Recently, I went to my favorite Publix to shop. I love shopping there because of the positive, friendly attitudes of the staff and the great selection of food items. I enjoy cooking when time permits but also like some quick frozen options when we are busy. I’m also a bargain shopper. I enjoy looking for specials on some of our favorite brands.
As I approached the frozen food area, I saw one of the department managers busily stocking items next to where I was headed. He greeted me with a big smile and “Good Morning”.
I turned to the glass doors to see the selections and studied them for a few seconds when the manager walked over to me and asked, “Have you ever tried those?” He pointed to stuffed chicken breasts which had a variety of stuffing choices: bread stuffing, cheese, cordon bleu, etc.
I replied that I hadn’t tried them. He said, “They are really good.” He opened the door for better viewing and then pointed to each variety and briefly told me which his wife liked, which he liked, which his kids enjoyed. He was enthusiastic about the quality, how easy they were to cook and the time needed to prepare was short. I commented that I liked the quick dinner idea. Then, the manager smiled and simply said, “They’re on sale…Buy 1, Get 1 Free so they’re a great bargain too. Would you like to try them?”
When I entered that aisle, I had no intention of buying the item and had not even given it a thought until he spoke. No high pressure push, just an honest discussion of the taste and quality and a personal reference to what his family enjoyed. I said, “Sure” and made my choice out of the varieties available. He went a step further and pulled those 2 boxes out. He handed them to me with a smile saying, “Let me know what you think about them after you try them”. I thanked him and walked away looking forward to trying them soon.
What did the manager do right?
- Probed for interest and experience with the product
- Related the product experience to his own enjoyment of it and enjoyment of others
- He believed in the value of the product: his choice of words and enthusiasm were genuine
- Mentioned some key benefits: save money, easy to use, great quality
- Asked if I was ready to commit
- Ended the sale by personalizing: handing me the product with a smile and request for feedback after trying
With his soft, customer service focused sales approach, he not only increased revenue for his department, but confirmed to me the reason I continue to be a loyal customer of Publix.
Sometimes we over-complicate upselling and cross-selling when our Customer Service teams are asked to take on this role in addition to service. Is our training creating selling “robots” who read an Upsell phrase or question without any genuine interest in the product/service? That robotic approach will fail because the customer can tell that the Agent/CSR doesn’t believe what they are selling is a really a good thing.
Filed under: Call Center, Call Skills, Communication, Contact Center, Customer Communication, Customer Experience, Customer Loyalty, Customer Service Skills, Inside Sales, Proactive Customer Service, Retail Sales, Sales Skills, Training | Tagged: Call Center, Call centre, Communication, Cross-selling, customer experience, Customer Loyalty, Customer Service, Education and Training, Inside Sales, Retail Sales, Sales Skills, Upselling | 4 Comments »