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Comparing responsibilities between in-store and tech sales

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July 11, 2022
Comparing responsibilities between in-store and tech sales

Personal sales in stores is not as easy as it may seem. You have to try to establish a connection with a person in a matter of seconds, get them to like you, and understand if they need advice or if they just want you to tell them that the irons are on the left. 

Roughly the same is required of you if you are a sales engineer; it just takes place in a different setting and for different products. Let's compare the responsibilities of the two fields together first, and then take a look at the salaries of newcomers to this role.

Let's go!

Get the customer to like you

In-store: 

It’s easier to establish contact in person than, for example, by correspondence, so here, for the first touch, it will be enough to smile and not be intrusive. 

Establishing friendly contact is necessary so that the person feels they can approach you, can trust you when communicating, , and does not take words and suggestions skeptically. 

The better you are able to connect with the client, the higher the chance of a successful deal. That is why the most important principle in both in-store and tech sales is to show that you sincerely want to be useful to the person. 

In tech:

Most of the communication is done online, on phone calls and video calls. (This is the main advantage of the sales engineer profession: You can work from home.) 

You can also establish contact with a smile, a friendly greeting, and an interest in the client's person. Especially pleasant for the person will be if you somehow let them know that you really want to help them and find the best solution to their problem. 

Understand the need

In-store: 

In offline sales, this happens either at the customer's initiative or at the salesperson's suggestion. When the client knows exactly what they need, they simply ask the consultant to sell them the product: "I need a specific model of white teapot. Where can I find it?"

When the customer is not aware of their exact need, the consultant's job is to help them pick something that will help them with their task. For example, a person comes to you asking, "Can you help me choose a wedding gift for my sister?" Find out what their sister likes, what milestone events connect the couple, whether the newlyweds are going to move into a new apartment after the wedding, etc. All of this will help you understand the approximate path to the perfect gift. 

Sometimes this stage can be called "Creating Need" in cases where the person is just walking around the store, and you are trying to find a way to approach and bring them to a deal. 

In tech:

A sales engineer does not create the need; customers come by themselves, but they often face the task of identifying it. For example, let’s say a sales engineer — software sales manager — is approached by a person with a request: “We need a program for transaction management, so that sales managers in the company will not be confused and can keep records conveniently.” 

The consultant must discuss the task with the customer to identify all the needs, down to the smallest detail, to find the best solution — exactly as in the example of the wedding gift. 

For example, it's worth finding out: What problem is the customer most concerned about right now? What solutions have already been tried and why did they not work? What is the ideal program in their eyes? What does their boss want to see as a solution? And what would be convenient for the employees? 

Select a solution and present it

In-store:

In offline sales, finding the right solution for the client is the main task. Let's say you found out that the newlyweds from the previous example are very young, are going to move into a new apartment after the wedding, and plan to spend their honeymoon camping in the wilderness. Pick any of the appropriate and relevant options, using the information received: a certificate for furnishings and furniture, an expensive tent, a gift certificate for joint adventure experiences (skydiving, a cruise, etc.).. Suggest options and describe to the client why you think they would be appropriate, but listen to their responses and comments. After all, of you two, they are the one who knows the situation best. 

In tech:

In tech, it works about the same way. During your Sales Engineer training, you will be taught how to select products and advise clients correctly, so you’ll know how to handle a client's request and select a solution. 

If you use the example of a program for sales managers, then at this stage of the product presentation, you’ll say to the client: “I suggest this program from those that we have now, with this set of functions. They will fit because they cover these needs.” If the customer expresses doubts or asks questions, you need to take them into account and either adapt the offer a little, or close the objection with arguments. 

Close the sale

In-store:

Once one gift option has been chosen out of several, don't dare drop the person with the phrase, "The cash register is over there!" Walk them through it, and suggest packaging options like bows, ribbons, and gift bags. 

Perhaps they were  planning to enclose something else with the gift, such as a card or money.In this case, let them know that there are cards and envelopes available in the store, for example. 

As soon as the satisfied and ready-to-celebrate client leaves the store, you can exhale: The sale went great. Let's hope the celebration goes the same way!

In tech: 

Once the configuration of the program is chosen — the client agrees that it suits them and any objections are worked out you can proceed with the execution. After the training, you will have an algorithm for closing deals and getting the cherished "yes" from the client and the payment for your product. The main thing is to ensure that the client says goodbye to you in full confidence: You have helped them solve their problem and now their business will go much better. 

Unlike with in-store sales, in tech, the deal will be finalized after the client implements the program, gets it up and running, and everything is in use. 

Why did we tell you about it?

In other words, tech is just as much a sales area as in-store sales. Yes, you have to sell software, not tangible items. But once you learn how to adjust for the differences  in just four  weeks at Careerist, you can make $75k or more while doing essentially the same thing. 

Please fill out an application at this link. We look forward to seeing you in a Careerist course soon!


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