Archive for January, 2016


Thursday, January 28th, 2016


There are many reasons that more people going into business fail than succeed. At the top of the list is a disease I affectionately call “TIAD” which stands for “Thumbs In Armpit Disease.” People become vulnerable to this disease when they are successful.  There’s a temptation to let up right after making a big sale, or having a great month. The vast majority of people need a “Boss” to succeed, and when becoming their own boss, become that boss they wish they had when they were on somebody’s payroll. Managing oneself is a real challenge, yet crucial to the success of the business.


It’s the Law!
People have the right to get paid for what they do. Minimum wage laws in most states say that anyone working for a company must be paid. The exception to that rule is the owner. Owners have the opportunity to “work for free” and in some cases even pay for that privilege. People go into business to make a profit and when expenses outweigh income, failure looms. The best thing that “paid employees” can do to enhance their opportunities is to make the business successful.


Saturday, January 23rd, 2016


Enthusiasm Sells
When a customer meets a salesperson who is excited about his or her product, it communicates trust. Most customers do not walk into the store pre-sold on the merchandise and they do not have an inherent trust of salespeople. This means that you are starting off with your foot in a bucket; you need to establish trust in yourself. Salespeople know more about what they sell than their customers do. If you knew for a fact that your product is over-priced or made poorly you wouldn’t be naturally excited about it. When you are genuinely excited, you communicate that you believe in your product, thus trust is established. I like the term, “Bridled Enthusiasm” where you are so excited that you must hold yourself back.  


Once there’s some trust established on a personal level, the product selling can begin. In Retail Selling Made Easy ”selling” is defined as, “Giving the customer sufficient information to make an intelligent buying decision.” Factual information given enthusiastically sells more than prices and sales. Salespeople who attempt to sell prices and personal claims of quality will hear, “I need to think about it” and “I’ll be back” more than thing from their customers.

Success Traits

Thursday, January 21st, 2016


They Are Positive
In Retail Selling Easy I list the 10 traits that I have observed successful salespeople have in common.  These are not traits that people are born with, but rather traits that can be learned and improved upon by anyone. Not on the list, but extremely important is having a positive mental attitude. Successful people expect nothing less than success. They start evert day thinking that it’s going to be a great day. They go into each sales presentation knowing that they are going to make the sale. They see the best in their co-workers and encourage them along the way. And, knowing that nobody makes every sale, when they fail to make one, they immediately think that the next one will be twice as good. They always see the glass half full, never half empty.


Can you think of what all 10 traits from the book are?

Customers First

Saturday, January 16th, 2016


So Much to Do
Some people have so many things to do that they don’t do any of them. Of all the excuses I hear when asking, “Why didn’t you do this? is, “I was busy.” The hair goes up on the back of my neck when I hear that. Everyone is busy, and the people that get the most done are the ones with the most to do. Retail salespeople are asked to do many things other than sell, but all of those things are done to make selling easier and more successful.


You dust the floors and clean the windows in order to make a good first impression when the customer looks or walks into the store. Customers see more than you might think they do. They notice accumulated dust on the floors and showcases. They see fingerprints and smudges on glass counter tops. These and many other “little things” like doing inventory, straightening up merchandise, putting out new merchandise and tagging merchandise can easily pile up if not done on a consistent basis. Salespeople are expected to do these things as well as greet customers, give information, overcome obstacles, process sales orders and send “Thank You” notes.


As important as all of these little things are, none of them is more important than the customer in the store, and the best way to attract more customers is to be too busy to talk to them, but do anyway. It’s that time between customers that’s lost if not disciplined. Little moments add up to wasted hours if not taken advantage of.

“To Get Busy; Get Busy!”

-Ron Martin


Monday, January 11th, 2016


“Not Today”
Many people think that this Spanish word means, “Tomorrow,” but more properly it means, “Not Today.”  In other words, “When I get around to it” or “When I feel like it.”
Some English proscrastination terms are, “Someday,” and “Sometime.” In reality “Sometime” may mean, “No Time.” If there’s something you need to do, someone you need to meet with, or somewhere you want to go, schedule it in your calendar. When you hear, “One of these days” or “Sometime soon” say, “Great, this week or next week?” Otherwise, “One of these days” will become “None of these days.”


Clem; “RIP”
My friend W. Clement Stone wraps up one of his methods for success in these three words. Shortly after meeting him in my Hollywood office, I had this t-shirt made for him.
If you are not familiar with Clem, CLICK HERE: Do It Now.

Prioritizing Tasks

Thursday, January 7th, 2016


Get Organized
The best way to start getting more done is to get organized and prioritize your behavior. With today’s technology people have a lot coming at them by way of the telephone, e-mail and texts. The trap is becoming reactive to those things as they happen, so as to not have them pile up. You can’t let that flow of data determine what you do next. It’s easy to mistake motion for achievement, and spend hectic hours leaving the most important things undone.


1, 2, 3, or 4?
Steven Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Successful People wisely suggests that your time can be spent in one of 4 different quadrants. A sense of urgency causes most people to “live in” #1 and #3.  Winners “live in” #2 and losers reside in #4.

#1. Urgent and Important: 
#2. Important but not Urgent
#3. Urgent but not Important
#4. Not Urgent and not Important

Which of these four quadrants you spend most of your time in? Then ask yourself, “Which one is the most valuable?”
When you do the important things BEFORE they become urgent, you can spend more time doing them right and without pressure.

Follow Up

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016


“The Whole Wide World”
The words to this gospel tune were first published in 1927. Thanks to e-mail they were never more true than they are today.
Businesses have the opportunity to remain in constant contact with their customers to drive more business. It’s been estimated that there are about 2.5 billion email users worldwide. 
10 short years ago when I would ask for a show of hands as to who uses e-mail, it was less than 25% of my audience. The same question asked today yields closer to 100%. I would imagine that the same is true with your customer base. E-mail has evolved into formal business communication, yet as with anything else some people are using it more effectively than others.


In Your Store
Salespeople would like to know how to spot the good customers. The answer is EASY; the best customers are the ones that walk into your store. Properly treated you can move them from “Customers for now” into “Customers for life.” It starts in the store. Ideal customer service there is your first step. People do not go into stores to “just look” at things they have no need or interest in. The mere fact that the customer is in your store is reason enough to provide the best possible treatment. Doing so sets you up for the next step in creating a new “Customer for life.”


Get It!
Be sure that you gather every customer’s email address, not only those who make a purchase. There are numerous ways to do this. One is simply asking for it. When doing so you must give your customers a reason to give it to you, and that reason must be something beneficial to them. People process any and all requests through WIIFM, That’s “What’s In It For Me? Some effective ways of e-mail address gathering include receiving notification of any new product or special promotion. Another great way is to provide a drawing of some sort with the  names limited to those with e-mail addresses on file. People like to win, and they don’t mind the “chance factor” if it’s free to enter.
When creating the entry form, remember the KISS formula; “Keep it Simple ……” Don’t ask for a lot of information. Name and e-mail address are all you need to move on to the next step.


Less is More
As soon as possible send a simple “Thank You” to this customer. Avoid the temptation to sell at this point. You will have ample opportunities to do that in the future. Your first three or five e-mails should be informational about something of possible interest to the customer; not about you. Your time will come.