You’ve all heard the saying, ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know.’  Well, that may be true in life but not so much in retail. In retail it’s what you know AND who you know that wins that day.

The more you know about your product or service the more you have the chance to sell it. And the more you know about your customers the more chance you have of selling these products and services to them through the relationships you have built with them. The simple key to being knowledgeable is to prepare in advance and do some homework to gain the information that will make your job easier.

It’s amazing how often, through lack of product knowledge, we let sales go right under our noses. Poor sales people are not bad at their jobs because they are introverts, or slackers, or lacking confidence – they are simply lacking the knowledge that helps prepare them to deal with the day. Gaining product knowledge is not a hard task. It just takes a little time each day. And by spending a little time each day you turn the process of gathering knowledge into a habit.

Here are some simple steps to making you a sensational sales person.

Know the news

Think about this: In a given day in your store, would you know what’s on the front page of the newspaper, what’s the latest thing in your category, what new products are coming through, what your competitors are doing, what new innovation is likely to affect your business in the coming weeks or months?

Without this information you are placing pressure on yourself and hampering your performance on the sales floor. Because with this knowledge at hand you are in a position of strength as you will appear to be the expert in the business that your customers expect you to be…and all of a sudden…. the job of selling becomes easy!

And with knowledge comes power.

Knowledge simply offers you the power to ‘sell,’  through your ability to ‘tell.’  By simply telling your customers about some of the above information, you are offering them the information they need to assist them in making a purchase.  This could be a purchase that they may not have known they wanted to make in the first place. This is called  UP selling. And all it takes is 5 minutes to gather the knowledge for you to be a champion UP seller.

Know your customer

With product knowledge at your fingertips you now need to know the people that come into the business. Do you know their names, their likes and dislikes, their favourite products, or some things about them that might help you to make a stronger bond with them?

This information will help you sell more products to them as they will treat you more like a friend than a supplier.

So, ask questions of your customers, sound interested, read their names on their credit cards, address them by name and make them part of your business.

Know your lines

Consider this- if you were a rock star you’d need to rehearse the words to the song so that the audience could feel your emotion or if you were a movie star you’d need to know the lines to your movie so that your fans can see and believe your character. Same goes for retailers, you need to know your lines so I can BELIEVE what you’re saying and hang off your every word. That’s what gives ME the emotion to purchase. I need to feel your passion for your product and your business so I feel comfort that what you tell me is true.

Prepare a few lines for yourself, simple things you can store in the back of your head and bring to the forefront on the sales floor when you need them most. This will make your presentation far more fluent and make it easier on you to remember the basics in amongst your busy day.

You see…it’s all about what you know, and who you know. Sales knowledge is not a tough thing to come by, it just take a few minutes a day, every day. Try it, you’ll be surprised just how easy selling can be.