Silly Season Selling
I like to call it the 3 esses of sales, but for many reasons, not just because we are approaching the silly season.
Now that there are 3 new millionaires in Australia each with $28 million, thanks to the record breaking OZ Lotto draw this week, and a further 35 people with $800k thanks to a syndicate they were in, let's see if we can find a way for these people and others to part with the hard earned or easy come by cash in your shops.
1) 'tis the season. It's the start of the holiday season, and that means people are starting to think seriously about Christmas and what gifts they are looking to buy friends and family.
2) Stock. (that's another "s"). It's time for you to make the most of this period and provide your customers with the the things they want, need, or even think they don't want. Christmas shopping is often about finding something that is a little different, or might just suit the person you have in mind perfectly. Have you been listening to your customers? It is a very powerful tool, listening. They are the best ones to tell you what they want or are looking for, so go out of your way to engage with them. You want them back don't you?
3) Space. (another 's", but I cheated a little here) I am talking about the space you allocate for sale items and displays in store. It is not easy to get the best mix of display space but it is important. Move stock around too, to keep the shop looking interesting. Especially seasonal product you may have just got in for Christmas. Don't just create a display of Christmas stock and leave it there for weeks. Move some of it around. Move the entire display. Highlight some products in more than one area and think about marketing products together like the latest Better Homes & Gardens magazine with your display of ornamental gifts, or Tech Life magazine with your Mobile Phone display.
4) Suggest (Yep, another one) This is about suggesting, and being confident of your own skills and that of your staff. Retailing is about suggestion as much as meeting a need. After all, shopping is about gratification, and a good retailer provides that. How many times have you suggested an item to a customer, and they end up thanking you. This is because they want personal attention and the feeling you are there to help. Remember, if they are in your shop chances are they are there to spend. Help them do just that.
5) Stock (I know, I used this already, so now it's my second) You can't sell what you don't have, so make sure you work with your suppliers to ensure you have the right stock, plenty of it and options to get more quickly if you need. Suppliers should also help with appropriate point of sale and advertising.
6) Speak. talk with your peers and industry partners. Find out what works for them. Compare notes. It is human nature to help one and other, so embrace this and learn and teach all at the same time. You have a lot in common with other retailers, so share.