Selling Technology is Simple When You Put the Customer First!

Selling Technology is Simple When You Put the Customer Your job is to sell technology. Technology sales should be easy, but it isn’t always, is it? It should be, though, if you go about it the right way. It’s all about putting the customer first. It’s about being genuinely concerned for the customer. When they know it’s about them and not about you, they will buy.

No Need For “Techie” Lingo

Selling technology isn’t about tech talk or using “techie” lingo. You might think it makes you sound smarter and impressive. All it really does is confuse most of your customers. Confused customers don’t buy. Yes, you need to be knowledgeable about your products. Yes, you need to convey that knowledge to your customers. There are better ways to do so.

Watch Your Demeanor

One way to convey knowledge is through your demeanor. People respond to others who are nice, who listen and who they feel they can trust. Confusing them doesn’t engender those feelings. So, before you get to the “tech talk” talk to them. Put the customer first. Ask them questions. Find out about them. Listen to the answers. See what they may need based on the things the customer tells you.

Be Trustworthy And Friendly

Find ways to tell them the techie info without sounding techie. Are there ways to tell them something without using tech terms? Can you explain it in a way that makes sense to average people? If you can, do it. If they come back with a technical term, then use it. Don’t assume, however, that because they know one you can go all “geek” on them. These days we all know one term or so. Just don’t be condescending about how you explain things. Again, it’s about being trustworthy and friendly.

Don’t Be Fake

Don’t forget the “be friendly” part. Of course, don’t be fake about it. People see through fake. Be genuine. Be yourself. It’s important that the customer feels that they can trust you, that you won’t just tell them what they want to hear in order to sell them what YOU want them to buy, not what it is they truly need.


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Are Retailers Using Technology Like RFID, Apps and Personalization Enough?

Online retailers have been taking advantage of technology for years: using things like RFID, apps, personalization and more. Brick and mortar stores have been slower to use the same, but that is changing.

Are Retailers Using Technology Like RFID, Apps and Personalization Enough?So how are some of these technologies being used?

Let’s start with personalization and apps. Retailers these days have to make the shopping experience more personalized. In person that’s more easily said than done, so some retail outlest are trying to use apps to make it happen. Basically, the apps can do a few things. One type can scan barcodes or QR codes as people shop to give them more information, build lists or help them find other items that can complement a purchase. Another kind of app does things like help find coupons or instant savings as they shop.

Another kind of technology is RFID. This also helps with personalization, but it does more. It helps track a lot of information for the retailer. This helps them market items, find information to assist customers and track merchandise. RFID allows information about the product to be gathered, such as how long it stays in stock, how it moves around the store, who purchases it and even if there are ways to help with the purchase (such as rebates, etc.).

Chip-and-PIN technology is being used for credit and debit cards in store. It uses a microchip instead of a magnetic strip on credit or debit cards and can help consumers and retailers keep track of a lot more information. The chips can store customer loyalty and rewards programs, making the huge stack of separate “store cards” a thing of the past. They are also harder to breach for data, so are safer for consumers and stores alike.

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Mystery Shopping Benefits – Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?

Do you know what mystery shopping benefits are? Do you have a professional sales staff? Every business owner would like to think that they have a professional, courteous, knowledgeable staff. But do you know for sure? So how can you know for sure? Use the benefits of a mystery shopper to test your staff.

Mystery Shopping Benefits - Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?There are plenty of technology stores. You know that if your customers aren’t happy they will go elsewhere and there are plenty of places for them to go. That means that your staff’s customer service skills, professionalism and knowledge must be top notch. You take the time and expense to train them, but are they using it? A mystery shopper can help you find out.

A mystery shopper is a person you hire to go into your store and shop. Your staff has no way of knowing if any customer could be a mystery shopper, and ideally don’t have an idea that the store manager/owner is even using one. The mystery shopper is trained to look for specific things. They find out for you, the owner or manager, if your staff is knowledgeable. Are they following your rules or loafing around? Did they greet customers and make eye contact? Customers are put off by rude or inattentive staff. Did they offer solutions to questions or just rush to push the most expensive or newest technology without listening to the customer? In other words, are they following your sales training?

