Monday, April 25, 2011
Sometimes you get lucky
In sales, is it more on skill or is it luck? Sometimes we get a few visitors, sometimes none (yeah, bad Wednesdays). Sometimes we are so busy attending customers, we forget to eat or drink or pee or whatever. Sometimes, we sit and wait till 'Cai Shen Yeah' comes along and awards you with a RM2976 sale in a single receipt. Oh joy! Today's my lucky day!
Is it just all about luck? It feels very insecure to depend on luck. What about rainy days? Yup, maybe luck is all you have. Or perhaps you can have faith by praying for the rain to stop soon. Or is it skill? Sometimes we have to admit, the more rubbish you talk, the higher your sales amount gets. But first, you gotta open your mouth (and make sure it smells nice, too).
What makes great sales people succeed is actually a skill called 'charm'. People love to be charmed, complimented and agreed to. When we talk about a product, the way it is presented should capture attention, relate to the buyer and allow it to compliment the user. Selection takes up about 50% of the effort. If you don't get to a decision on what you wanna buy, you don't end up buying anything. Unless you decide it's gonna be randomly something you probably do not need (umm.. like an obsolete iPod perhaps, when it's on sale?).
So when your potential buyer struggles to decide, it's where the 'charm' takes effect. People love genuine compliments, so do not try to agree on everything, i.e. ooo that looks great on you, but this one also does, and this other one is so unique! The buyer gets confused. If everything looks great and amazing (according to you), they will need someone else to give them better opinions to reach a decision.
This is something I still need practice on. Because I seldom give compliments to people in real life, so they do not always sound very genuine. I really gotta pick up this skill for the long run. Some notable compliments I have received by my customers: "Your watch is absolutely gorgeous!"; "Your necklace really relates to what you do! (referring to my wayfarer necklace from Forever21)"; and the one that made me blush stupidly was from a Hong Kong guy: "lei zhi mm zhi lei hou leng?" (in Cantonese for "you're so pretty")
Compliments make people feel good about themselves. In order to have lasting customer relationships, it is essential to first break the ice or barrier by making them feel great. People want to have a good experience, and the retail experience is the best avenue to give them the "feel good" feeling. You don't have to memorize lyrics by Bruno Mars to be an effective compliment giver, the key is what's genuine and sounds sincere. But of course, this sets apart the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. An optimist will find any sign to compliment, whereas a pessimist pin-points and provides negative feedback.
Optimist: "I think blue colour really compliments your skin tone and complexion. It stands out!"
Pessimist: "I don't think you could match many clothes with blue colour. Perhaps you should stick to neutrals."
Optimistic comments make people smile and feel good. Whereas the opposite create frowns and wrinkles. If I were a buyer, I wanna be happy with something I've bought. This indirectly creates a positive impression on the product. The special or additional features of the product are like 'add-on's to make it more value for money and worth paying for.
Unless the buyer is very picky and demand strict requirements or complete specifications on what is being bought. Like multi-focals. Most people who are already progressive wearers should expect how much they would spend on a pair of lenses. Prices can range from $200 to $2000, depending on whether it's the low-end conventional type or the high-end premium internationally-branded type. When a buyer pays that much money on lenses that could expire in a couple of years (due to prescription changes or wear-and-tear), often it takes extra effort to convince him/her that the product is worth every dollar.
This is where 'charm' comes in again.
Customer: Why should I pay $2000 when I can get my lenses done for $200? It also serves the same purpose.
Me: Firstly, you would be interested in a better product that I'm about to introduce.
Customer: Well, everyone claims their product is the better product, so what's your take?
Me: Have you heard of HD technology? High-definition. State of the art technology. Right now, you are able to experience high-definition vision like never before.
Customer: Interesting... tell me more. (Attention obtained)
Me: (insert product details features yada yada but make it sound interesting)
Me: Now you have a choice, you're not obliged to buy this one if pricing is something you need to consider, but in terms of what you need, this product would meet all your requirements. Comfort, clarity, excellent adaptability.
