I’ve Mystery shopped your business and this is what I found

Posted by Kevin O'Driscoll on February 26, 2014

When I meet with a business owner, I always want to make sure they receive value for their time. One technique I have used is to mystery shop the business by posing as a potential prospect and then providing a summary of the experience. The object is to portray a reasonable prospect with a real world need.??Given what I have experienced in these sessions, I would STRONGLY encourage all business owners and general managers to regularly mystery shop if you are not already. When a prospect visits or calls, you have already paid for the lead through your advertising and marketing. The cost per lead is the same whether you make the sale or completely turn off the prospect. In this economy we cannot afford to waste leads.

Here are the biggest misses I consistently see that can make a HUGE difference in the conversion rate, size of the sale and lifetime value of the client. Bottom line is to address these simple things to drive more profits.

Greeting: Greet the prospect promptly with your name and get their name. Use their name immediately and throughout the conversation. Seems elementary, but this happens less than 50% of the time.

Sequential Sale Process: Have a sequential sales process in place including a standard opening question with the greeting to help direct the conversation. Also be sure to have a transition statement along with a series of open ended questions to allow for a targeted recommendation. “I would be happy to assist you with that. May I ask you a few questions so I can suggest the best options for your situation?” Then ask open- ended questions to identify the key info you need to narrow the choices. If you don’t have this in writing for your sales team, you can expect a lower conversion rate. A sequential sales process is occurring less than 20% of the time.

USP and Guarantee: Be able to share your unique selling proposition and guarantee. What makes your company different from the competition? What guarantee do you offer to help the prospect to confidently say yes? If the answer is good service, good selection and competitive prices, you can bet your competitor is saying the same thing so it is not very unique. A strong USP and Guarantee is happening less than 20% of the time.

Response to Price Question: How many times do we actually make a sale without some type of price question or price objection? Almost never. Have some prepared responses for what your business wants communicated when a price objection occurs. Unless you are happy to just beat or match other prices, there are a great deal of sales and profits flying out the door. An average or good response to price occurs less than 20% of the time.

Capture Their Info: Be sure to capture the contact information from the prospect before they leave. Always ask for the info and be prepared to offer a good reason if you find that people are hesitant. It could be to keep them updated on new items, specials or a sale on the item they liked. Consider your industry and what would be of value. Again this seems very basic, BUT this is almost NEVER happening in my mystery shopping. If you are wondering where the leads are from your marketing, this may be where they are lost. I hear this phrasing consistently. “Here’s my card. Give me a call if you need any additional information or want to look at anything else.” Pretty inspiring, huh?

I purposely did not use any business names or provide any specific quotes from my experiences, but you can be absolutely sure the owners and general managers had wide eyes and a few dropped jaws when they heard the quotes. You can’t go about the process of improvement until you actually know what is being said. Take some time over the next week to see what is being said to your prospects and clients.

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