Some mystery shoppers will be difficult on purpose just to test the patience of your staff and see how they handle it. Were they rude, or not handle a difficult customer correctly? Did they try and up-sell the customer with items that could be helpful to them, like a Bluetooth headset or cover for their phone? It’s an ideal method to find out what kind of training each employee may need, be it in technology or in dealing with customers.

If you really want to know how well your staff measures up, try a mystery shopper.

Big Box Stores – Are In-Store Reps Reputable?

Have you ever walked into a big box store and wondered if you will get a straight answer about your technology needs? Most people don’t think so, and many of them have found that even big box stores where technology is the emphasis in-store reps or store employees can give questionable information. So how can you make sure this doesn’t happen in your store, big or small? Education and training is the answer.

Big Box Stores - Are In-Store Reps Reputable?Here’s another thought. Have you ever walked back into a big box store, angry because the sales person told you something about the technology you bought, only to find that they were wrong? Now you are stuck with a tablet, laptop or smart phone that doesn’t do what you needed it to do? There is nothing that is more aggravating. Is that what you want for your customers?

Whether you manage a big box store or provide in-store personnel for technology, having educated in-store personnel and coordinated with the store to make sure those quality store employees are also providing support for technology sales. This takes training and staying up to date on the latest. Your customers should be pleasantly surprised at the level of training in store reps and store employees have, instead of being angry at being duped or told wrong information.

With anything else, it comes down to training. Be sure that in-store reps and store employees are trained adequately. Be sure they have access to the most up to date information about technology so that they can always look up the correct answer for customers. Staff should always have a complete understanding of service plans and warranties.

In-store reps and coordinated store employees of big box stores should always be giving accurate information to your customers. If not, they will not be doing your store any favors. Chances are you could lose customers so be sure to provide good training and education.

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Baby Boomers are a Hot Retail Market for Technology

When most people think about hot retail markets for technology, Baby Boomers usually aren’t the first group to come to mind. It should. Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, increasingly are embracing technology and a large percentage own and use cell phones or smart phones, tablets and other technology.

Baby Boomers are a Hot Retail Market for TechnologyBaby boomers are increasingly using technology and all its bells and whistles. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t “scare” them. Statistically they are a large part of the number of people in the US who use cell phones or smart phones. The Boomer “takeover” of Facebook is a perfect example of this. More than 15.5 million Facebook users are baby boomers. Research has shown that they use it for the same reasons younger generations do: sharing experiences with friends, making new ones, reconnecting with old friends, and so forth. As with younger generations, sharing on the go with smart phones is just as popular with the Baby Boomers. And they too want to stay connected on the go.

Unfortunately, until now the advertising pushes have been conspicuously stereotypical about who uses technology, and have left the Baby Boomers out of the loop. That’s changing. A great example is the Nokia commercials with all shapes, ages and sizes. Many Boomers are coming to technology through family members or others who introduce them to the benefits.

Numbers are showing that it has been successful because the number of baby boomers turning to technology is growing by leaps and bounds. More than 15% of Baby Boomers are using smart-phones, and they are using them just like the younger generations, to access online resources, use social media and access email. They are a hot retail market demographic.

So as you work in your retail location, keep that in mind and don’t jump to any conclusions or make assumptions about any customer, especially Baby Boomers. They are looking for the same kinds of smart phones, tablets, apps and accessories as your younger customers. Don’t assume anything about what they know or don’t know. Some may not be as well versed in the terminology, but then again, not all younger people are either. Embrace this hot retail market and grow your business!

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How to Convert Sales “Leads” into Sales Using Technology

You made the decision to jump into social media marketing and using technology to expand your business reach. Good idea, now you need to know how to convert those leads coming from that expanded marketing into real sales. The easy answer is the same way you got them, through social media and with technology.

