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Cell Phones vs. Sell Phones

A strong argument for the value of smart phones on the sales floor.

BY HBSDealer Staff

A recent survey from HBSDealer revealed that more readers saw smart phones on the sales floor as a curse (47%) than as a blessing (38%). But from Do it Best Corp.’s recent “Marketing Matters” newsletter comes the following strong argument that – with the right mindset – smart phones can dial up the dollars. 

Here is the article:

Christine Hand, store owner and board chair for Home Hardware ([Do it Best’s] strategic Alliance partner in Canada), was happy when her daughter Michelle Thorup joined the family business. Like many store owners, she soon learned how millennials like her daughter are rarely without their phones. But instead of banning phones from the sales floor, Christine saw them as a way to enhance their marketing and training efforts, saying, “We consider them to be powerful selling tools.”

Her staff knows that if they keep a cell phone on them at work, it’s now a SELL phone and it’s only to be used when serving a customer. And they must inform the customer why they’re using it, as in “I’m just going to search that for you on Google.” If a customer found a competitor’s lower-priced item, staff will say “we can certainly match that as long as we can verify the price, so I’ll just check their flyer online.”

Cell phones also keep staff from leaving customers in the aisle. “If they ask if an item comes in a different size, we can look it up on our website right there.” They also look up product instructions, warranties, consumer ratings, and even watch YouTube how-to videos with customers before they leave the store. “It has proven to be an excellent tool that makes our staff more efficient and effective,” says Christine.

Store Manager Michelle Thorup says, “Many owners and managers gasp when I tell them about our ‘sell phone’ policy. It’s a hand-held computer that holds all the information in the world, and the bottom line is your customers get better service. It’s a win-win!” Floor Leaders also utilize a WhatsApp group in the store. “We use it to live communicate among ourselves, and it’s a very quick way to disseminate information to key people simultaneously,” says Store Owner Christine Hand.

(The above article is published with the permission of Do it Best Corp.)

The HBSDealer smart phone blessing-or-curse survey remains open for votes. Look for the poll on the right side of this page (or scroll down your mobile device).

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