Asking the right questions can lead to upselling opportunities and a better customer relationship, suggests Beko Plc head of training Kay Ainsworth
Retailers need to bring built-in products to life for shoppers. Being able to see and touch an appliance makes all the difference.
With built-in there is an even bigger focus on design, as many people will be upgrading their kitchen to create a sleek clean look. It’s important to stock a comprehensive range from each product category, so you can cater to those looking to refurbish their entire kitchen.
It’s never been more important to ensure your sales staff know the features and functions of the products they’re selling inside out. Customers are likely to have a lot of questions if they’re making the move from freestanding to built-in. If you can explain to them exactly why a built-in dishwasher is perfect for their new open-plan kitchen you’ll gain their trust.
Appliances are purchased infrequently, so never assume that consumers are up to date on the latest technology. Even features that have been on the market for a few years can be new to people, so take the time to go through new programmes, and features designed to make life easier. A confident sales person will gain trust and ultimately drive sales.
The top four questions to ask a customer:
Are you replacing or upgrading your appliances?
This is important because it instantly gives you a steer on whether they are making a distress purchase, and need some assurance on quality and warranty or have more time to browse and are open to suggestions.
Are they buying a new kitchen?
The design, the look and feel and fitting into the consumer’s lifestyle suddenly becomes key.
What have they had previously? What did they like about it or want to change?
This gives you a great opportunity to talk to them about new or different features they may not be aware of. Do they want quicker wash cycles for example, or a freezer they don’t have to manually defrost? When given the choice, most people will want to make energy and water savings, but it might not be the first thing they think of. An open and friendly conversation is a great starting point.
What is their lifestyle like?
For example, how many people live at home, do they enjoy cooking, do they host a lot of dinner parties? This again gives you an open card to highlight and upsell specific models.
Whilst replacing a freestanding product for another is usually very straightforward, built-in appliances require more forward-planning. Don’t let that put you off, in fact by showing just how easy you can make it for customers, you’re bound to inspire confidence and encourage repeat business.
Installation is the most important thing to cover with built-in products. If you are not offering installation yourself, make sure you have a number of recommended partners that you can call on. Think about creating a take-home form or list of information you need from a customer to make the process really smooth. Products may need carcasses, furniture doors, alignment, electrics and plumbing in so you’ll probably need measurements, and most customers will need to return home to check these.
It’s essential to have integrated products on display so you can show off just how good they look in real life. Whilst some people are initially put off by the cost, seeing them in action can be a powerful sales tool.