How to Convert Sales "Leads" into Sales Using TechnologyIn business, you get sales leads from multiple sources. Some from mailings, by phone, in person and through referrals. You respond to these similarly. You talk to the person on the phone or in person. You decided to use social media to reach more people with your product or service, and now you are getting leads through email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even through text messages. So what’s to stop you from responding differently?

Today people are used to using social media for everything. They will check out a business on Facebook, or respond to offers that you post on Twitter. It wouldn’t seem odd to them for you to respond in kind. So answer their initial inquiry with a tweet or Facebook message back. From that get their contact information and then contact them via email, or telephone to make that lead into a sale.

Use your system and make those leads into true prospects. Social media leads are no different than any other kind of lead you may get. They are certainly better than cold calls because someone contacted you and has an interest.

A few things to keep in mind. You will have to contact them personally and off social media to convert the lead to true prospect status. Social media is useful, but for business it isn’t the personal rapport building effort that a phone call or face to face meeting can be. Use social media for what it is best: building excitement for your business and bringing in solid leads.

Gen Y Has the Buying Power to Move Technology

Selling and marketing to different generations can be tricky, but necessary. What appeals to one generation may turn off another. Generation Y is one of those groups that has some buying power for technology, but needs to be approached differently. Their outlook is vastly different from even the generation that parented them, the baby boomers.

Gen Y Has the Buying Power to Move TechnologyGeneration Y is the generation that is also known as millennials. They are the children of baby boomers, or the older of Generation X. They were born, generally, between 1982 or 1983 and 2004.

They attended school during the advent of computer use in educational settings. They can’t easily remember a time when some kind of technology wasn’t in the home. Their parents most likely provided everyday use of technology like computers, cell phones, cable and satellite television, 24 hour news and content.

Their familiarity with communication, media, and digital technologies from early in life is unparalleled in any generation before them. This generation is about 75 million strong. That alone gives them buying power for technology!

Where the difficulty comes in with Gen Y is in the disadvantage that has come into their most productive years… the recession. Economic difficulties have meant that this generation was hit hard coming out of their college years. By mid 2012, 1 in 2 are unemployed or underemployed. A lot of them have had to make the decision to move back in with their parents. This can be good or bad. With no rent or larger living expenses, they have more disposable income. Over-protective boomer parents are known to keep their “babies” comfortable, and buy them the things they think will give their children a leg up, just as they did when they were really children. In this you may want to focus some efforts to the parents, appealing to their “helping up” nature.

Don’t underestimate Gen Y. They know what they want. They were also raised in a “got a trophy for participation” helicopter parenting atmosphere. They don’t take losing well or being told no, and appealing to their “technology will get me ahead” mindset may help you sell them on the latest and greatest. Gen Y does have the buying power, especially as we move out of a downturn economy. They will be the ones in the best position to take the new jobs, and then their buying power will be limitless!

Why Technology Product Launches are Moving to the Streets

Product launches can easily get lost. In a world full of news, people don’t pay a lot of attention to new products. So why not try taking product launches to the street? Get face to face; get more exposure and immediate revenue by taking your product to the people instead of expecting the people to come to you.

Why Technology Product Launches are Moving to the StreetsThis kind of marketing for a new product is sometimes called guerrilla marketing. It’s a strategy for product launches that uses low-cost and kind of unconventional ideas in different places using interactive means. It’s successful because it is face to face and a good way to engage with people directly and get them excited about the new product. Guerrilla marketing involves unusual approaches like street giveaways of products to get maximum results from minimal resources.

Getting to a person to person level is a great way to connect. Connecting in a place outside the brick and mortar store, sharing the excitement of new product launches, allowing people to try it out means there is no perceived pressure. It’s just people talking to people, sharing information. Your prospects see you as an equal, an acquaintance. Trust is established more quickly and that can lead them to a place where the customer can buy on the spot.

