Archive for the 'Retail Selling' Category

Do You Bear Down or Bail Out?

Monday, September 26th, 2016


Nobody likes rejection, and nobody gets more of it than salespeople. Buying is an emotional decision, and a willing customer can cool off in a heartbeat. You are showing the product and your customer’s head is bobbing up and down like a doll in the back window of the car.  You know it’s going to be a sale. You and your customer are both smiling approvingly. You are thinking, “Oh boy, oh boy.” Then suddenly your customer’s smile goes away and you hear those dreaded words, “I need to think about it; I will be back. That “Oh boy” feeling fades away as your customer begins to walk away. What do you do now? Most people will either bear down and push for the sale, or bail out and hope that the customer will come back. Some do; Most don’t and you know it.


Which Way Will You Go?
The “Bear Down” salesperson says something like, “You know you love it, that’s a great price, you should get it now.” Some even suddenly drop the price thinking that will close the sale.

The “Bail Out” salesperson says something like, “Okay, here’s my card, please ask for me when you come back.” The customer smiles, agrees and heads for the door. You frown and feel depressed. One of these two scenarios plays out in luxury retail stores across the country every day. There must be a better way, and there is.


Put on Your Detective Hat
The wise salesperson stops selling at this point and becomes a concerned “detective” looking for the real reason the customer is not buying it. This salesperson says something like, “Okay, but maybe it’s just not the right piece, and if that’s the case, you shouldn’t get it. Let’s take another minute before you leave, and tell me, what is it about this piece that just MIGHT NOT be right?” Now simply shut up and continue looking at the piece. It’s the customer’s turn to talk and you will be surprised how many confessions you will get. You will hear things like, “Well to tell you the truth, it’s more than I was planning to spend.” Or, “It just doesn’t look right to me.” or “It’s actually too big” or “Too small.” These are “truths” that can be dealt with.


No Means, “No, Not Yet.”
There’s usually a real reason, and when you uncover the truth, chances are you can do something to resolve it and make the sale, if not that item, then another one. The truth will set you free; lies paralyze. If the customer say’s, “No, I just always like to think before buying” and that’s true the truth is that the customer really does need to think about it, help him or her do it while still in the store. Say, “Do you think it MIGHT BE the right piece?” If the answer is, “Yes” or “Maybe,” say, “Let’s be sure” and then go back over the features and benefits of the piece looking for what might be the hold up. If you cannot find a good reason to not buy it, then SELL IT! Say, “It looks like we have found the right item, is there anything we didn’t think about?” If there isn’t, then say, “Let’s do it now and you won’t have to come back.” This is where salespeople are separated from clerks and order takers. The key is doing it for the customer, not for you. The customer will have the product longer than you and the store will have the money. When that’s where your heart is, you and the customer both win.

Hot Dog Story

Monday, August 29th, 2016


Self Fulfilling Prophecy
This is an old but very telling story that a friend sent to me a while back.

Once there was a man who owned a hot dog stand that he ran by the side of the road. For years he treated his customer’s right, sold good quality hot dogs to lots of people who stopped by to purchase from him. He even made enough money to send his son to college. He wanted his son to be an educated man and successful in the world. So his son went away to college and several years later he returned with his diploma in hand. The man was very pleased to have an educated son who could help him in his business.


Educated Logic
The next day his son heard him placing his order for hot dogs and commented that he was surprised that he would order so many hot dogs and said, “Dad, haven’t you heard that there is a recession going on?” The man thought about this and concluded that his son had a college education and must know what he was talking about so he cut back his order for hot dogs. People continued to stop at the hot dog stand, but by rush hour the man had run out of hot dogs. He had to turn customers away. After a few times of stopping by and finding the man out of hot dogs his regular customers stopped coming by. This continued for a while and less and less people stopped to buy hot dogs.


Smart Kid
The man’s income dropped to the point that he could not pay his bills and he went out of business. From this the man concluded; “My son must be right, there is a recession going on!”

Sale City

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016


The Place to Be:
Everybody is Happy in Sale City. You arrive there when your customer say’s, “I’ll Take It.”
Everybody is a winner, your customer most of all.


The Right Track:
Be sure to get on the right train. The train will go to where the track leads.


Other Places:
Not all tracks go to Sale City. Some go where you don’t want to go.


No Sale City:
This is the worst place of all. Everybody loses. Your customer most of all.


Small Talk City:
While this may look like a nice place to go, it ends up nowhere.


