How to Use Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage

How to Use Knowledge as a Competitive Advantage

Go beyond merchandising, signage, and displays to increase sales. Earn a competitive advantage with an under-utilized sales strategy: knowledge.

Consumers are already savvy shoppers; with all the resources of the Internet on the smartphone in their pocket, consumers frequently turn to a quick search to learn more about a product before making a purchasing decision. By being on hand, at the ready to provide answers, you’ll create trust and loyalty. Here’s how:

Customer Engagement Comes First

Train your sales staff on customer engagement. Arm them with strategies to engage customers in a conversation. Prep a handful of starters--from the simplest, “What can I help you find today?” to more astute, “I noticed you’re looking at oatmeal shampoos. Does your dog have dry skin?” Help your staff feel comfortable sparking the conversation.

Cross- and Up-selling

Once the conversation has started, sales staff should feel empowered to suggest cross- and up-sells to the customer. For instance, for the customer searching for oatmeal shampoo, a natural upsell could be the corresponding conditioner or a breed-appropriate brush. The key for this strategy is a well-trained, knowledgeable staff. They need to know what’s on the shelves and how products complement one another. Staff should be well-versed in the brands you carry in order to suggest those natural relationships between products.

How do you achieve this level of knowledge among your staff? Turn to your manufacturing partners for support. Ask what resources they provide, like product fact sheets, training manuals, online presentations, and even in-store demos. Leverage those relationships to make sure your staff is a well-informed, knowledgeable, confident staff--ready to create that trust and loyalty with your customers!