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Many retailers are looking for ways to get customers to purchase their products in their stores.

I passed a retail store with one of those guys spinning a sign out in front. He was trying to get cars going past at 45 mph to see him. But it wasn’t working. In the heat, he just looked purposeless.

Possibly your sales have been falling lately, and you don’t understand why.

You walk through your store and see lots of people browsing, but they’re leaving without purchasing anything. That means you have a low conversion rate.

Instead of immediately concentrating on your training, you might have decided to dust off a few of the old gimmicks that retailers have used forever to try and improvement sales.

But hadn’t you already noticed that those gimmicks just don’t work?

When you carefully look, you’ll see that retail sales training is the only real answer to your problem.

Here are five things you’ve possibly tried to boost sales and why they didn’t work:

We’re Lowering Prices!


Discounts are a favourite of worried businesses everywhere. (See my many early posts on Groupon.) Too bad discounts don’t work. Think about it — you’re going to take products that you’re already not selling, and try to sell them for less? Discounts can be useful for getting people through the door, but you’ve already done that. Your problem is getting those people to buy your products — at their regular prices! Remember, lowering prices is just another way of lowering profits.

“Like” us on...

Social media pages like Facebook, Instagram and Vine can be addictive and a lot of fun. You can spend hours updating your Facebook Fan page and interacting with possible customers. But at the end of the day, only 1‐10% of your fans will even see an update, and few will spend a dime in your store. Fix your conversion problem before you spend too much time online.

Circus! Circus!

Holding free events is just another distraction for shop owners. You can pay to advertise the event and then bring in a clown, a guy that makes balloon animals, or even a face painter — I’m sure everyone will have a great time. But, at the end of the day, you’ll be even more behind.

Again, your problem isn’t customers, it’s sales. You’ve already got people coming into your store; they just aren’t buying. Paying to have more people not buying things isn’t a great solution.

Wasting Money

Maybe you think some fliers could help strike up more business. Here’s something for you to try: Go find someone handing out fliers or sticking them on car windshields; now go find the closest trashcan. You might just as well throw your money directly in the trash!

Nobody on the street likes being handed fliers, and paying your employees to annoy people on the sidewalk isn’t the best use of their time or your money. Employees need to make sales in the store. Period.

We Have It All!

Adding new product lines is isn’t helping your problem of things not selling. If you’ve already got customers coming into your store; obviously, they’re interested in looking for something. Adding more product lines just gives you more merchandise that won’t be selling.

How are you going to sell it? You add a great retail sales training program.

Solve the Real Problem

If you’ve got customers but not sales, the problem is with the customer experience on your floor. If you’ve done all of the work to get people through the door; it’s up to your salespeople to know how to sell the merch.

Employees do not naturally walk in the door knowing how to build rapport. Few have been trained to listen for buying signs or taught how to get customers to treat themselves well. If you don’t train them in those selling skills, your average check and conversion rates suffer.

About the Author
Bob Phibbs
Since 1994 companies worldwide have turned to Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor® for the proven expertisenecessary to grow their sales. An American retail expert, Phibbs has been engaged as a motivational speaker on retail, a luxury retail sales trainer, author, franchisor and customer service champion. 

He is frequently called on to provide commentary on Marketing and Branding for MSNBC, FOX and others. His clients include some of the largest retail brands in the world including Bernina, Caesars Palace, Chopard, Hunter Douglas, Lego, Omega, Hearts on Fire, Husqvarna, Tommy Bahama, Vera Bradley and Yamaha.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.


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