As summer is drawing to a close, and autumn is giving hints of drifting upon us, most of us are beginning to contemplate wrapping up 2016 in a profit-positive situation. Doom sayers have indicated that the 2016 market is either lackluster or soft. Other reports are considerably more optimistic and looking forward to a solid completion for the year.
Regardless of your take on the economic situation of the industry, now is the time to plan the strategies to bring 2016 to a robust conclusion!
First off, one’s thoughts must revolve around staff and training. Hiring competent and/or experienced sales staff is monumental to the quantity and quality of production that your store can generate! Once you’ve hired great people, making sure they have excellent sales skills coupled with the latest and most current product knowledge sets the tone for the success of the entire season. Even the most experienced sales team can benefit from refreshing their customer greetings, their in-depth familiarity of each of the product features, deftly observing the emotions involved in this particular sale, suggesting add-ons, and having several carefully honed closes available to complete the sale to everyone’s satisfaction. In other words, ongoing sales training is essential for a successful conclusion of the year. Training isn’t a once in a while thing, it is an all the time thing. Everyone can and will benefit from brushing up on proven, known, sales strategies and techniques.
Improving incentives for salespersons sweetens the chances that maximum production occurs!
Once your staffing, training and incentives are in place, insuring that there is traffic in the store creates the best scenario for the highest opportunity for closed sales. What marketing strategies are possible for your store to drive customers through that front door and straight to the cash register? What are your opportunities for brochures, blast e-mails, printed ads, door-hangers, radio & TV spots, novelties, and great brain-storms to deliver buyers to you? For everyone who casts a shadow upon your store-front, are you giving them your business card? A magnet with the store’s info on it? Are you encouraging all of your current customer-friends to refer their besties to you? Are you rewarding your loyal customers?
Once potential customers have vetted your business and decide to try you out, the clincher is to ALWAYS provide impeccable customer service! Here is where the cheapest and most effective form of advertising goes viral: Word of Mouth Advertising!
If your strategies for training and educating your staff have been effective, you will benefit from those efforts when clients enter your store and are completely dazzled by the mastery of product knowledge and how that serves each customer, each time, by effectively demonstrating how the purchase of this product will vastly improve the buyer’s life! As the season progresses toward the holidays, the investments in product knowledge and sales techniques will create the positive impact on the year’s bottom line!
If you implement a goodly share of the above-listed methods, the next steps are to add value to the customer’s purchase by up-selling a bit of higher quality merchandise. Many shoppers are concerned with the best value available for their dollars! Make that a priority! Adding on to sales not only adds value to a purchase, but creates the most satisfaction in your customer by leaving them with the knowledge that they created their absolute best deal at the best (value-laden) price. Win-Win!
The payoff for you and your store, of course is the knowledge that you made every move possible to generate the greatest amount of profit and that you provided every customer with excellent product and service! Rock on!