Your Guide:
To get to Sale City you must simply get on the right track, stay on the track and keep moving.
The Sale City Express is a tool designed to help you develop and maintain the habits that take you to Sale City.
Like any other tool, it must be used to work. When your customer leaves the store ask yourself nine “Did I” questions;

1. Did I greet this customer in the proper manner?
2. Did I remain sensitive and position myself properly with this customer?
3. Did I ask the best “Take Control Questions” to gain permission to continue with this customer?
4. Did I make the “Trust Sale” by telling this customer WHO we are, WHAT we are, WHAT we sell and WHERE it is in the store?
5. Did I give this customer the specific FACTUAL information needed to make an intelligent buying decision?
6. Did I get an “Escape Excuse” from this customer, and if so handle it with the best “OKAY, BUT” reply to discover the true objection?
7. Did I offer a nudge if this customer truly wants what you are selling and needs some help deciding to get it?
8. Did I make a sale to this customer, and if so, did I attempt to ADD ON by saying, “Oh by the way,” and suggesting something else?
9. Did I BEFRIEND this customer in the end by gathering his or her contact information and giving him or her a reason to return?

These are all questions that you know the answers to and by logging your results with each customer you develop the habit of using the Pro-Active, No-Pressure Selling System which works very well when you work it. For more on this Selling System; CLICK HERE:


Record the results with 10 customers and then total them at the bottom to see where your strengths and weaknesses are.
Be honest with yourself as you record your answers just like you would on a golf score card when nobody is looking.

Staying Charged

Saturday, July 9th, 2016


Prepared, but…
Over the years I have accumulated numerous devises to be sure that my iPhone and iPad are full charged regardless of where I am. When in town I use a charger in the cigarette lighter in my car. When traveling I take along one or more of these other devices so that I can work on the go.
As I stepped off of the plane on Maui the other day I realized that I was without any of my charging devices. I wasn’t panicked since I was only going to be there for a few hours. I rented my car and then turned off my phone to conserve energy. A couple of blocks outside of the airport I spotted a Kmart. I can’t recall the last time I was in a Kmart store. It was only 7 AM, but I saw people going in so I decided to see if they sell iPhone chargers that are fully charged.
Upon entering the store I saw three employees chatting with each other by the register. I excused myself and asked where the electronics department is. One of them pointed over her shoulder and coldly said, “In the back of the store.” I found the department okay, but there was nobody there to assist me. I walked around the store until I found an employee, and asked her if she is familiar with iPhone chargers. She said, “No, but maybe I can find someone who is.” She got on her phone, but was unable to reach anyone. I asked her if there’s a Walmart nearby and she said, “Yes, right down there” as she pointed away from herself. I went to the front door and found another employee outside smoking. I asked him where the Walmart store is and he said, “On Dairy Road right past Starbucks.”


“Hey Siri”
I picked up my phone and said, “Hey Siri, where’s the closest Walmart?” She immediately pulled up a map and proceeded to give me turn-by-turn directions to the store. I was greeted at the door, and when I asked where the electronics area is, the employee asked me what I am looking for. I told him what I need and he said, “Right this way, follow me.” Upon arriving at the right department he explained the differences between the myriad of charging devices available.


I said, “I want the best one.” He immediately unlocked the showcase, removed this one, unpackaged it, and showed me that it is fully charged and that it has the capability of charging my iPhone and iPad both at the same time. I said, “Sold.” He took my credit card and escorted me to the register where he promptly and efficiently processed the sale.


As I drove off towards Lahaina I couldn’t help but think that Kmart could have had that sale, and that they don’t even know (or care) that they missed it. Sam Walton would be proud. If anybody out there knows Walter Lott, please send this on to him.

PS: I never needed to use it, but surely will one day.

Dumb it Down

Thursday, March 31st, 2016


“Oh, I See”
While in a Starbucks recently I picked up a bag of Kona Coffee Beans and asked the barista if he would grind them for me. He said, “Sure, what type of filter does your coffee maker use?” I said, “I don’t know, does that make a difference?” He responded, “Yes, it determines how fine I grind the beans.” Feeling a bit stupid, I told him that I would need to find out, handed him the bag of beans and turned to leave.

At this point one of his co-workers stepped in, and making a V Shape with her hands asked, “Is the filter v-shaped like this, or flat?” When I told her it is v-shaped, she took the bag of beans from her male co-worketr and said, “Got it. That’s all we needed to know.” A $30 sale was made that had just been lost a few seconds ago.


Don’t ASS/U/ME
Everyone knows what happens when you assume. Sales are missed every day in computer stores, car dealerships and many other places because of a salesperson assuming that the customer understands what he or she has been taught. Avoid using company jargon. Back to Starbucks; I once asked for a “Medium” size cup of coffee and the person behind the counter said, “We call that a grande.” I have yet to go in there again.

