Retail Observer

July 2021

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 51 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM JULY 2021 52 I recently bought some furniture from a regional retailer's store, where I worked with a young man named Bryce. He was professional, knowledgeable and obviously knew that it was his job to offer furniture protection plans with every sale. But it was the method Bryce chose for offering the plan that stood out for me. During the process I picked up a tent card that promoted the fabric protection aspects of some upholstery. While I was looking it over, Bryce said, "And that protects you from what they're going to do to it!" I happened to be shopping with my wife and three children, and Bryce was politely referring to the kids that, moments earlier, I'd had to remind to keep their shoes off the furniture. It wasn't a pushy sale, but it was evident that Bryce was paying attention to what was relevant to me at my stage of life. When any of our Nationwide Marketing Group trainers go out to do a sales training on product protection, we always use the word "recommend." Yes, we're selling protection plans. But successful protection plan selling is all about how you offer the plans. Whether you're selling a power recliner or a washing machine, the key is to identify what matters to your individual customer and recommend the coverage that will solve whatever inconvenience concerns them the most. Had Bryce simply started listing the coverages of the protection plan, we would likely have turned him down. Sometimes selling protection plans seems like convincing someone they need to buy coverage because of the fear factors – "What if your refrigerator breaks?" "What if you spill coffee on your sofa?" These reasons are well and good and very true, and they're enough to convince some customers to buy. But if you want to have more customers add coverage, perhaps you'd be more successful trying something like: "We have a protection program that we offer to every customer, because we believe it adds value in every situation. For you specifically, I recommend adding coverage because you mentioned (reasons 1, 2, 3)." It's harder for a customer to argue against their own situation, and if you've clearly identified their needs, the decision will shift from price to risk exposure. A statement like the one above sure sounds better than a last-ditch offer to add coverage at the payment counter, and it shows the customer that you've been paying attention to their needs. Remember that as the salesperson, you're the professional. And as the one with expert knowledge about products and processes, your recommendation will carry significant weight. You've likely walked the customer through the different product features and highlighted the drawbacks of some units and the benefits of others in an effort to find the best fit for the customer. But don't lose your momentum! Keep going and use your professional recommendation to help the customers protect themselves from the frustrations of breakdowns or damage. Just like Bryce used my situation to make a subtle recommendation, we should identify what matters most to our customers and help them add protection by recommending, rather than just selling bullet- point coverages. Chad Burris Product Protection Chad Burris, Director of Product Protection Nationwide Marketing Group MAKING THE CONNECTION IN PRODUCT PROTECTION SALES

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