Why Your Retail Staff MUST Be Product Or Service Experts

Think about the last time you were in a store comparing products.

You worked with the salesperson to decide what you wanted, bought it and took it home.

It worked out beautifully.


Probably because you weren’t really working with a salesperson.

You were working with a product expert.

The same concept applies to your retail business – you need product experts on the payroll, not salespeople.

Customers Expect Expertise

What do your customers come to you for?

Is it really to buy a product?

No, it’s not.

They come to you to solve a problem, to address a challenge, to achieve a goal, or to overcome a hurdle.

They come to you for answers, in short.

Do you get answers from salespeople?

Not really.

You’ll get a sales spiel.

You get answers from a product expert – someone who understands the product, its features, and how those features translate into benefits for your customers.

Conventional Salespeople Are Just Order Takers

Let’s look at a scenario.

You walk into a shoe store, intent on buying a new pair of sneakers.

You’ve recently started running, and your old shoes are just about done in.

You need a new pair. You tell the salesperson who greets you what you’re looking for, and they dutifully escort you to the athletic shoe section of the store.

They might ask a few questions – do you prefer Nike or New Balance?

What size do you need?

Then they’ll show you a few selections and let you make up your mind.

If you know what you want already, that’s fine, but most people don’t know what they need.

In the scenario above, you’re left with a lot of questions.

What sort of arch support do you need?

How long will a particular pair of shoes last running on asphalt? What about running on dirt or gravel?

Do you need an actual running shoe, or would a cross-trainer be better for your needs?

A salesperson will not be able to answer these sorts of questions, because they’re basically just order takes.

However, a product expert would be able to answer all of those and more.

He or she would be able to identify different shoe options, illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of them all, and guide the customer to an informed buying decision.

How To Find Product Experts

The first step to ensuring that your salespeople are product experts is to hire experts in the first place.

Hire people passionate about areas that relate to your product or service (an experienced runner would be an ideal option in the example scenario used above).

Next, you need to train your staff – even non-experts can quickly build expertise in a particular product or product line with the right training.

When everything is said and done, staffing your business with mere salespeople will not help you achieve success.

You need product experts that can help guide your customers to an informed buying decision.

Thanks again

The Retail Sales Academy Team

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