The Retail Doctor's Blog

Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

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

7 Retail Headlines To Scare You About This Holiday Season

Bob Phibbs

Retail is predictable in many ways.

The same predictable, negative retail holiday sales stories pop up about bricks and mortar retailers every year.

I’ve studied these stories each year and there is a pattern…

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Topics: Retail Holiday Sales

Sales Training: How to Get Started and What to Expect

Bob Phibbs

Imagine being in an airplane and overhearing a voice from the cockpit saying, “Just keep the nose in the air and if the warning lights don’t go off, call me.”

You, as a flight attendant, might begin preparing yourself for a crash.

Many small business owners open their own retail stores with a similar message to their employees,  “Just help the customers and if you get overwhelmed, call me.” 

That’s probably why so many crash…

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Topics: Retail Sales Training

Still Not Convinced You Need Retail Sales Training? Think Again!

Bob Phibbs

You’ve searched online trying to find some answers to increase your retail sales. You’ve been trying to attract more customers, but nothing seems to be working.

Maybe you’ve been trying to hit sales figures from a few years back and try as you might, it just seems like you’re working harder and making less progress.

Or you’ve tried more promotions to get people in the door, and you’ve ended up with a reliable group of discount customers who will come out of the woodwork - if you make the deal steep enough.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training

One Shocking Benefit of Putting Kids To Work In Retail

Bob Phibbs

When I was in fifth grade, I had a paper route for the Toledo Blade. My brothers gave me responsibility for a dozen households on their route.

There was one family on my route that most of the neighborhood kids hated.  I know it sounds stupid, but it was because the dad had an impeccable lawn.

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Topics: Retail

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