Selling Retail. John Lawton.

Selling Retail.
John Lawton

This business book is better than most because the author doesn’t just repeat the same thing over & over with an endless supply of anecdotes.  Yes, there is repetition and yes, there are anecdotes, but he has a few good ideas in here.

  1. There is a huge difference between features and benefits.  In book land, for example, the feature of a book may be that it is a first edition, but the benefits are that the book will be a treasured bit of history that will increase in value, be a great conversation piece, add real substance to a collection, be bibliographically important, etc.  Benefits must be explained, customized, and demonstrated if possible.  Features are useless unless their benefits are expounded upon: benefits sell the product, not features.
  2. Know your product, your company, and your competition.
  3. Get as much information about your customers and what their needs are: why does your customer need a particular product?  Often, the customer thinks an item will satisfy his/her needs, but the knowledgeable salesperson may be a better judge of that!  Open the lines of communication with your customer.

That’s the Cliff Notes version, but the book also has a lot of one-liner tidbits of good advice.  Recommended reading for anyone in sales.