Use more of those positive adjectives to describe the product. Tackle what the buyer needs and elaborate from there. Give detailed explanation without too many scientific jargons that might confuse the buyer. Avoid stuff like "compacted addition power, wider/narrower corridor lengths, fitting heights" that would only relate to the optician's job. Make the talk as easy to understand as possible. Maintain eye contact, and pause to ask if the buyer understands, and explain until the buyer does.
As a rule of thumb, products are meant to be sold. KNOW the product well before you are able to SELL it. And when you sell, do it with CONFIDENCE. Did I also mention, confidence is also a 'charm'?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Optics Project
As part of the specialist function in optical dispensing by my current flagship - eSaver Optical, I have decided to start a project called The Optics Project.
This project is basically a research study conducted for the benefit of eSaver Optical, with the help of various academic resources such as optics journals, references, published articles and context of modern optics.
I take great pleasure to be conducting such a research study, not only to enlighten myself with the knowledge and understanding of optics, but also to share with fellow associates in the trade of my research findings.
eSaver Optical is a newly established optical retail concept, and it still needs the confidence of the public as a trusted eye care provider. One of the missions of this project is to demonstrate the professional ability of our opticians and the understanding of ophthalmic dispensing.
Among the topics in this research are: Ophthalmic Lenses, Polarization, Thin Film and Multilayer Coatings, Vision Science and Applications, Medical Optics, Optical Instrumentation, etc. The second part of the research will cover: Professional Conduct & Practice in Ophthalmic Dispensing, Assessment & Management of Refractive Errors, the Visual System, Spectacle Dispensing, etc.
My aims of this project is to be able to reach the end result of a published academic text. My proposed schedule for completion of this research analysis is February 2011.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Since year end is near, it's time to unveil what I have been working on for the past 4 months.
Ever since my return from the UK, I have been involved in the birth of a new company - eSaver Optical. The first eSaver outlet is now open at Prangin Mall.
To celebrate and welcome the new year, the second eSaver outlet will be opening in January at Upper Penang Road, the most strategic location because it is right at the heart of Georgetown's tourist belt, F&B, entertainment, events and night life.
What better place to organize events, roadshows, fashion shows and exclusive designer showcases? At 6-storeys tall, eSaver Optical is set to become Penang's largest optical store, offering the best quality products at factory direct prices.
eSaver Optical has its own online presence - www.esaver.com.my
Take a look at the wide variety of optical frames, the latest trend of photochromic lenses, polycarbonate safety lenses and the current RM99.00 promotion for PC lenses and photochromic lenses.
I take great pleasure to introduce my company to you, and extend an Invitation to you to come to the Grand Opening event at Upper Penang Road.
Further details will be announced after we have confirmed all the necessary preparations for the event.
Meanwhile, visit eSaver Optical at www.esaver.com.my and stay updated through our Facebook page.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
no longer updating here.
i have shufong.tumblr.com if you are that bored.
but if you really do care, call me out for a drink.
i will be waiting.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Training: Finance for Non-Finance Executives / Managers
For the past 2 days - 13th and 14th October 2006, I had undergone a 2-day training organized by SMIDEC at PSDC. SMIDEC, or Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation is a government agency that supports SMEs by providing infrastructural facilities, financial assistance, market access, etc.
The company that I am part of had designated me to take part in the training provided because my attendance is required to obtain approval for a government grant that we have applied for - Grant for Product and Process Improvement.
The training was called Finance for Non-Finance Executives/Managers conducted by training provider Mr Aaron Ooi. I have learned some important issues in the management of a business - financial accounting, budgeting, costing, and decision making. Most of the principles are defined in formulae, and needed a lot of calculation such as credit sales, depreciation, break-even points and target profit.
As a person with only academic legal knowledge, even the basics of finance and accounting was something new to me. I learnt how to compute basic accounts such as balance statements, profit and loss, etc. Overall, it was a great experience for me.
Well, even though I'm not exactly complaining... I just heard from Mei that I have to attend a 3 day 2 night CAMP organized by NCIA (Northern Corridor Implementation Authority) next month.