How is Apple Selling the Apple Watch?

Insights into Apple’s sales techniques

Apple is making a radical switch in the way they’re going to sell the new Apple Watch: enter in the era of the Fashionista at Apple.

That’s right. Apple employees will be trained on giving fashion and style advice to customers to help them choose the right Apple Watch to purchase.

It’s a bold move for a technology company to make, but one that will pay out in the long haul because of its focus on the customer and what they want and need in wearable technology.

Purchasing a watch is a completely different experience from purchasing an iPad or a computer. Most people choose a watch based on their personal style and look, one that complements their fashion sense and projects a certain image they desire.

Woman handing over credit card at cash register

And with Apple’s mix of watch faces and band selections, there are quite a few options for customers to find the right look.

Apple is rigorously training their employees in how to sell watches based on the customer’s fashion and style, and at Natural Training, we think they’re doing several things right:

1. Bring In Experts

Apple is savvy enough to realize that their current sales program is lacking in fashion education, so they’ve hired experts from Burberry, Yves St. Laurent, Tag Heuer, and Louis Vuitton to build that knowledge into their sales structure. New products that vary significantly in buying habits from your established line need the support of experts who understand and can show your sales force the intricacies involved in selling something different.

Apple has put together a good programme to educate and train employees on a different sales approach to the Apple Watch.

2. Build Relationships Through Trust

Apple wants their sales staff to build relationships with customers based on trust so that customers see salespeople as valuable fashion advisors. By becoming trusted advisors through relationships, Apple staff will be better positioned to help customers make the best decision possible. This is a key foundational step in the sales process, one that equates salespeople with someone we “know, like, and trust,” making customers more likely to buy from them.

3. Ask Plenty of Questions

Apple employees are being trained on the types of questions to ask customers to find out exactly what they want and need in a new Apple Watch. By learning their customers’ pleasure and pain points, they’re better able to determine the right solution to meet or exceed the customers’ expectations. They’re focusing on training staff to ask questions that help identify everything from whether customers like classic or modern style watches to making sure sales staff include any companions who are with the customer by getting their opinions.

When you know your customers’ deepest desires and any problems they face, you can focus on how your product or service will make their life better or easier.

4. Educate Their Customers

Apple wants their sales staff to determine how much customers know about the functionality of the Apple Watch. They have a special team of salespeeople who can educate customers on everything the Watch can do and how it works so that customers better understand the functionality they’re getting.

When you educate your customers on your product or service, you’re providing them with the information they need to resolve any objections they may have. Remember, sometimes a “no” just means your customer needs more information to make their decision.

5. Up-sell Newer Models

Apple wants their sales staff to upsell customers to the latest version of the iPhone to get the most out of the Apple Watch. Apple is training employees on ways to connect customers with upgraded phones by providing sales staff with the tools to check a customer’s mobile carrier account and determine what upgrades they have available.

By making it easy for customers to upgrade their iPhones at the same time, Apple is effectively using the customer relationship their sales staff establishes to upsell, because we all know it’s easier and more profitable to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer.

Room For Improvement

The drawback, however, is that they are giving staff just two weeks to become proficient at selling Apple Watches. And they’re doing it through providing descriptions of customers, rather than real life situations.

An important part of the sales process that Apple is overlooking is the natural method of using its sales force’s inherent style in selling wearable technology. Experts from the fashion industry are helpful, but can’t teach salespersons how to be comfortable in their own skin in presenting the Apple Watch in the best possible light.

To align your sales force, you need more than rote training on techniques and methods. You need a natural style that includes warmth and simplicity from learning a process and translating that into your own personal selling style. You are much more persuasive when you are comfortable in your own skin.

Our advice to Apple would be to learn, then do. Learn your natural style rather than someone else’s and then practice that style in real life situations. Only when you are comfortable with your natural selling style can you differentiate yourself from your competitors by being bold and courageous.

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