A Smile Is Just the Beginning: How to Develop a Retail Sales Dream Team

A Smile Is Just the Beginning: How to Develop a Retail Sales Dream Team

Influencer Marketing
Modern Marketing


There are many dimensions to the retail shopping experience, but one thing is clear: consumers are more inclined to trust and buy from, sales associates who are considered likeable, expert, and credible.

Most training programs for sales associates focus heavily on the “likeability” aspect of skill development. But a nice smile can only get you so far. If the smile isn’t backed up expertise, the sales associate won’t gain credibility, and will – most likely – fail to achieve the sell-through.

When consumers are asked what they want most in a retail sales associate, 73% of them say “product knowledge” is the most important service a sales associate can offer. At the same time, almost everyone can recount at least one occasion when they left a store without completing a purchase, because the staff wasn’t knowledgeable.

Product expertise promotes credibility and trust.
This is a crucial factor in the conversations happening on your sales floor every day. Consumers view sales associates who demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the products they sell as trusted guides to purchasing the right product.

And the conversions don’t stop with the initial intended purchase: customers are three times more likely to purchase additional suggested products from a credible sales associate. In another study, 24% of customers who had completed a purchase in-store reported buying a different product than the one they originally intended to buy, based on their conversation with the sales associate.

Still, some retailers hesitate to invest in product education, even though conducting a service-driven conversation with a customer requires product expertise. Over 50% of consumers say “expert advice on what to buy” is important to them which means every sales associate should be able to engage in a conversation with a customer that is tailored to the customer’s needs.

This is a conversation worth having. Because sales associates who engage in product education sell more. A lot more.
Product education helps develop a trusted relationship between a retailer and their customers, and it leads to more sales. A retail study Experticity commissioned from the Wharton School of Business measured the impact of helpful expertise on the sales floor. Researchers compared the point-of-sale data spanning two years, 3,500 retail sales associates in 330 stores.

Associates who completed just one Experticity course of three modules sold 9.5% more immediately afterwards. And the more sales associated engaged with Experticity’s education platform, the better their sales performance became. Each additional module on a specific brand increased sales of that brand by an average of 2 – 4%.

Investing in the people who can have the most impact at the point-of-purchase is just smart marketing. An educated sales force delivers more satisfied customers, more engaged employees, and increased ROI.

Written By

Jennifer Black , Director of Marketing, B2B

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