Topic: Retail Sales

How To Increase Retail Sales Per Square Foot

By Bob Phibbs

iStock_000030772404XSmall-ideaIt’s one of the most asked questions I hear, “How can I increase my retail sales?”

You can call it increasing conversion rates, increasing the number of items per transaction, or hitting higher goals; all of these markers add up to higher retail sales per square foot.

Marketing can’t do that.

Adding another product line can’t do that.

Stacking merchandise in the aisle can’t do that.

An app can’t do that.

Only employees can do that…

However you measure it, you need to get more of your product out the door more often.

The best way to achieve this is by your retail sales team carefully crafting every interaction with your customers.

That means no fluff. No winging it. No excuses.

Every interaction, word, and action must be sorted and weighed to produce the desired result... a sale.

As longtime readers will remember, I originally received my degree in conducting. Making music is very similar to making a sale. What makes a song great is the words.

The lyricist has to be able to whittle down their thoughts succinctly, or the song won’t resonate with the audience.

In a retail store, the very first word you speak when greeting a customer to your very last Thank you, come again, should be planned. Every line you speak is a focused opportunity to move the sale forward.

Am I saying to be a Uniqlo employee with 16 scripted lines that can be said?

Not at all!

Every word needs to connect to the customer you are speaking to. Every sentence should have a natural cadence with a rise and fall that is pleasing to listen to.

On Broadway, lyricists agonize over every word for fear it is not concise enough. They know that there are many things working on the listener – the sets, the accompaniment, the other actors, the costumes, etc. – their lyrics have to be understood in the middle of a lot of distractions.

So too, a salesperson’s words should precisely build rapport and trust.

If people don't agree on the meaning of the words they are using, they can't communicate. That often happens because many retail salespeople just wing it in hopes of saying the right thing.

To make sure you have a hit sale, include these four tips every time you interact with a customer:

- First, make sure you approach every customer; don’t wait for them to approach you.

- Welcome them to your store with a greeting the customer can’t say no to such as Good morning.

- If you are selling something that takes a bit of time like a computer, window coverings, or running shoes, tell your customer how much time it will take; that way, everyone can relax.

- Make sure to actively listen to your customer. Pause frequently to hear what they are saying; then focus your answers and check to make sure they are understood. Repeat the process until you can naturally ask for the sale.

The process is much like a song; it has to be succinct and meaningful to lead to a sale. That’s how you increase your retail sales per square foot.

You can’t wing it and expect a hit.

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