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In this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks show we will consider ways to convert leads and generate more customers.
E-commerce accounted for nearly 12% of total retail sales in 2016 (US Department of Commerce) and is growing year-on-year.
That's impressive, but what about converting those 88% of purchases still made in-store? How can your front line sales reps generate those sales? What are the tools and tactics to ensure a passing face in your outlet becomes a customer?
Our guest is Bob Phibbs, the New York-based Retail Doctor and #1 Retail Consultant, Speaker, and Trainer.
Listen to this episode of the CPSA Sales Hacks Podcast and discover:
* How can retail sales reps sell to different personality styles?
* What are cross-generational selling techniques?
* How can salespeople prioritize shoppers who have already decided to buy versus possible buyers who need more information?
* What can be learned from online buyer behaviour which can be taken back to the store floor?
Want to hear more? Check out these bonus soundbites:
* At a company level, what are 2-3 top strategies to generate leads in the retail sector?
* Where does the role of digital signage fit in with influencing decisions at the point of purchase?
* What are 2-3 of the most innovative retail marketing tactics you've seen in the past 5 years?
Read the edited transcription:
Bill Banham: Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, based in New York, welcome to the show.
Bob Phibbs: Thanks so much! Glad to be here.
Bill Banham: Okay. Let's jump straight in. Today we are talking about ways to kickstart lead generation in the retail sector, and we've got lots of really interesting things to go through, so, firstly, can you tell us how retail sales reps can sell to different personality styles?
Bob Phibbs: I think, first you have to know what your personality style is. If you go to retaildoc.com, and you can find the Resource Center, you can actually take a free personality quiz, and it'll take you, I don't know, two or three minutes to do, but I think it's really important that you know what your personality style is. I'm a driver personality. I've kind of got a big ... I'm kind of like, well, I'll be, even, like Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or Gordon Ramsey, or pretty much anyone on a movie that's trying to kill the world, or on Wall Street. It's a real ego-driven personality. It's got a lot of, "I did this, I did this, I did this," and the downside of that is, we can be pretty full of ourselves, and we aren't necessarily team players, and so we also process information really quickly. So, I would talk to another driver, kind of like, "An A goes to N, which goes to T and Z," and another driver's going to say, "Well, awesome." But an analytical is going to go, "Well, where's B? Where's C? Where's D?" It's like, ugh, you're driving me crazy. But if I understand that, and there's two other personalities besides these two, then I understand that, okay, I need to talk the way they want to talk to me. I don't expect them to change to my style because ... When I was first starting out, I would alienate people. In fact, even when I was starting speaking 27-some years ago, my early speeches were all about me and how great I was ... and then you realize, okay, so, for me to make a sale, I have to make room for them to be comfortable, and if I'm coming on like a Mack truck, I'm probably going to alienate two thirds of the people I come in contact with. So, I think that personality styles, in particular, give you a chance to say, "I'm glad to know who I am," but we have aspects of all four personalities in us already. How do I access that other one instead of just going with who I've always been?
Bill Banham: That's personalities covered. What about the generations? Tell us a bit about cross-generational selling techniques.
Bob Phibbs: Well, I'm going to assume most of the people on this call are going to be high earners. We're not talking people who are working at Walmart, I wouldn't think, or the dollar store, so, pretty much, the more expensive your items are, the more you really have to understand Boomers and Millennials, and I think the important thing to just realize is that the silent generation, which would be, like, my grandparents. These are people over 95. They were very thrifty, and then, if you go to the next generation, which was my mom, and she's in her 90s now, we call them the silent generation, and they are the boomers' parents, and they grew up in the Depression. So, when your spending patterns are determined when ... Your formative years of how you spend money are when you're 16 to about 23. So, they grew up in the Depression, they learned this, but they also come out of the Depression, so they'll never forget that, but they have a little window about the better life, and they kind of provided a little bit to it. But I got some gifts at Christmas and one for my birthday; there was no shut-up toy in the supermarket, and now the baby boomers' kids whether it's gen X or millennials, have grown up with abundance all the time, so everything is available all the time. They are looking on a phone, or they're texting, or these other things. Where this usually comes into play is, if you're managing them, here's the reality: boomers still control most of the purse of luxury goods. And, yeah, I get it, there's millennials who want to do it, and they've got the parents' credit card, and I get that there's some of that, and I get that they can influence the choice a little bit. But a lot of people are chasing millennials, and if you look at what I just told you about, we set our spending patterns from the time we're roughly 16 to 23, you realize they grew up right around the Great Recession. This is going to influence them forever. I mean, they're going to be closer to my mom's parents, about being thrifty, 'cause if they have gone to college, they've got huge amounts of college debt, a third don't have credit cards, a third don't have driver's license, so I think spending a lot of time and looking at millennials as the same as boomers tends to be wrongheaded for me.
