Topic: Retail Sales

5 Wrong-headed Things You've Probably Tried To Increase Your Retail Sales

By Bob Phibbs

retail sales mistakesMany retailers are looking for ways to get customers to purchase their products in their stores.

I passed a retail store with one of those guys spinning a sign out in front. He was trying to get cars going past at 45 mph to notice him. But it wasn’t working. In the heat, he just looked desperate.

Perhaps your sales have been slumping lately, and you’re not sure why.

You walk through your store and see plenty of people browsing, but they’re leaving without buying anything. That means you have a low conversion rate.

Instead of immediately focusing on your training, you might have decided to dust off a few of the old gimmicks that retailers have used for generations to try and boost sales.

But hadn’t you already noticed that those gimmicks just don’t work?

When you carefully look, you’ll see that retail sales training is the only real solution to your problem.

Here are five things you’ve probably tried to increase sales and why they didn’t work:

We’re Slashing Prices!

Discounts are a favorite of desperate businesses everywhere. (See my many early posts on Groupon.) Too bad discounts don’t work. Think about it — you’re going to take products that you’re already not selling, and try to sell them for less? Discounts can be useful for getting people through the door, but you’ve already done that. Your problem is getting those people to buy your products — at their regular prices! Remember, slashing prices is just another way of slashing profits.

“Like” us on…

Social media pages like Facebook, Instagram and Vine can be addictive and a lot of fun. You can spend hours updating your Facebook Fan page and interacting with potential customers. But at the end of the day, only 1-10% of your fans will even see an update, and few will spend a dime in your store. Fix your conversion problem before you spend too much time chatting online.

Circus! Circus!

Hosting free events is just another distraction for shop owners. You can pay to advertise the event and then bring in a clown, a guy that makes balloon animals, or even a face painter — I’m sure everyone will have a great time. But, at the end of the day, you’ll be even further behind.

Again, your problem isn’t customers, it’s sales. You’ve already got people coming into your store; they just aren’t buying. Paying to have more people not buying things isn’t a great solution.

Throwing Money Away

Maybe you think some fliers could help drum up more business. Here’s something for you to try: Go find someone handing out fliers or sticking them on car windshields; now go find the nearest trashcan. You might just as well throw your money directly in the trash!

Nobody on the street likes being handed fliers, and paying your employees to irritate people on the sidewalk isn’t the best use of their time or your money. Employees need to make sales in the store. Period.

We’ve Got it All!

Adding new product lines is another non-solution to your problem of things not selling. If you’ve already got customers coming into your store; obviously, they’re interested in looking for something. Adding more product lines just gives you more merchandise that won’t be selling.

How are you going to sell it? You add a great retail sales training program.

Solve the Real Problem

If you’ve got customers but not sales, the problem is with the customer experience on your floor. If you’ve done all of the work to get people through the door; it’s up to your salespeople to know how to sell the merch.

Employees do not innately walk in the door knowing how to build rapport. Few have been trained to listen for buying clues or taught how to get customers to treat themselves well. If you don’t train them in those selling skills, your average check and conversion rates suffer.

There’s a better way.

I’ve taken all of my retail sales training and brought it online. It’s trackable and certifiable. You can let SalesRX be your retail sales training department. With nearly forty bite-sized video lessons aimed to train your employees, it will help them sell the merchandise which is the only solution you’re looking for.

And the only one that matters.

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