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Stupendous Retail Sales Success Skills

It's easy to complain about circumstances that seem less than ideal, and make them responsible for why we are not as successful as we want to be in the business of retail sales.  

But there are far more productive things we can do for stupendous retail sales success.

Engage In C.B.D.


The most successful retail sales professionals engage in CBD: Constant Business Development.


They follow up with customers to establish top-of-mind awareness.  They understand that following up is a way of helping their customers to think of them when the customer has a need for what they offer.


The greatest sellers use follow-ups to make sure the customer knows that they really do care and to uncover any service needs the customer might have.


Inexperienced retail sales professionals don't want to know if the customer needs anything after the sale, because they think that anything more that they do for the customer means more work for the same pay.


But retail sales is far more multidimensional than the inexperienced retail sales professional presumes.  Every element of the customer's experience of doing business with you can turn into more sales success.


If the customer is having a problem, and you find out about it, and do what you can to fix it, you have just won a loyal customer who will feel inspired to do business with you again, to spend even more money with you the next time around, and who will more passionately refer you to her friends.



Follow-ups with customers are great opportunities to upsell. The most successful retail sales professionals understand that any sale is really just a foundation for selling up.


Inexperienced sales professionals are afraid to sell up.  They are afraid to bother the customer with another pitch.  But that demonstrates a lack of understanding of what selling is all about.  It's all about the customer's happiness.


The most successful sales professional is not “on the take”.   He's on the GIVE. 


You have to genuinely believe that what you are offering is really FOR the customer.  You are not about serving you.  You are about helping your customer get what he wants.  When you sell up you are giving the customer an opportunity to become happier.


Upselling is limited by the sales person's limiting mindset.  If you, as the seller, have in your mind that $10,000 is too much money to spend on purchasing a bed, you are going to deprive your customer of the $10,000 bed experience.


The successful sales person conditions his mind to thoroughly appreciate the value of the most expensive sale that can be made.  You can do this by focusing on the positives that are unique to the higher ticket item.  Think of the kind of customer, and the values of the customer, who would feel best served by those special benefits.


Less Expensive Is Not Easier


Inexperienced retail sales professionals commonly make the mistake of thinking that it's easier to sell a less expensive item than a more expensive item.  In reality, though, you will find it easiest to sell what is most inspiring to YOU.


If you are excited about the benefits of the most expensive item in the store, you will easily translate that excitement to your prospect.  


Typically, people actually want what the most expensive item offers.  When we REALLY want something, we find a way to make it happen.


If your customer balks at the price, look for the most comparable experience at the top of the customer's price range.  This is not to squeeze the most money possible from the customer, but to provide the best benefits possible to the buyer.


Sometimes the sale is made easier by lowering price, but don't drop the price hastily.  You may be better off letting the customer walk away, because she may think about it and decide that she really does what what you are offering and she can find a way to pay for what she really, really wants.

The sale is made easier maintaining confidence in the value of what you are selling.  The more confident you are the more more trust you inspire.  


Communication Is Key


Responsive communication gives the sales person huge leverage in the building of a great customer base.  Be aware of how you sound on the phone.  Speak clearly.  Remember to think about how the person on the other end of the line is feeling.  Sound alert, positive, caring, and really present, whether you are speaking in person or speaking over the phone.


Make all emails personable yet professional.  Be concise.  Don't expect someone to read a lengthy email, particularly one that is written only in your interest. 


Your emails should be brief to show respect for your client's time.  In the best instances, they present information that is of value to the person reading it.  For instance, it doesn't just invite the customer back into the store.  It might inform the customer of a short-term sale that addresses the needs, interests, values of the particular customer reading the email.


You might write: “Last time you were in the store you mentioned that you wanted to hold off buying a pair of navy slacks for now.  Well, right now they are on sale.  Would you like me to put one aside for you?  Just let me know.”


It's amazing how much more successful you can be by taking down some notes about your customer after the buy.  This information helps you to formulate a follow-up call or email that speaks directly to that specific customer's motivations. It also conveys understanding of the customer that makes the customer feel a deeper sense of bonding with you, which encourages him to want to do more business with you.


And be sure to live up to every one of your promises.  If you say you are going to do something, make sure it happens when you say it will.  If it can't happen, let the customer know as soon as possible that it can't happen, why it can't happen, and when it will happen.  The moment you fail to live up to what you say you will do, you begin losing trust and that means losing business.


Generate Business Positively


Keep in mind that you are responsible for generating your sales success.  You are responsible for growing your own business.  The work you put into making customers feel important, cared about and well served will pay off with more sales opportunities for you.


Some retail sales professionals seek to build their business in a negative way, which ultimately sabotages their success.  They might try to “steal” a customer away from a fellow sales professional.  They may do other underhanded things to undermine the success of a fellow sales person.


Negative, competitive tactics backfire because sales success is based on integrity and trust.  You can't fake integrity and get away with it.  People sense a dishonest person, even if they don't realize they sense it.  You radiate who you are, and others pick up on it.


Your fellow sales professionals will be suspicious of you, your management will be suspicious of you, and your prospective customers will be suspicious of you if you rely on underhanded tactics to get ahead.


Be A Team Player


Being a true team player on the retail floor demonstrates fine character.  Your prospective customers will sense your positive “team attitude” and thus feel confident that you are on their side. 


As you help your team, your team becomes more positive and successful, which attracts more business into your store and helps you to feel (and therefore to be) more positive and successful at work.


One way of being a team player is to help your fellow sales people make their deals.  If you have time, help your sales team mate move the process along more quickly by, say, bringing samples for her prospect to view.


Another way to lift up your sales team is by coaching a new seller who lacks confidence.


