The Retail Doctor's Blog

Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

How Retail Employees Can Maintain Their Sanity During The Holidays

Bob Phibbs


The days prior to Thanksgiving are the calm before the storm.  Your seasoned retail employees know what is in store, your newbies have no idea.

While TV and movies love to show a guy like this with a beer after working in a store during Christmastime, there are many things an employee can proactively do to bolster their own sanity. Quite simply this time of the year doesn't have to suck.

15 Holiday Tips For Anyone Who Works Retail:

1. Get your own shopping done early. You won’t have the time or inclination to walk around the mall to try to buy something – you’ll just want to get home or get as far away from a store as you can. No one will blame you.

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Topics: Retail Holiday Sales, retail employee

How To Make Sure Your Holiday Retail Sales Are Up

Bob Phibbs

I purchased a turkey mask the other day.

A silly gag item I discovered while browsing at Nordstrom in Las Vegas. Yes, that Nordstrom.

I met a wonderful young woman in their popup department who, when I spotted the turkey mask, immediately said, “Yep, it’s a turkey mask and our last one.”

During our exchange, I told her I had nephews and nieces coming for Thanksgiving, she agreed it was perfect for us. A few more laughs later and I'd purchaed a silly $30 mask for a sight gag.

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Topics: Retail Holiday Sales, Retail Sales Training

Retailers: Remove "I’m So Busy" From Your Vocabulary

Bob Phibbs


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Topics: Motivation, Mindset, Retail

8 Questions To Be Answered When Considering Retail Sales Training

Bob Phibbs

Whether the retail sales training is delivered in person by a sales trainer like myself, online through a program like my, or an in-house program, you want to answer these concerns prior to launch.

1. Who is going to be our point person and take overall ownership of the learning process for the stores? They must be behind the need for training 100% and believe in how it can increase sales.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, selling

Avoid These 4 Small Business Saturday Shop Small Retail Mistakes

Bob Phibbs

American Express Small Business Saturday is November 29, 2014.

While the day prior - Black Friday - is big chains’ day, Saturday is the day for independents to amp up their volume.

It is your chance to gain exposure to your neighborhood shoppers.  For that reason, you want to make the day memorable for them.

And that doesn’t revolve around a discount.


A discount does nothing to build your reputation as a retailer, and it doesn’t give your shoppers a reason to go out of their way to visit you.

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Topics: Marketing, Small Business, American Express, Small Business Saturday

Do You Have A Bitter Betty Employee Killing Your Retail Sales?

Bob Phibbs

You’ve met her  …or him before as a customer …

The employee who knows everything.

Who condescends to help you if they are so moved. 

Whose unhappiness with their own life spills over onto the sales floor and onto unsuspecting customers.

The root of the problem, I believe, is that  they have lost any curiosity about your customer, your products, and their job.

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5 Pitfalls of DIY Retail Sales Training in Your Store

Bob Phibbs

While I love to speak to retailers and train them how to sell better in their stores, I have another passion for fixing up old houses.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Retail Sales Training

Retail Holiday Sales: It's Called Thanksgiving, Not Thanksgetting

Bob Phibbs

The US Thanksgiving holiday will be celebrated this year with retailers opening on Thanksgiving and people leaving their homes to shop instead of sharing their day with loved ones. 

Thanksgiving I still believe, is about giving, not getting.

Thanksgiving used to be a holiday where several generations of family and friends would be seated around a large dinner table listening as Grandfather said grace, then watching as Dad carved the turkey and Mom brought out the pies.

The kids were sitting quietly at a separate table. It is an image captured in a Norman Rockwell painting.

 It is far removed from reality for many today.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Retail Holiday Sales, Thanksgiving, Black Friday

Are You Overlooking This Advanced Retail Selling Technique?

Bob Phibbs

One of the most basic elements of any retail sales training program is covering product features and benefits. The feature is a fact you can’t dispute; the benefit is what the customer gets from that fact.

You know that already, I hope.

But many times what is heard on the salesfloor is only a list of features.

Boring. Boring. Boring.

And overwhelming.

And it frequently trips a customer’s idiot switch.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training

Why Retailers Should Display Christmas Merchandise Before Halloween

Bob Phibbs

It's that time of the year ...

Time for the leaves to change...

Corn mazes to sprout up...

Pumpkin spice latte...

and the perennial favorite of writers everywhere...

"I can't believe they already have Christmas stuff out and its not even Halloween."


Oh, excuse me, I suppose I should be in the camp talking about "the good old days" when Ralphie and Flick would admire the merchandise retailers had put in the shop windows during the annual Christmas parade at Higbees.

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Topics: Retail Sales, Retail Holiday Sales, visual merchandising

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