Retail Salespeople: For Higher Holiday Sales, Take This Self-Assessment

By Bob Phibbs

salespeople retail assessment salesNot sure how you’ll make your sales goals in December retail salespeople?

Now is the perfect time for a quick assessment.  Take this quick inventory of how you approach your job in retail sales, and I’ll give you my thoughts afterwards.

Self-improvement

1.     I’ve read at least one book (physical or electronic) on selling, attitude, or self-improvement in the past six months.

  • Yes
  • No

2.     I regularly go back over every sales interaction to see what I could have done better.

  • Yes
  • No

Knowing your customer

3. I know my best customers by name.

  • Yes
  • No

4. I have researched my best customers on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

  • Yes
  • No

5. I’ve personally called, emailed, or visited my top 10 customers.

  • Yes
  • No

Knowing your numbers

6. I know exactly where I am in relation to the rest of my sales team.

  • Yes
  • No

7. I have a plan to increase my numbers this fall.

  • Yes
  • No

Knowing your merchandise

8. I can list various benefits to various customers, not just the features of our top 25 products.

  • Yes
  • No 

Finding new customers

9. I’m constantly thinking of new ways to get more customers that doesn’t involve discounting.

  • Yes
  • No

10. I am building a tribe of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram outside of my personal pages.

  • Yes
  • No

Attitude

11. Each day when I wake up, I list five things I’m looking forward to.

  • Yes
  • No

12. I treat every customer as if they could afford the best and most expensive item I sell. (Be honest; no one else can see your answer.)

  • Yes
  • No 

Goal-setting

13. I set a personal sales goal each day ($ sold, # of items I expect to sell, etc.)

  • Yes
  • No

14. I set out to give something of myself to a colleague or customer each day just because, with no expectation in return.

  • Yes
  • No

Drive

15. I personally hate losing a sale because it means the customer lost out.

  • Yes
  • No

16. I do not close the sale by offering a discount.

  • Yes
  • No

17. I use what I sell. (For example do you drink the coffee you sell, wear the clothes you sell, give the product you sell, etc.)

  • Yes
  • No

18. I select what I will wear each day with pride and great care; my clothing is coordinated, pressed and looks as good as I feel.

  • Yes
  • No

19. I feel closing the sale is a natural finish of my time with my customer.

  • Yes
  • No

20. Time is precious and I want to only do what will help me achieve more.

  • Yes
  • No

Scoring

Score each Yes with five points. Each No is zero. If your score is 80 or above, congratulations, you have a successful way of looking at sales.

If you are under 80, I would suggest you look at my selling tips below and plan now to adopt more of these behaviors if you want to increase your personal sales this holiday season. If you score 80 or above, I know you want to do even better so read on...

My Thoughts On Your Results

A disciplined, unrelenting focus on improving your sales abilities comes from being able to analyze what went right or wrong with a sale.  A loser’s limp happens when you blame everything on the economy, the customer, or external factors. External blame does nothing to build your own confidence or sales numbers. You control the entire conversation within your own four walls; own that. The blame falls squarely on your shoulders.

Even if the product you sell is several thousands more than you can personally afford, there are always smaller items you could buy.  Even if it is just a keychain, what you own says leagues about your own belief in the product.

If you’re not willing to buy an item you sell, then you probably don’t believe the item is worth it.  You feel like a fraud. That isn’t good. Items cost what they do for a reason. There are few, if any ways merchants can mark something up for no reason. Even the $800 hoodie at Bergdorf Goodman’s is worth it if you are looking for one with their logo and shopping at their only store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

A great salesperson knows it is OK to walk away from a sale.  One of my litmus tests for an art gallery when I want to purchase a new piece is I simply ask, “Is this the best price I can get?” The best say yes; the untrained will offer a discount, which I’ll take. They’re so stupid – they could have had the full sale if they’d believed in it, but they settled for crumbs.  

The most self-assured and confident salesperson feels the customer needs the item more than the salesperson needs the sale. From that, they come up with creative ways to see the product from the customer’s perspective and help them see they really want it – not need it.

Develop your own curiosity about the words you choose to use when talking to a customer.

Develop your curiosity about why a customer came into your store on this day, about what feeling they are looking to have, about what you can do to provide an exceptional experience, and about what you could do better. These will all go a long way toward you becoming the salesperson you hope to be.

When you are open to developing your selling abilities, you will feel comfortable asking a colleague to tell you how they perceived your interaction in a sales situation. That feedback will be invaluable in providing clarity towards what you do well and need to do better.

If you’ve read this far, you are already ahead of the pack.

You probably are passionate about what you sell – even if you can’t afford to buy what you sell or have little use for it.  That passion is probably readily apparent to those you serve because you make selling seem easy.

Selling is fun.

There, I said it.

Selling is fun because buying is fun.

I love to think of myself as an Olympic athlete always training for the next competition because it means I constantly have to be looking at ways to improve, and to be looking for ways no one else needs to know about but that keep me going back to the well to open my heart to another human being.

To get over myself.

To silence my little voice of doubt as the customer is deciding whether they will buy it.

To get over my little-boy button issues from childhood that can be pushed in a second by a customer’s actions and sends me backward into rejection.

Only then will customers feel my commitment to them and open their heart to play along with me in the fun process of buying something.

When you do that, customers will seek you out as their trusted-adviser, and not just on the products you sell, but even on what movie to see or at what restaurant to eat at.

They will return to you for that feeling they enjoy when they are in your company.

A feeling no app can produce.

No same-day delivery can deliver…

And certainly not like anyone else in the world can give them.

See also, 10 Non-Negotiables Customers Expect When Visiting A Retail Store

In Sum

Take this honest appraisal as a way to see how you can be more human in the way you deal with your customers. If you open yourself to another honestly, while honing your skills to engage them, you’ll realize it’s more about that than any product knowledge you have or expertise you’ve been given.

It’s about how you have put yourself together from an uneven childhood, a set of miraculous opportunities that opened your customers only to you.

To allow you to talk with another human being…

On this day…

Out of all the others in your life…

From a complex series of seemingly random events…

That brought you two together to converse.

Understand that, get some more retail sales training and I know you’ll have a great holiday and a customer base worthy of a self-assured individual.

And if you aren’t quite there know this…none of us is quite there yet, but we’re working on it.

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