In the world of retail there is an unseen enemy that has led many sales professionals to a disconnection from their customers, staff and worst of all, themselves. It is the two-headed monster of selfishness and greed that has worked silently over the years and led us to many of the issues that we face in the world of retail today.
As a retail veteran who has worked the sales floor for 20 years I can assure you that the sales floor has become a much tougher environment in which to find success. The modern day customer simply does not trust you when they walk through the door for the very first time. Why has this happened? When did we become so disconnected from our customers? Today I will answer these questions and give you new insight to help you achieve greater success in your life and sales career.
Many years ago, there was a special bond between the sales professional and the customer. It was kind of like Mayberry on “The Andy Griffith Show”. Many mom and pop stores had a special connection with their customers and it was very evident that a bond of trust had been established and the lines of communication were flowing freely. In those days there were no tricks or gimmicks to make a sale. The customer simply showed up, told you what they wanted and got what they needed. It was just that simple in most stores. Those of you who have been in retail 40 plus years know I am telling the truth. Don’t get me wrong, there were still dishonest people at that time, but overall the sales process was much easier.
Then came the birth of the sales tactic era, which in its original concept was designed to make the sales process move along at a quicker pace. The basic concept of greeting, asking open-ended questions, overcoming objections and closing the sale was well received within the retail community.
In the beginning it was brilliant! In fact, I still use many of these concepts today in my sales presentations. However, somewhere along the way many of these concepts were overcome by the two-headed monster of selfishness and greed. The sale slowly became more about us and less about our customers. Before long, maximizing the dollar of the sale and its profit became the main focus point of many sales trainers and owners. The two-headed monster of selfishness and greed had taken control of the retail world and soon there would be a heavy price to pay.
During this time of sales innovation the retail industry thrived as many companies gorged on the feast of unsuspecting customers with these new-found skills and tactics. Everything seemed to be perfect as companies were making millions by maximizing sales and profits. Then something happened that changed the game. The customer had an awakening, aided by the dawn of the internet, and things have never been the same. At some point the customer realized that they were being taken advantage of and they began to educate themselves and resist such sales tactics. The sales floor has since become a much tougher environment.
In order to combat this awakening companies began to think of new ways to maximize sales. There was the season of marking things way up and giving a big discount (this still exists today in some stores). Then there were warranties and certificates to make the customer feel more comfortable and special. Just like the sales training, it was meant to do good, but then the two-headed monster of selfishness and greed took hold and now those certificates and warranties hold less meaning. In the jewelry industry there is a movement against certificates that are misleading and false.
What you now have is a generation of sales professionals stuck in a world of retail sales that is full of mistrust and confrontation. Somewhere along the way the two-headed monster of selfishness and greed had turned us against our customers.
So here you are at a crossroads this very moment. Do you continue on the path of much resistance, or do you take a moment and see the truth to lead you back to lasting success? Are you tired of your customer coming in for the first time and entering into a game of mental chess with you? This process makes the sale a marathon and can be very draining and a grind.
The time for change has come and it began three and a half years ago with the birth of Modern Day Selling. Once the work of selfishness and greed was brought to light, many sales professionals’ eyes were opened to see the world of chaos that we have created for ourselves. The time has come to go back to what has worked from the beginning! The concept of conducting business with the core principles of trust, honesty and integrity is making its way back to the world of retail.
The focus has now shifted away from greedy sales tactics and back towards reconnecting with the customer and meeting their needs. Those who have heard the message loud and clear have begun to see a more beautiful world of retail. It all starts one customer at a time! Each and every customer that you greet can leave feeling good within and have an amazing experience that will keep them coming back for more. On top of that a reconnection will have taken place in the bond of trust and the lines of communication will begin to flow fast and freely. No more marathon sales or strife with each customer you reconnect with. This is the secret to my sales success and it has been a changing force in many others’ sales career.
In closing I challenge you to take a deeper look into the concepts of Modern Day Selling and see what has changed the course of retail sales in the jewelry community. Sales professionals who have been looking for the answers to find a more meaningful career are now finding them. For more insight you can visit my website www.moderndayselling.com where there are 3 ½ years of published articles for you to read for free.
Brian Barfield is a two-time published author, worldwide, who specializes in offering fresh new insight in retail sales training. Modern Day Selling offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and how to achieve greater success in their sales career. For more information please visit his website www.moderndayselling.com. Brian also offers in-store sales training and can be reached at email@example.com.