06 Oct Maximize! Don’t Compromise!
“The sale begins when the customer says yes.” – Harvey McKay
The countdown has begun. Fortunately, you are prepared. Your schedules and day off policies are written. Extended hours are posted. Holiday sales and promotions are in place. Inventory levels are bulging, and the focus is sharply on the huge seasonal sales goals. It’s showtime! Time to see how well you and your team performs under the added pressure of heavy traffic and high expectations.
But maximizing sales isn’t just about how many units you can move, or how much profit is generated today. What really differentiates the well-trained professional sales team is the ability to exceed sales goals…and build new customers at the same time.
NPD data indicates that retailers should look forward to a healthy increase in new customers this holiday season. Here are some of my proven tips on how to maximize each of those customers.
Make It Easy.
Holiday shoppers face many challenges. Don’t make parking and getting in and out of your store one of them. Save the best parking spots for your customers. Assign employee parking away from the front of the store, and keep the main entrance and aisles clean and clear. Once your customer enters make sure they are greeted and allowed to move freely within the store. Sales team members should initially remain accessible and attentive, at reasonable distance.
First, Sell Yourself.
Eye contact, a sincere introduction, and actively listening build immediate customer rapport. If you are talking to a couple, be sure to engage both customers – over 85% of buying decisions are made by females. Since customers have access to a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips, they may already know quite a bit about the product. So focus on benefits, not features.
And remember, no sale is complete until they leave with everything needed to use the product. Nothing is more frustrating than opening a gift, only to find out that a necessary accessory or part is missing.
And don’t forget to help your customers complete their holiday shopping by asking the all-important question: “Who else are you shopping for?”.
S.W.A.T. (Sell What is Available Today).
Inventory is always a challenge during the holidays. Knowing your “go to” products is crucial. Make sure your team knows exactly what they are when you experience an outage. Floor managers must communicate inventory issues as they track sales activity. Any sales person will tell you that selling an out of stock product is not only inefficient, it also kills morale on the floor.
Activity attracts customers like bees to honey. Look at any top retail salesperson and you will see that they are always busy. They are not parked behind a sales desk or chatting with other employees. Instead they are constantly greeting customers, maintaining the showroom, or delivering sales. Top performers are also always accessible and are extremely opportunistic. They know who is in the store and what they are looking at.
Effective sales managers promote this kind of activity and are keenly aware of every sales team member’s location at all times. They pump-up sales by praising great performance, and by always looking for ways to keep morale high. Little things like assisting with a sale, bringing in lunch, or random compliments are sure to be appreciated during the pressure-packed holiday selling season.