Retail Sales Training – How To Be Profitable: Upsell During Your Sales Events

By Bob Phibbs

holiday retail salesI was at Macy’s Herald Square a while ago. It was incredible. The store was full of shoppers. Only thing missing was retail sales training.

Let me explain...

I stopped at a display of gloves. I needed a new pair as its getting below freezing in upstate.

I went over to the Isotoner Glove display. A sign “30% Off.” Above that another sign “Use your Macy’s card and get an additional 15% off.” I picked up a pair and tried them on, went to the counter where a pleasant woman was standing at the register.

“Do you have your coupon?” she asked.
“Uh, no.”
“That’s too bad, if you did you would have gotten an additional 15% off.” Now I got them for $20. And I could have gotten them for $17? WOW, I was ready to buy them at the $35 tag.

Could my clerk have said something like, “Yes, these are such a good deal you could buy an extra pair to give as gifts. And since they are one size fits all, you don’t have to worry about sizing”?

Sure they could. But they hadn't been trained how to upsell.

That's where so many retailers these days fall down. Hard.

Whenever I was working retail I used the sales to increase tickets, not decrease them. “All our shirts are on sale for 20%” was the impetus to upsell three shirts, not two.

Especially if you are seeing fewer customers, when you run sales, you typically are cutting your profits so you must find ways to generate additional sales. That comes from suggesting additional items - especially when they are on sale.

I learned this in the hotel business when we cut rates to increase occupancy. What happened? Occupancy barely moved up 2%. But the customers who would have paid more got a deal and profits fell. What we needed to do was get more money out of those who came.

Retail sales training can increase sales without spending a lot on marketing just concentrating on the people in the store. It’s a formula that has helped thousands of stores compete from some of the biggest to the smallest – whether economic news was good or bad.

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