I’ve spoken to several pawnbrokers and jewelry retailers lately and I’ve also been commenting about luxury sales and how things need to change for these retailers.
I’ve condensed several points into this post with my seven tips to make your retail store more profitable.
Approach with fresh eyes.
It’s great if your parents founded your business in 1950 – but if it still looks that way, you’ve got a problem. And if it smells sort of like 1950, you have a bigger problem. Staid may work in England, but luxury needs to speak to today’s customers with updated lighting, new floor coverings, current colors, and on-trend display fixtures.
Raise the counters.
Does anyone want to look at something in a store below the level of their belt? No. The sweet spot in any display is between the belly button and the eyes. You want to highlight your best products at eye level. Stooping over isn’t their preferred way to do many things, especially for older consumers. Raise your display counters to 42” instead of 32” so customers can have an up-close relationship with the products they browse.
Pay more for a smiling security guard.
Does having to be buzzed in by a security guard make a passerby want to browse your retail store? While they may be a fact of life in certain areas, more often than not, the guards look bored, with an unwelcoming attitude. That sets the stage for more of the same inside the guarded doors. Interview your security guards as you would an employee and pay more for those with social skills like smiling and a welcoming attitude.
Goose your employees.
How passive are your employees? If they only respond to customers’ requests, you need to fix that. Train them to actively get the luxury watch, ring or necklace on as many customers’ wrists, fingers, or necks as possible. My online retail sales training SalesRX.com can help you do that easily with a high ROI.
Cut the Cs.
Are you still pitching the color, clarity, cut, and carat of your diamonds as THE compelling investment strategy? Customers can find all of that online – and probably have. The only value your store adds to the purchase process is when you focus on why this customer, on this day, walked into your store. Why did she drive past dozens of competitors, ignore thousands of online competitors and go through the traffic and trouble of finding a parking spot to shop with you? It’s about how that brilliant gem makes her feel, not think.
Cut the ABCs.
“ABC. Always be closing” is something commissioned salespeople often quote and laugh about from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross because it is so tired and overused. Yes, the goal is to get the sale, of course; but your customers will appreciate being guided, not goaded. Luxury goods are a want and not a time-sensitive need. Luxury by nature means giving people space – in your displays, in your approach, and in your close. When you’ve used something like my five parts to a successful sale, all of the time has been spent having a unique interaction with each customer and the close comes naturally. If your salespeople use the same generic sales process more suited for tin siding or used cars, I suggest you spend some serious time developing their rapport skills.
Train the technology.
Associates need to approach customers with an open heart looking to make a unique, positive impression. They need to be able to vicariously appreciate the customer’s excitement at finding that one perfect watch or exquisite diamond ring. It’s great to have an iPad with product videos but that never should take the place of human contact. Small screens draw attention down and masks the viewer’s eyes.
Here are the takeaways from this post for every type of retailer:
Your store’s age adds nothing to the shopping experience; new sells.
Raise your counters.
Lose the features-based selling.
As you add technology, keep a laser focus on humanity.
Most of these tips involve removing barriers between the salespeople and the customers; humanity has to be the focal point over the fixtures.
You’ve probably noticed how bank lobbies are being transformed from utilitarian, cold places where customers line up into welcoming and warm waiting areas. You’ve probably also noticed hotel registration desks transformed from massive walls of marble, stone, and wood into desks of a more human scale.
The spirit of retail is changing to embrace customers and away from the this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it.
Use these seven tips to attract customers and encourage them to return more often to your retail shop.
I work with some of the biggest, best brands in the world on how to become more authentic in an increasingly inauthentic world where technology is driving everything. If you’re looking to create a remarkable experience with your retail sales team, you need the best retail sales training. Visit salesrx.com to learn more or download the outline.