It cuts to the chase. Excited customers are able to get the newest products without having to wait. Haven’t we all gotten really jazzed about a new product and wanted it right then, only to be disappointed about not being able to take it home with you? They don’t have to wait and can show all their friends the great new product and get them excited. They become a walking testimonial, and font of information. They can show how it works and then send them to you to buy the newest best!

So take your technology new product launches to the streets and see how your sales soar!

Need some help with your product launch sales or implementation? Check out RBD’s Event Marketing and Mobile Services page!

Christmas 2012 – Technology is Changing the Retail Landscape This Year

It’s Christmas 2012 and technology is changing the retail landscape like never before! Not only is technology becoming a favorite retail item, but behind the sales counter new technology is at work.

Christmas 2012 - Technology is Changing the Retail Landscape This YearShoppers this year are looking for technology to gift and use. From the newest smart phones to tablets, computing on the run is the hot “have to” have. Of course there is the iPhone 5, with its 4 inch retina display screen, iOS 6 operating system and A6 chip, 4G speed and thinner, lighter design. As with all Apple products, there is no way to expand memory, so the iPhone 5 is available in 16, 32, and 64 GB models.

Android has great offerings as well. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has a 4.8 inch Super AMOLED screen, 1.4 GHz quad-core A9 processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and 16 GB memory expandable to 64 GB. The HTC One X+ has a 4.7 inch Super LCD 2 screen, a 1.7 GHz quad-core A9 Tegra 3 processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and 32GB memory. The Motorola Droid RAZR HD has 4.7 inch Super AMOLED display, 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 12 GB memory which is expandable. And the list could go on and on.

A new kind of “phablet” or phone that also acts like a tablet is a new genre. Its best line is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It has a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED HD screen, a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor, 2GB RAM and available 16, 32 or 64 memory which is expandable to an additional 64 GB, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It also has an S Pen that allows hand-writing integration and additional features to clip and note photos. Wow! Talk about technology!

Tablets are nothing new, and this time of year the iPad 3and iPad mini are available from Apple and many Android tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD, Asus and Samsung tablets are all great buys. However, with tablets this 2012 Christmas retail season, you will see tablets being used behind the retail counter as well. From making customer shopping and ordering easier, to fast immediate check out and payment, tablets are fast taking the place of the traditional cash register.


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Productivity and Fun: More Useful Phone Apps

In our previous post, we talked about some of our favorite Iphone and Android productivity apps, this post features some more useful phone apps and some are even fun! They are great apps for both the iPhone and Android phones. Many of them are found on both markets!

Productivity and Fun: More Useful Phone “Apps”

Apps for productivity

Dropbox – Found on both markets, it’s a cloud service that allows you to upload files and then access them from your computer, phone or other device. It’s simple and free, but you may need other apps to access the actual files for editing.

Documents to go – This is a reader app for Microsoft Word and Excel files (though if you purchase the app, you can have editing capabilities) It’s available in both markets, though the reader version is free in Android, but paid in the Apple market.

Advance Task Killer – It’s great that you can open more than one app at a time on your phone, but remember when you do, you’re killing battery life! One solution is using Advance Task Killer, which can also be placed as a widget on Android phones. It’s only available on Android, and you will want to check with your particular phone to see if it will conflict with what may be on it, but it’s very handy and really helps battery life.

Apps for fun

Amazon Kindle – This is a great app for those who love to read on the go. It’s available in both markets and has the great feature of synching so completely that if you leave off on a page on your computer or Kindle, it picks up on that page on your phone and visa versa. There are many books available for free from Amazon, and downloads of new books are immediate.

Shazam – Have you ever been somewhere and heard a song and wanted to know what it is, or who sang it? Shazaam is great for this. It listens to music and provides you with the title, artist and where it can be purchased with just a quick click. Available in both markets (here is the link for the android app) and great for a “wish list” for later download.

Photoshop Express (Photoshop Mobile on the iPhone) – This is a great photo editing app. It’s simple and does basic photo edits on the go. Given how much everyone uses their phone cameras, this app is perfect for quick edits before posting that photo.

Author Notes

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