The summer months in Australia is a time of cool drinks on hot days, big platters for outdoor entertaining and pavlova for a fruity dessert. It’s the time when premium customers often seek out a new high-end refrigerator, joining the grudge-purchase consumers that traditionally make up this sizable category.

To help floor staff best match consumers with the refrigerator to suit their needs, we spoke to several leading brands to pick their brain for sales tips. Let’s find out what they’ve got to say! (Also, check out AR’s Ultimate Guide to Refrigeration and Freezers for Summer 2015)

Mike Lilly from Samsung:

Take a longterm view to selling these products: it is important retailers communicate the longterm benefits of appliance technology to consumers, so they can make an informed decision about which product suits their need. With this also comes awareness and understanding for warranties.

The most important tip is to take the time to get to know the entire range of products and understand the consumer’s needs, in order to help them find the right refrigerator for the lifestyles they lead.

We have a range of refrigerators from entry-level to our premium models to our ultra-premium models, each catering to different consumer needs and requirements. Sales staff should establish quickly what the consumer wants from a refrigerator and help them to make an informed decision about what product will benefit their everyday.

Belinda Toner from Panasonic:

While food freshness and energy savings are key to choosing a refrigerator, its layout and usability impacts the whole kitchen. Encourage consumers to look inside the refrigerator and experience the features for themselves. For example, all Panasonic’s Econavi models feature an extra-large crisper drawer, and a design that positions the food most frequently accessed in the fridge section directly in their line of sight, with the freezer at the bottom.

We always recommend having a demo or display model that consumers can try out for themselves. Opening and closing both the refrigerator and freezer compartments demonstrates the convenience of the layout and spacious interiors. This allows them to visualise it in their own home – helping them to make the decision to buy.

Mark Beard from Sharp:

Usable size does matter! Many refrigerators quote a large capacity, however, their usable space is sometimes inferior. We recommended retailers not only focus on the statistical capacity of the fridge but the usable storage of the fridge too.

Sharp’s designers and engineers have concentrated their efforts on the practical use of space to create greater storage and less wasted space in our fridges.

Kara May from Fisher & Paykel:

Fisher & Paykel recommends retailers sell appliances based on their benefits and features to the customer, not just on price.

It’s important to gain an understanding of the customer’s real needs. Are they a big family or big entertainers needing a large, possibly French Door model? How highly do they value looks versus functionality? How cost conscious are they? Once you’ve established these parameters you can talk features and benefits accordingly.

One conversation that’s often overlooked in the sales process, but is extremely important to customers, revolves around after sales service. Sure they may have a warranty, but what about after sales support, which may include ordering spare parts or simply speaking to someone on the phone about how to use a particular function on their fridge.

Fisher & Paykel has a 24/7 Customer Care after sales service and customers can be reassured that a Fisher & Paykel employee (not a contractor who services multiple organisations) will be available at the end of the line to handle their enquiry.

Charmeline Wang from Mitsubishi Electric:

Modern customers can answer all their questions via the internet these days, one thing they cannot do on a computer is touch and feel. Customers will take the time to come visit your store to touch, feel and consider their purchase. Ensuring you have an innovative product line up that can provide real solutions to your customers along with well trained staff can be the point of difference between yourself and your competitors.