Your Best?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016


A friend of mine likes to say, “There’s always a little juice left in the orange.” I prefer, “There’s always a little toothpaste left in the tube.” While both of those statement are true, undeniable and acceptable, some people still say, “I did the best I could.” When I hear that I (somewhat sarcastically) will respond with, “Oh, I hope not.”


Missed Opportunities:
In sales, retail in particular, more is missed than realized. Everyone agrees that a good, sincere greeting is an essential element to retail success, however it doesn’t ALWAYS happen. Stores are usually in one of two modes; no customers or several customers. Ironically more sales are missed when busy than when not. How can this be? A busy store is a draw to potential customers because people think, “There must be something good going on in there,” and the salespeople are occupied, thus no potential threat of pressure. But, without an available salesperson, sales will be missed.


Look All Around
A busy salesperson may not even see other customers entering the store, thus missed opportunities. To maximize your opportunities, use your peripheral vision at all times to see everything going on around you. Customers who may be “just looking” will change their body language when they see something they like. When this happens you must be ready to move-in and begin giving information.

#1. What’s an “Elevator Speech?”

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016


#2. Do YOU Need One?

#1. An elevator speech is a planned, well rehearsed explanation about yourself and or your business that you can deliver in the length of time you may be in an elevator. When someone asks you what you do, you should have this 20 to 30 second “commercial” so well rehearsed that when delivered it sounds as if you are saying it for the very first time.
I call it, “Planned Spontaneity.”

Your elevator Speech should include the W’s.
Who you are.
What you are.
What product you sell, or the services you provide.
Where to find you or your services.

#2. “Yes.”


The Magic Number

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016


It’s Magical
By definition, the “Magic Number” is the total amount sales that you must average from today until the end of the month to assure hitting your goal.
It’s indeed magical in that (assuming you set a SMART goal) it’s small enough at the start of the month that you know you can do it. And, when you reach and exceed the “Magic Number” you will see that is lower tomorrow therefore making it even easier.
On the flip side however, should you sell less than the “Magic Number” today, it will be larger in the morning, thereby offering you a “wake up call” early enough in the month to accomplish it.


The formula to determine your “Magic Number” today is: “Your Goal minus your Accumulated Sales for the Month Divided by the Number of Days Left in the Month to Sell.”
This is not Rocket Science; anyone can do that simple arithmetic. Unfortunately many people tend to forgive a bad day, figuring that there’s still time left in the month to make up for it. While there’s some truth to that, the fewer days you have left, the higher the number and stress level will be.
The key is to develop a sense of urgency early on thus eliminating the stress at the end or even worse missing your goal.


If you are fortunate enough to be receiving our Morning Report that formula is built in to it and will show you your “Magic Number” updated daily. This acts as a road map to hit your goal.
If you are not receiving the Morning Report CLICK HERE see how you can, and all that it does in addition to this.

Retail Selling Success

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016


I am a big believer in the “KISS PRINCIPLE” which is “Keep it Simple Stupid.” Success in retail is not rocket science and those who treat it as if it is too often miss what’s most important.
Sure, all of these things and many more help, but in reality there are what I call, “The BIG Three” factors that will determine your success.
They Are:

Most commercial Realtors will tell you that retail success depends upon three things: “Location, location, location”.
That’s not true. People fail every day in the best locations, and succeed in the poorest. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Traffic” as the reason for success or failure. That’s true if you are selling ice cream, but if you are in a high end business like art, furniture or jewelry, it’s good to remember that “It only takes one.”

You don’t need the best merchandise or the best prices to succeed. You need good merchandise and fair prices. Outstanding merchandise at great prices sits on store shelves in some fabulous locations, waiting to be sold.

Poor salespeople can make a good product fail in a great location. On the other hand, great salespeople can make an average product succeed in a marginal location regardless of the traffic they get. It happens every day.


Recruit, Recruit, Recruit!
Work to find good salespeople, teach them to sell, expect them to sell, give them the tools they need to succeed, recognize them when they do well and reward their efforts. They will get it done with NO EXCUSES!


Sunday, February 7th, 2016


Honesty is high on my list of Successful Salesperson Traits.
Successful salespeople don’t need to exaggerate or make things up as they go along. They stick to the facts and have no trouble looking their customers square in the eye. Direct, pupil to pupil eye contact says, “If you could read my mind, you would know that I am telling you the truth.”


The Safe Way
Customers fear salespeople to begin with, and the fearful person will not buy. You need to build trust early on in the selling process to overcome the paradigm that all salespeople want is the money. The easiest way to confirm mis-trust is to offer customers your opinion about something as compared to facts about it. When giving product information, keep it factual. Facts are inarguable.
The TV series Dragnet aired from 1967 through 1970. When interviewing a criminal witness, detective Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb) would say, Just the facts ma’am.” Those are good words to remember when selling.