I talk to hundreds if not thousands of retailers on a regular basis, and it continues to amaze me how many of them are hoping that things get better and the economy turns around. I know that hope and about two dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and that is about it. To sit back and hope that things get better is going to do absolutely nothing to ensure that things do get better in your store and for your business.
If you have a competitor or two in your town, you have an opportunity for a sales and profit increase. If you have had a competitor or two go out of business recently, you have an opportunity for a sales and profit increase. The retail jewelry pie isn’t going to get any bigger in the near future; however, your piece of the pie can get bigger. The day of the retail clerk are dead and gone. The person working on your sales floor has to be a trained, professional retail salesperson.
What are you doing this year that is considerably different from last year? What changes need to be made in the business to ensure its growth? From a sales and sales management perspective, which is the only area with which I deal, it is time to manage the business and the people based in factual, statistical information.
I find the biggest reason that businesses fail, or don’t reach their maximum potential is that they are managed based on opinions rather than factual information. It is time to implement non-negotiable sales and customer service standards. It is time to leave the ego at home and realize that maybe there is a better way.
I have what I call my five silver bullets for productivity improvement. You could say that these 5 things are the great, sound business principles that need to be implemented within every organization.
- Goals and Objectives
- Coaching and Training
- Non-Negotiable Sales, Customer Service and Operational Standards
- A Training Process
For example: I know that retail jewelry store owners spend a fortune to get customers to come in the front door, and yet many owners don’t know what happened with them once they got in the front door. The last statistic that I read said it costs $35 - $40 to get a customer to come into the store. With the industry averaging a 22% closing rate, what happens to the other 78% of the people that come in the door? Did the sales person capture their contact information, with permission for follow-up? Did the sales person make an appointment for a future visit? Was the customer that didn’t buy turned over to another salesperson to give them a chance at the sale? Or was the customer given your typical “Get out of the store free card” (a business card) and told “Come back when you are ready”? (OUCH)
When you multiply the number of customers that don’t or aren’t buying from you by $35 - $40, you can clearly see how expensive it is to have untrained people working the sales floor. In most stores it is tens of thousands of dollars a month. The customer was ready, they were in your store, they really wanted jewelry, and yet something went wrong. Oh well, Let’s hope they come back!