If you or your team needs convincing on the commercial success and value of asking and listening, instead of pushing for sales, here’s everything you need to get the conversation started.
Owners and buyers are rejecting sales people – not because of what they’re selling – but because they fail to listen and instead, are talking at them. The truth is, for a salon or clinic industry sales person to be successful, they have to be personable. Pushy doesn’t work. Talking doesn’t work. Asking and listening does.
Successful brands and sales people add to clients’ businesses, not take-away from them.
Sales reps need to develop a deeper insight into their clients and customers: What makes them buy? What causes them not to buy? What can be done to help them grow? Those kinds of insights are way beyond the scope of a generic sales training program.
INDUSTRY MYTHS DEBUNKED
Traditionally, the salon and clinic industry has been plagued by sales people who tell-to-sell or worst still, use cleverly worded statements that cause salon owners to feel embarrassed if they don’t agree. That’s not a good thing. Industry-specific sales training addresses these issues.
- Generic (all industry based) sales training does not work for the salon industry. The salon industry has many idiosyncrasies. Generic one-size-fits-all sales training doesn’t account for these issues (all of which have a huge bearing on sales success) and many recommend using unsuitable approaches and language that’s unpalatable to a salon owners’ ear.
- Sales people who are therapists and hairdressers have difficulty generating adequate sales through education and training alone. A lot of therapists and technicians struggle with switching from telling (education mode) to selling (conversation mode). In particular, they struggle with cold calls and rejection.
In the people-focused, $5 billion Australian Hair and Beauty service market¹, you get to ‘Yes’ more frequently, by asking and listening, instead of ‘telling’ about your brand or product.
By using a selling style specifically suited to the salon and clinic markets – one that’s non-pressure, question-based and very persuasive – lucrative sales growth opportunities open up and long-term buying-and-selling relationships are built.
- Two out of three survey respondents stated that vendors are more interested in selling their products/services than listening to their needs.2
- 44% of B2B buyers don’t enjoy meeting salespeople as they “have their own agenda”.
- “According to salon owners across Australia, they know the difference between great and bad sales reps… and they’re able to identify and stay away from the companies who train their team poorly.”
- “A good salon rep has product knowledge (86%), an industry background (80%), followed by industry business knowledge (77%).”3
- One third of respondents believed that vendors/sales reps did not understand their needs, did not understand their company and did not understand their company’s sector.2
- “… customers don’t have time for the abrasive trickery of salespeople. A buyer can get all the information they need online. The worldwide web has been a great leveller.”4
- “Please take time to understand my company and value my time (survey respondent suggestion).” 2
- “Take an interest in what we do so you can make it easier for us to explain what we need (survey respondent suggestion).”2
- “Buyers are looking for a lot more value beyond just a binary transaction, the sale and purchase of a product. They want insight and partners who can help them grow their business. This takes a whole new level of competence”.4
- “Just have an understanding of our industry and the challenges that we face on a daily basis (survey respondent suggestion).”2
- “Focus on each business as being unique and having different needs (survey respondent suggestion).”2
- “A help-me-run-my-business theme is consistent throughout the survey responses from B-to-B buyers and business owners. They acknowledge the attractiveness of special pricing structures and financial incentives … But once the membership is in force, their interests and needs pivot to services, knowledge, and resources that help them run their businesses.”2
- “Four out of five non-financial factors – including vendor/supplier reliability, stellar customer service, round-the-clock support, and vendor/supplier competence – rank highly for their ability to maintain loyalty once businesses have established a relationship with a B-to-B provider.”2
- “Make sure you look out for the needs of your potential clients and customize a solution that meets their specific needs and not your own needs. Do that and couple it with great customer service and you will see success (survey respondent suggestion).”2
- “Be very knowledgeable about the industry you’re servicing (survey respondent suggestion) .”2
There are huge opportunities and profits just waiting for your brand, when you view and approach your clients through a client-focused lens, rather than a brand-focused agenda.
1 IBISWorld, Hairdressing and Beauty Services in Australia Report, Published February 2017
2 Merkle Loyalty Solutions, 2017 Loyalty Report Series –“The Ideal B-to-B Loyalty Program: What Should It Look Like?” Report 2: Beyond Financial Incentives
3 The SALES CATALYST, 2013 Australian Hairdressing Industry Research Report
4 “Curtain Call for Death of a Salesman” Sales Performance – an Independent Publication by Raconteur and Miller Heiman Group UK Ltd