BEST OF THE BLOGS: The salesperson who talked a sale to death

God bless the excitable salesperson. Heaven knows they can often be hard to find, especially, according to this research, on the hallowed floors of our major department stores.

But while enthusiasm is an important part of any good salesperson’s makeup, Sue Barrett identified in her blog on Monday a point at which this puppy dog keenness can get in the way of closing a sale.

The buyer gives the salesperson a clear buying signal like: ‘Where do I sign? When do we start? How many can I get?’ and so on. And what does the salesperson do? They carry on telling the prospect about additional features and benefits, none of which are of real interest to the buyer who has already made a decision to purchase.

Barrett highlights the importance of listening, as well as talking, to the client during the sales process. The overly effusive salesperson can sometimes lead the customer to question the credibility of the product and the salesperson by continuing the sales pitch beyond the point of interest. Before long, the window of opportunity for a sale has shut and the prospective customer has started to question their possible purchase.

Modern retail and the two-speed consumer

We’re very lucky at SmartCompany to have had John Winning, CEO of the Winning Group of companies, join our stable of bloggers in the past few months.

John’s insights into the challenges and travails of retailers today come right from the coalface and his views tend to reflect a willingness to embrace the new – in the form of a strong online focus – while also paying heed to traditional retail strengths such as personal service.

In his blog this week, he reiterated a point he has made before about retailers having to make sure the medium – online, bricks and mortar – does not come before the message: Excellent service at globally competitive prices.

Despite the tremendous growth of opportunities offered by online retail, there remains a high demand by people to walk into a store and touch products rather than reading about them in product reviews. Opportunities also remain for retailers who are willing to go above and beyond for each person who sets foot inside their store.

Winning’s blogs continue to make pragmatic sense in an area too often bombarded by grandstanding from those entrenched in a turf war between ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ retail.

Are you a Prince Charles or Ozzy Osbourne when it comes to shopping?

The Retail Doctor Group’s Katharina Kuehn always manages to perk interest with her sometimes quirky take on what makes brands and consumers tick. This week was no different.

Two men in the same demographic: Male, 61+ years, with income over $1 million. However, it goes without saying that there are worlds between Prince Charles and the British rock star Ozzy Osbourne.

Along with the demographic similarities, it, of course, needs to be pointed out that both these men are royalty: Charles, the Prince of Wales; and Ozzy, well, he’s undoubtedly rock’s Prince of Darkness.

But Kuehn’s point with this comparison is that a simplistic reliance on demographics can mask the variable of consumer type contained within a product or service’s target market. Kuehn points out the difference between ‘traditionalists’ (Charles) and ‘hedonists’ (Ozzy) and some of the neural factors that differentiate the two types.

Google’s not always right!

Funny, charming and just a little brave – that’s SmartCompany video blogger Jim Stewart. Brave because he’s not afraid to point out that the emperor – Google – while not entirely naked, is possibly exposed in a less than flattering light in this SmartCompany story.

SEO expert Stewart took to task some of what Google chief technology advocate Michael Jones had to say in the story: “Google doesn’t always get it right. Quite often they get it very, very wrong.”

The always entertaining Stewart reserved special scorn for Jones’ claim that “the way you get ranked more highly is to have a genuine interest in other people”.

Bollocks! You can have all the interest in other people you like; you are not going to get ranked more highly. Google doesn’t know that you have a genuine interest in people… What he is not saying in this story is that if your site is full of errors or your site is full of duplicate content or if you are constantly having 404s… Guess what? You are not going to rank!

Stewart goes into more detail in his video rant and it’s worth watching if you have a keen interest in SEO matters.


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