3 Steps To Motivate Yourself And Increase Retail Sales When It’s Slow


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When business slows down, it is easy to become despondent or lazy.

Whether you had a great year or not-so-great, it’s easy to feel like the wind is out of your sales.

For example, once January 1st hits, there is no immediacy anymore, and personal motivation can be tougher. There’s no finite date when everything has to be ready and no finite date to build toward.

Here’s how to stay motivated.

1. Find some why’s around your store.

  • "Why do we always put that there?"
  • "Why does it look so dark in here?"
  • "Why have we let the store look rundown?"
  • "Why don’t we have more names on our email list, followers on our social media accounts, and visitors to our website?"
  • "Why is our average check lower than the last year’s?"

When the why’s become big enough, your mind will naturally have to devise the hows.

2.  Ask yourself what if we could?

"What if we could relight that area of the store?" Then it’s easy to ask, "How would we do it?"

"What if we gave retail sales training to each team member?" Then it’s easy to ask, "How would we organize and hold them accountable?"

3. Ask yourself how you could do it.

Entrepreneurs are a resilient lot.

We come back from things: a missed sale, an over-ordered product, a great employee having to move along.  

We have no challenge when we don’t ask those questions about our business... and ourselves—nothing to potentially go right or wrong, just limbo.

While that can be OK for a day or two, stay in that mode long enough, and you’ll become another Bitter Betty who calls her friends to complain about how slow it is.

"Bouncing back and setting new directions is what makes retail...and life really... fun."

Three steps to avoid the felon pose

If you are a salesperson, this three-part system works just as easily for you as well...  

retail sales training postureWithout a steady stream of traffic, you might find your hands clasped behind your butt in felon pose, waiting for a long time behind the counter.

Don’t end up in felon pose.

First, ask yourself about your customers.

  • "Why don’t I know more about my best customers?"
  • "Why don’t I track what they have in their closet?"
  • "Why haven’t I seen them in a while?"

Second, ask yourself, "What if I could…"

  • "What if I could find out more about my best customers?"
  • "What if I could come up with a list of items they or their spouse have purchased from us?"

Third, let the answers come to you, "How would I do it?"

  • "Could I search LinkedIn and Facebook when I have time?"
  • "Could I learn more about my best customers by setting up Google alerts for their company or them?"

Of course, you could.

Planning draws us forward and out of our own heads—focusing on "what if we could" keeps the past in the past and puts a fire in our bellies.

I can tell you the best salespeople and entrepreneurs are hungry for how to stay in that place.  But when you complain, you leave that "what if we could" attitude out of your life and store.

The belief in challenging yourself will renew you every day, not just in the winter or when it is slow.

For those Delta agents, that new challenge and their creativity in answering "what if we could" help make their day as good as their customers.

See also: Excellent Customer Service Starts With This

How to find motivation and carry your momentum forward

Try my three-part system to stay motivated, and you’ll find once you start, you’ll find your momentum.

The key here is not just to sit and make lists and lists. Ask some why’s, prioritize,  then go on to the "what if we could" and give yourself some space so the hows can naturally appear.

What makes this resilient spirit fun is, on the other side, as you break through setbacks - the doing after you discover the hows is just as crucial as asking those questions in the first place.

And if you’d like some help training your crew on selling, remember the Retail Doctor makes house calls.