How to Nail Guided Selling with Chatbots

One of the most important functions chatbots can perform is guided selling. In this section, we’ll take a look at what guided selling is and how you can leverage your chatbots to bring this service to your customers.


What is Guided Selling?

Guided selling is nothing new. If you’ve ever been inside a retail store in a busy shopping mall, you’ll almost certainly have experienced it. It’s simply the process by which sales staff help customers through the process of deciding what they want to buy and then help them find it. 

However, going to physical stores is no longer the only way to shop. The world of online shopping now makes it possible to buy pretty much everything you need from your smartphone. But guided selling still has an important role to play, and this is where chatbots can help. 


Why is Guided Selling Useful?

Used correctly, chatbots can use guided selling to make life easier for customers, reduce costs, take the pressure off support staff, and ultimately sell more. 

When shopping, we often fall victim to something called ‘decision fatigue’. After hours of deciding what to buy next, our mental energy runs dry and we can no longer face another buying choice. This leads customers to leave the buying process earlier than they otherwise would.

In a brick-and-mortar shop, sales assistants are on hand to ease this process, guiding customers through their decision-making and reducing friction so they complete the sale. Online, that role is played by chatbots.

By asking the right questions, chatbots can help customers define and locate exactly what they want and provide genuinely useful suggestions. Instead of hitting a mental wall and giving up, customers have the support they need to find what they’re looking for and buy it. It’s a win for everyone.


How to Implement Chatbot-Based Guided Selling

Programming your chatbots so they take a proactive role in the sales process involves training them to get to know your customers.

Here’s what your bots should do:

  • Ask customers questions about what’s important to them in this case. What are they looking for? How much would they like to spend? Take time to understand their needs and challenges, the problems they want to solve, and what the product means to them. For example, your customer doesn’t want a smartphone, they want the ability to watch movies, take photos, and listen to music on the go.
  • Hone in on what the customer wants and find products to match that. With the data gathered from asking questions, chatbots should be able to quickly locate a series of products that match the customer’s needs.
  • Be personal. Don’t just throw out a series of random options. Bots should listen to the customer’s answers and provide help and advice that’s specifically geared to them.

The overall goal of guided selling is to provide tailored recommendations, take the stress out of shopping, and narrow down the number of choices a customer is faced with so they complete the sale. It should minimize decision fatigue and make the buying process as seamless and enjoyable as possible so the customer leaves with exactly what they wanted.


The Future of Guided Selling with Chatbots

If you’re able to use guided selling to maximum effect, harnessing an army of chatbots to ensure your customers never have to navigate the buying process alone, the results can be truly impressive.

According to research by Salesforce, high-performing sales teams are 2.3 times more likely than underperforming teams to use guided selling. We already know companies are flocking to chatbots in great numbers, and stats like this one help illustrate why.

Using chatbot-driven guided selling in your sales strategy is fast becoming something you can’t afford not to do. So how do we go about building chatbots?