The Retail Doctor's Blog

Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

10 Non-Negotiables Customers Expect When Visiting A Retail Store

Bob Phibbs

In many ways, retail is a lot of moving parts and yet in others it is very simple: Treat customers as you would want to be treated.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales Training, Employee Management, customer experience, retail customer service,

How To Interview And Discover Amazing Retail Employees [Hiring]

Bob Phibbs

I made an orange dessert for some friends the other night. When one of my guests took a bite, his face soured; he said it tasted bitter.

I took a scoop and realized there was a rotten spot on the orange I hadn’t noticed; I had ruined his dessert.

Like most retailers, you want guests to view your store in a positive light.

You spend a lot of time and money getting them to the front door but that’s where it all ends.

Once a customer steps into your store, your salespeople become the face of your business.

Whatever impression customers are left with after interacting with your salespeople is the only impression that matters.

And you never want bitter...

If you aren’t picky about who you put onto your salesfloor, you can ruin the entire experience for your customer.

This is one of the many reasons why hiring the right salesperson is critical to your success.

Read More

Topics: Retail Hiring, Employee Management, retail employee

7 Eye-Openers For How To Hire Great Retail Employees

Bob Phibbs

Prior to his opening, I was asked to visit a franchise to evaluate his new crew. I discovered the team members were bland, boring and shy.

None of them were customer-focused.

Without that, the store would fail disastrously.

When I asked the small business owner why he hired them, he explained, having had a background hiring for a set of convenience stores, “I just wanted to be sure they wouldn’t steal from me.”

While the chances of a great hire are about 50%, many employers continue to pick the wrong employee over and over. 

How does it happen?

Read More

Topics: Retail Hiring, Employee Management, retail management

How To Use Your Fitting Rooms To Fight Online Retailers

Bob Phibbs

When I was in high school, Tommy Smith showed up bald one day.

He had shaved off all of his hair and not just on his head but on his legs and arms and chest. 

He was on the swim team, and he wanted to gain the upper hand against our crosstown rivals.

Plenty of other guys on the team had heard about removing their body hair to speed up their times; many had even purchased the razors but never committed to using them.

Apparel shops are a lot like those guys…

They put dressing rooms in their stores only to not use them.

I thought about that today as I was reading Marge Laney’s new book, Fit Happens, Analog Buying In A Digital World (Legacy.) She cited an Accenture study that revealed 70% of online apparel is returned due to fit issues.

Let that sink in a minute…70% returns

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales, Fitting room, store design

7 Critical Things Your Retail Employees Won’t Tell You

Bob Phibbs

One of my earliest retail consulting clients was a coffee house.

One day I noticed the tip jar had $5 and $10 bills in it.

While one could dismiss the large bills as a result of making change for the register, I had to find out the truth myself.

One morning I stationed myself at a table that had a clear view to the register and tip jar.

I came to find out those $5 and $10 tips were in exchange for items ordered but not rung up. Since they were all doing it, no one told the owner.

That’s why We're Stealing From You is the first thing your associates won’t tell you.

Read More

Topics: Management, Employee Management, retail employee, training for retail customer service

How Bad Retail Customer Service In One Location Tanks Sales In All

Bob Phibbs

Like a lot of people, I love Chipotle.

Read More

Topics: Retail Sales Training, retail customer service,

Retail Businesses To Indiana: You Can’t Discriminate

Bob Phibbs

Alabama has run from a divisive law after Wal-Mart stepped into the conversation by saying the law, "threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold.”

That came prior to the Indiana legislatures’ 180 that they would change a divisive measure billed as a religious freedom law, to make clear that it does not permit discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

That was after a number of big businesses called out the law as discriminatory.

I find great hope in the events of the past week.

Business has been the catalyst for calling out discrimination.

It wasn’t always that way.

Read More

Topics: Retail

How To Use The Right Questions To Sell More Effectively

Bob Phibbs

How do I make my shop busier?

I get a lot of variations of this question from retailers...

Like everything is perfect; I just need more customers.

They are like gamblers who say they just need more chips.

But if they aren’t playing the game at the best of their ability, those poker chips are quickly squandered.

Likewise, if you aren’t getting the most out of those who are already visiting your store…

You’re settling for crumbs when you can have the whole feast.

That’s because you are probably making some huge assumptions:

  1. That customers know what they want.
  2. That they’ve gotten all the information they need from the web.
  3. That it’s all about price.

 All three of these are wrong.

Read More

Topics: Customer Service, Retail Sales Training

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Online Retail Sales Training, Retail Sales Training

Posts by Topic

see all

Subscribe to Email Updates

Start Training Today