve gotta talk to my wife first.” “I’m just not sure I need a grill that big.”

Once you know the issue, you’re back to overcoming objections. If they’re not sold on the product line, direct them to another product or demo different features that speak to their needs. If they need to talk to their spouse, ask if you can follow up with them next week. Not surprisingly, not asking for the sale is the most common cause for missed sales. Ask for the sale and if need be, redirect and ask again. And again. And again.

The five-part process is designed to make sure your customers enjoy a personalized shopping experience. Every evaluation you make of your salespeople should be based around how they perform and carry out these steps.