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Impacted by e-commerce, the retail industry has been seeking transformation, while the role of sales consultants in home appliance stores is also changing.
Prior to the Suning May 18 promotion, TMT Online interviewed a VIP sales consultant named Wu Beizhen from Xinjiekou Suning Store in Nanjing. With 13 years of experience in the store, Wu has realized annual sales of 11 million RMB. Unlike other home appliance sales consultants, Wu is involved in sales of other products in the store, and is also responsible for other important work including outside sales. There are over 300 sales consultants in Xinjiekou Suning Store, but only seven of them are VIP sales consultants, which are top sales consultants in offline store, also the important foot traffic entrance.
May 13, the May 18 big promotion commercial is being played on the screen in Xinjiekou Suning Store in Nanjing. Known as "Suning Cloud Store 3.0", this marketplace has a home appliance store, a home decoration hall, Suning sports self-service store, a seafood restaurant, Suning Cinema, robot coffee shop and Suning Jiwu imported goods store, being a benchmark store of Suning "smart retail."
Wu Beizhen, Suning VIP sales consultant, is recording a video to introduce an air conditioning unit, one of the key products in the big promotion. The video will be displayed on the "Discovery" section of Suning app to attract customers to Xinjiekou store. With her familiarity of the business, Wu smoothly finished the 4 minutes recording after preparing for 5 minutes.
Wu discusses work shifts with other two sales consultants. There are over 300 sales consultants in the 5-floor store, and only seven of them are VIP sales consultants including Wu. Unlike other ordinary home appliance sales consultants who are assigned with specific product categories, VIP sales consultants are responsible for whole course customer reception, outside sales and management.
Two customers want to buy full set of home appliances for their new home. Wu shows them around and offers a solution package based on their budget and actual demand, and writes down the details of the goods including model names and prices. Early sales consultants used to only take care of their own counters. Several years ago, more and more individual customers began to buy a variety of home appliances, and they tend to look the products at all brands counters to check the prices, spending a lot of time and energy. Therefore, Xinjiekou Suning Store has introduced package sales service, which has evolved into the "VIP sales consultant" position. "Whether the customers place order right away or not, even if they just know the prices and model names, 'VIP sales consultant' would provide meticulous services," Wu says.
Customers can make appointments for one-to-one VIP services on Suning.com, and can enjoy the free services under the recommendation of sales consultants in the market. VIP sales consultants provide whole course services for customers in demand, including elaboration of product functions, store promotional activities, as well as extra price discount. VIP sales consultants must be very familiar with the home appliance products in the store, and can customize purchase programs according to customers' actual demands. VIP sales consultants are the most capable sales staff in the store.
A repeat customer has made an appointment with Wu to buy a cell phone. When she arrives in the store, Wu shows her around for 30 minutes at the cell phone counters. The customer got to know Wu ten years ago, when she bought electrical appliances with Wu's help for her newly remolded home. Since then, the customer has always come to Wu whenever she needs to buy new electrical appliances, 3C products or consults about home electrical problems. They have become good friends.
WeChat group chats of external sales development in Wu's phone. These are known as "precision purchase groups." Outside sales is an important work of Suning VIP sales consultants, and each of them is the foot traffic entrance to the store. In addition to attracting online customers, they also conduct offline customer development in residential communities, real estates, enterprises and public institutions, and exhibitions. They set up team spots in residential communities, organize property owners or employees of enterprises or public institutions to preach and provide free home appliance cleaning services, bringing popularity for offline stores in various ways.
Wu is organizing customer list obtained at a home decoration festival. These customers have paid deposit but some of them have not yet come to pick up the goods. She needs to call the customers according to their different situations. Suning has a project called "Messages over Thousand Miles," with which Suning creates customer profiles based on the online and offline data, analyzes users' precise demands, and then make an appointment for purchase through offline sales consultants. For instance, a customer has repeatedly viewed a refrigerator on Suning.com and added it in his shopping cart. After system distribution, a sales consultant would call the customer based on his demands, to recommend and invite them to physical store activities.
A VIP sales consultant has to go through multi-dimensional points evaluations of foot traffic, conversion rate, service review, management and sales value, and the number of customers visiting the store through online appointment must reach at least 600 every month, while the customer conversation rate will be evaluated separately. A person-in-charge says that sales consultants get commission based on the invoices they have issued. "If you have helped the customer a lot but the customer finally turns to buy from another sales consultant, it must be your fault. A VIP sales consultant must satisfy customers with good services and enhance customers' loyalty." It is learnt that an elimination mechanism is applicable to the VIP sales consultant. Any sales consultant can apply for the VIP sales consultant position periodically through recommendation, and then become VIP sales consultants after passing a series of examinations.
Wu has worked in Suning offline store for 13 years. This is the mug she received when she started to work here. After becoming a VIP sales consultant, Wu can realize annual sales value of about 11 million RMB. She says she enjoys communicating with customers. "I can feel the sense of achievement by answering customers' questions everyday and providing them with various solutions to satisfy them," Wu says.
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The article is edited by @Yi LIU (Email: email@example.com; Mobile/WeChat: +86 13911703028). The Chinese version article is published with authorization from the author @Zack Chen, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.