Sell From Strength


No sales person wants to lose a sale, but if you come off too desperate, needy or pushy you end up pushing customers away. 


Cultivate the attitude that there is no limit to the number of customers that you can connect with.  Do your best to make each sale happen, but do that on the basis of forming a relationship of authentic caring for each prospect and customer.  If the customer chooses not to buy, trust that an even better customer will soon show up to purchase even more.

Use every sales experience to grow.  Reflect on what happened to derive some educational benefit, particularly when the sale falls through.  

For instance, work on improving your reaction to a “no thank you”, so that it takes less of an emotional toll on you.  Learn how to accept “no” for an answer, without seeing it as a defeat.  By deliberately looking for ways to grow through what you go through in every seller experience, you turn every seller experience to your advantage.


Think of yourself as a successful person with abundance.  You become the person you think of yourself as being.  You come off like that person.  Customers are attracted to success and prosperity.  Success and prosperity are attracted to the person who sees herself as successful and prosperous. 


Don't use a successful and prosperous self-concept as an excuse to treat people poorly or to come off arrogantly, though.  Demonstrate the humility that expresses genuine respect and appreciation for your customer.  Successful sales people never take customers for granted.  Who and what you take for granted, you lose.


Master The Ups And Downs


Every business goes up and down.  The pattern of the wave is intrinsic to all situations.  But you can mitigate the down cycles of your sales success by engaging in continuous personal and business development.


Read books, attend classes, seek wisdom, knowledge and skill-development.  This will help you to stay positive and to be more productive.


Make follow-up calls.  Recruit customers to sell for you!  Here's one way.  Give your customer two business cards after the sale.  Have the customer write down her name on the back of them.  Let your customer know that you will give her a gift certificate worth $100 if someone comes into the store, makes a purchase and hands in this business card.


When the referring customer returns for the gift, you have an opportunity for another sale.


Like To Be Likeable


People love to buy from people they like.  The key to being likeable is to relate with someone in a way that communicates to him that you really like him.


Demonstrating that you like someone is not manipulative.  Every spiritual tradition in the world talks about the virtue of caring about others.  It's our humane responsibility to learn how to relate with people in a way that helps them to feel valued, significant and special.  Relating with people in this way in and of itself serves them in a meaningful way and gives purpose to our lives.  It also makes sales.

Root out every personality trait you harbor that causes people to feel defensive or disliked by you, not just to make the sale, but to be a better human being.


The most successful retail sales person is rarely if ever frustrated, critical or impatient.  If a customer or prospect begins to get on your nerves, use it as an exercise to develop more patience, tolerance and good will.  Your sales success will be limited by the limits of your patience.


When a prospect or customer treats you impatiently or disrespectfully, respond by demonstrating perfect patience and respectfulness.  You can transform an unkind person into a kinder person by responding to unkindness with kindness.  You will also find yourself feeling happier and more self-respect by not sinking down to a negative person's level.  And you will make more sales.


Don't Sell; Serve


The most successful sellers don't operate as sellers.  They operate as consultants.  They are the experts of the product that the customer comes in to look at.  They are the experts in matching up the customer's values with the product's benefits.  They are experts at helping the customer get what she wants.


If all the customer comes in for is an education, then be the best educator you can be.  Listen to the customer's questions and provide clear, accurate answers.  Focus on ensuring that the customer has the best possible experience of spending time with you in the store.  If nothing else, the customer will think of you as someone who serves with excellence, and thus he will feel encouraged to bring you his business and to send business your way.


Be Honest About In-store Shoppers Who Are Online Buyers


In today's Internet virtual shopping world, one of the most frustrating experiences for the unseasoned sales person is the in-store shopper who is really an online buyer.  This is the customer who comes in to touch the real product and learn about it from the sales person, but who plans to purchase it online for the cheaper price.


You can turn this to your advantage.  Help the customer know all he needs to know to make the smart purchase.  And if it appears that she is not going to make the purchase, there is nothing wrong with mentioning that you work on commission, and that you would at least appreciate that she come into the store to purchase accessories.  Also let her know that once she buys from you, she has an advocate, a real customer service ally, who is committed to seeing to it that the customer remains satisfied.




Great managers can help you to be successful.  They can help you turn a potential deal into an actual deal by giving you permission to offer a free or discounted upgrade, perhaps a free delivery.


Great retail sales managers are great coaches, helping the less experienced sales professional get up to speed.  And they are watchful of what happens on the floor to ensure that the team is performing like a team and that customers are treated with respect, appreciation, courtesy and care.  Great retail sales managers make a positive one-on-one connection with the employee that motivates them.


But managers can also have a negative impact.  They can treat the sales professionals as unworthy of respect, which de-motivates the seller to perform. 


Negative managers have been known to jealously interfere with a star sales person's success by undoing deals.  It's not as unusual as you might expect for an insecure manager to ruin sales by cancelling deliveries or calling customers to say that the seller misspoke or made a false promise.


Although it won't seem fair, if you have to deal with a negative manager try to see it as an opportunity to strengthen your own self-respect and self-motivation and to strengthen your ability to keep your customers happy.  In other words, use the adversity to become better at what you do by determining to be successful anyway.


As long as you do not get caught up in a negative petty rivalry with the manager, but stay focused on growing through the challenges that befall you and functioning with the utmost integrity, you will find that either that manager goes, the manager grows or that you move on to a more positive work environment.

In retail sales, as in life, we reap what we sow.

Boost your retail store revenues by sharpening the retail sales skills of your retail sales professionals with a motivating seminar or keynote for your retail sales team.

Improve morale, team work, customer service and sale revenues of your retail establishment.

Call 404-297-4043 or email for a dynamic and transformative retail sales success skills workshop to get your sales team more focused, more positive, more engaged, more productive.

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