The Retail Doctor's Blog


Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

Retailers, Use These 39 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Business

Bob Phibbs

One of my favorite stories as a kid was the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Whether you saw it in Disney’s Fantasia or read the old German poem, the plot is the same.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Retail, clearance, cleaning

Considering Retail Sales Training Courses? Here Are The Essentials

Bob Phibbs

I had a shocking call with the North American CEO of a luxury brand a few weeks ago. 

They had a bad fourth quarter and were having a manager meeting.

I was shocked because I learned they didn’t have any sales training in their culture. The CEO wanted me to correct that in 90 minutes.

That’s the trouble with many CEOs who do not have a sales background, they feel it doesn’t warrant anything special and can be easily solved.

Brick and mortar retailers often point to online shopping as the reason for their sluggish sales.

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Topics: Online Retail Sales Training, Retail Sales Training

Are Your Employees Confused About The Role They Play In Your Retail Store?

Bob Phibbs

I recently purchased a new sport coat from Nordstrom in Chicago.  

It was like a scene in a movie…

I told Wade, the salesman, that I had had to buy a sport coat in Indianapolis a few weeks ago because I had forgotten my best one at home.  

I told the salesperson at that store that the jacket needed to travel well. I was assured it would.

But on my next speaking trip, I discovered that jacket was a wrinkle-prone jacket...one I will never wear again - unless I’m in a play...and need to look disheveled.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training

How Engaging Is Your Store's Customer Experience? Take This Quiz

Bob Phibbs

A lot is being written about customer engagement in retail.

How retailers are trying to engage shoppers to their bricks and mortar locations by making the store more like an online experience.

And the more information IT departments can gather using Big Data and feed it through an algorithm, the more personal they can make a customer’s shopping experience.

I have news for them…and therefore for you...

An algorithm is not personal.

An algorithm is what causes those ads that stalk you after you’ve visited a online retailer.  It’s what shows up next to your Facebook feed, pops up next to your New York Times article, and what generally annoys you.

It cannot look you in the eye; it cannot talk to you; it does not have a heart.

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Topics: Customer Service, Retail Sales Training, customer experience

How Selling With Storytelling Will Increase Your Retail Sales

Bob Phibbs

Stories help us quickly become engaged.  

In retail sales, that is especially important because people are loyal to people, not products.

The purpose of storytelling is to engage emotion and bring it to bear on a decision. Stories help people connect with success, fame, prestige, a revelation - you name it.

Everything but logic.

You know how you feel when you hear those words, “Once upon a time…”?

You are open to possibilities…

To magic…

To wonder.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, selling

Customer Service Is About Listening To Customers, Not Throwing Money At Them

Bob Phibbs

It’s a long slog from Albany to Vegas, even with upgraded flights.

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Topics: Customer Service

Best Cross Selling Sales Tips for Retailers

Bob Phibbs

Cross selling is the art of suggesting additional, complementary items to someone who has already decided on a purchase.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, suggestive selling retail, cross selling

Retail Success Within Reach: Why CEOs Must Embrace Sales Training

Bob Phibbs

If you’re the CEO of a retail chain, the sales environment looks pretty scary right now.

Hardly a week goes by without news of another once-successful chain closing its doors.

Last week it was Jack Spade, the 22-year old offshoot of Kate Spade.

The chains that remain open are still reporting sluggish sales, despite an improving economy. While many solutions have been suggested, a lot of them are impractical or simply fail to address the underlying problems.

And those problems are best summed up with the title of the 90's movie...

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, CEO

3 UpSelling Tips for Retailers

Bob Phibbs

Upselling is about challenging customer preconceptions and getting them to see the value behind every product you sell.

Most customers aren’t cheap, they’ve simply adopted a mindset that most products are of comparable quality. A shirt is a shirt. A pair of jeans is a pair of jeans. An umbrella is an umbrella.

That is until those shirt buttons break when being fastened, or the jeans shrink after one wash, or the umbrella falls apart in a heavy downpour.

After customers have had these types of experiences, they turn to more expensive brand name items, not because of the name, but because of the underlying value of the product.

The trouble is many younger salespeople have not had those experiences and feel upselling is just a way to force a customer to buy something more expensive than what they need.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, up selling, upselling, selling tips

Are You Desperately Marketing Your Business With Daily Deals Like Groupon? Stop It

Bob Phibbs

I received an email the other day regarding marketing that said, “I've been doing business with Groupon and they've basically become my partner. I am trying to find ways to convert referrals to customers, but can't seem to find the right bait. Its been exhausting. I was hoping you could give some advice and help save my business from the daily deals. When we started the business several years ago it seemed like a really good idea, but since then it is though we can’t escape their grasp.”

As I read it I thought, aren’t we done with daily deals yet?

Groupon just reported it’s fourth-quarter revenue as $925.4 million. 

Could it be that people were still ignoring my advice?

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Topics: Marketing, groupon, daily deals

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