Boomers and gen X still expect great experiences, and they're willing to pay for people who'll wait on them and realize what it took for them to have the money do it. They aren't necessarily going to be checking their smartphone every five seconds to see if they can get a deal, or a coupon, or something like that. They're much more, they'll reward a great sales process, whereas millennials are not brand loyal. And the one thing we're learning about millennials, they're starting to call it generation generic because, you know, look at the growth of H&M and some of these teen retailers where it isn't about quality. It's about the look of quality, right? It's about plated. It's like, you buy all the stuff to make a great dinner so you look like a chef, but you're not a great chef. And you buy the dress 'cause it looks ... It's the newest design, but it only cost you $29, so you wear it once or twice and throw it out. It's a very different mindset than boomers, so I think just understanding when you're selling to people, don't discount the boomers, and more importantly, just understand that you could do a really great job with millennials. In fact, I frequently hear this now. And they have no problem pulling out their smartphone at the end of it, and swiping it, and saying, "I'm going to order it online." So, big challenges in selling between generations, and certainly more than I can get into in a few minutes.
Bill Banham: In just a moment we are going to switch focus and talk a bit about the impact of online retail...
Bob Phibbs: Okay.
Bill Banham: ...and the lessons that can be taken back to the store floor, but before we do, let's just stay on the floor for a moment longer.
Bob Phibbs: Sure.
Bill Banham: And, I'd love to get your insights into something else that, maybe, you can't quite figure out from the personality style or the generation and that's the intent to buy. How can those sales reps on the floor figure out if someone is there because they already have the information that they want and they're ready to make a buying decision, or maybe they're kicking the tires?
Bob Phibbs: Most people are coming at an awareness stage. They know they want something. They don't know what it is, and, secondly, in consideration phase, so they're trying to decide between the red and the black, or the upgraded version and the cheaper one, and so, if you say, "Hi, can I help you today?" you're really only talking to 10% of your customers. 85% of search starts online before anyone gets to the store, so you get somebody in your store, that's a warm lead, and it's yours to lose. Because, if you look at just how much it takes for somebody to drive to a store, take the time out of your day, get in the car in the snow, the sun, the whatever, find a parking place, try to find the business and walk in, that's a real determination. In fact, I think studies are something like anywhere from 60 to 75% of people are inclined to want to buy something when they walk to a store, so it's yours to lose. But the idea that you're going to be able to go through and qualify everybody, that's just silly.
Bill Banham: You suggest that the retail industry is letting online shopping win by trying to fight tech with tech rather than focusing on and fixing the in-person experiences that give brick-and-mortar stores real advantages, so what can be done?
Bob Phibbs: I think the great great stores that are doing really well, and having a fun time, and enjoying it are doing the same with their employees. Their employees, then, create a better experience for their shoppers, and they realize it's all about "How do I make a human connection in an increasingly devoid and cold world?" My big idea here is that people buy more when they feel they matter. It's that simple. And if you don't look at every nanosecond of an interaction, just like online is, just like Watson is doing on every website, you're probably going to miss it, and so to think that there is this one thing you're going to do — buy online; pick up in-store — has been a distraction because we've pretty much said that people don't matter. We are running head first into, how do we not have to talk to a human being? We hire people who don't want to talk to human beings, and then we decry that all shoppers are online. We're going through a shopper revolt. People are saying, "I'm not going to take 20 minutes out of my day to meet Better Betty." At the same time, I think managers are kind of giving up because they're being managed by labor scheduling, so they don't have time to train, and now most people in a retail store are charged with tasks to fill online orders and other things. It's no mystery. The radical cutting edge to succeeding in brick-and-mortar retail right now is a matter of, "How do I be more human?" which has always been the struggle for anyone working in a store, I think, and when you do that well, you get great stories, and great stories of customers. You're not trying to make them up, or buy followers, and that other garbage. You have genuine stories about that. Again, I'm not sure I even know how to exactly to answer that, but hopefully that works.
Bill Banham: That works, and that just leads me to say today, Bob Phibbs, thanks for being a guest on the Sales Hacks show.
Bob Phibbs: Absolutely. Thank you.
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