Gallery 65 – July Meeting

Welcome back. Lots happening here in downtown New Bedford!

 

gallery 65 storefront

 

In the June Gallery 65 blog you read that the Charles W Morgan was coming to town and that record crowds were expected in downtown New Bedford…and how we wanted to capitalize on that activity. While the downtown events were well attended (despite Hurricane Arthur), the traffic into the Gallery was not: traffic 80, sales 3. As you can imagine, that led to another conversation – as I have said before and said again during this meeting – there are 3 ways to Increase Sales:

Increase traffic and contact opportunities
Increase close ratio (close more traffic opportunities)
Increase average sale

gallery 65 shoppers

 

We had 2 issues to address – low traffic into the showroom and low close ratio.
To address low traffic, we looked at the marketing efforts of the Gallery and what actions to take moving forward. They will boost email reach with Mail Chimp and more social media posts with Facebook. They will stop using rack cards for tourists but look to change the format of their website so that they can manage the site themselves and create a greater ecommerce presence.
The other issue was close ratio…3 of 80 is very low, especially coupled with a low average sale. We discussed how to interact initially and create conversations with incoming customers. Laurie Bullard was fabulous with this and suggested what to do to engage with opening questions and to drive the interaction with questions of interest.
This lead to a larger, more relevant conversation: Now that several artists are leaving (and taking their art or leaving it on consignment), and the layout and use of the showroom will change dramatically (Marc St Pierre is coming in and he and Nicole St Pierre will use 50% of the space for studio, reducing the showroom by half), it forced the discussion to not only ‘what stays and where?’, but ‘what is Gallery 65 now?’

gallery 65 showroom
The Gallery is currently a cooperative run by members (most of whom will be leaving), somewhat as a gallery, and equally somewhat as a retail gift shop with artistic and original products. But they aren’t functioning completely as a gallery nor as a retail shop, using retail best practices like promotions and sale pricing to drive new business. Nicole bristled at this as it doesn’t square with ‘gallery’ practices, Sarah was intrigued as she is very interested in whatever it takes to sell art pieces, and Laurie was right on top of it as a former successful retail shop owner. Some promotions we discussed were Open Studio special pricing, ‘buy one, get one’ for product that is small and/or needs to move (like Laurie’s photograph greeting cards….which I bought 10 of!). We left it that Nicole would really think about this and talk with Marc and the other artists, to create a clear vision and strategy of what the Gallery will be in the future…in the very near future. This is a critical time for them, as the physical changes and the member/staff changes are significant…and a time that they can really create something new and special for Gallery 65.
We are taking August off as the Gallery changes form and will be back in September….Happy Summer!
xo,
Jody

What do You Call Yourself?

As salespeople, we often bristle at names and labels. Some salespeople don’t even like being called salespeople, and prefer ‘sales consultant’ or some other, more elevated title.

Imagine if we called ourselves by what we actually DO. 

Let’s explore a few…..

What’s an Order Taker? 

Someone who facilitates an interaction, but offers no new information, adds nothing of value or significance to the interaction, asks for no additional products other than the original product that was requested.  The interaction could easily be handled by technology because no human aspect of the interaction expanded or forwarded the sale.

What’s a Clerk? 

Someone who may have a specific product that they sell (as in a designated department), but like an order taker, they primarily transact the business.  They might be polite and maybe even engaging, so they do add something to the experience, but they aren’t developing the connection with the customer to become something more or something for the future. 

What’s a Teller?

By definition, a teller is similar to a clerk.  But I’ve been paying particular attention to the conversations between customers and sellers lately, and I think a teller is someone who talks and talks and talks – about the product, about the process, about themselves, about nothing, you name it – either consciously because they think it improves the connection or unconsciously because they just, well, talk too much. 

What’s a Salesperson?

Someone who takes selling seriously –who learns and practices the skills of preparing, connecting, qualifying, presenting, managing concerns, getting commitments and following up – and keeps practicing.  It’s someone who balances their goals and objectives with those of the customer.  It’s a sales ‘consultant’ who deeply develops the connection, knows their product and services so that they can mix and match them to satisfy customer needs. As a matter of fact, a consultative salesperson develops ‘clients’ from customers….who keep coming back for more. 

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Call yourself whatever fits, but fit what you call yourself.   There’s honor and reward to being a GREAT salesperson, but it takes more, so much more than being a good order taker. 

Now, go sell something.

Love, Jody

Can I Get Another Chance?

beautiful-sunrise

I received an email from a client with a dilemma that she and her teams are struggling with, and she thought it might be a good idea for a blog (which it is!).  Here’s her situation, which might be familiar to you:

“With pricing being such an issue these days and so many of us knowing it, what is your suggestion for keeping conversations open ended with customers so they will give you another shot to match or beat a competitors quote?  I understand that there is much salesmanship behind this question as far as having a relationship with a client that would easily encourage them to come back, but these days pricing is cut throat.”      – Lauren Cherkas, Artistic Tile

I wish there was a simple, one step answer, but there isn’t.  And where an inability to close a sale shows up is not likely to be where the breakdown originally occurred.  It probably occurred much earlier in the sales process.  Questions to consider:

- How much of a connection have you created with this prospect?  How much do you know about them and their project?  How much time have you already invested in them?
- How well have you qualified them in the beginning of the connection/relationship to find out what their buying/decision making process is and how and with whom they expect to buy?
- Have you determined their budget so that the solution you present (for the requested items) falls within that number?  You can always add more products that are optional, but if you ask for a budget and then don’t stay within it, well……..
- Have you asked them where they have been and where they intend to go to source this project?  Have you gone to a deeper level and asked more about those other sources to see what they have found that they liked, what has them keep looking if they’ve found the right product at a good price?
- Have you asked them how committed they are to a particular solution or if they can explore some other options if the price gets too high?  You might have options to offer them (reduced shipping and delivery, savings on building materials, etc.) that would reduce the overall price if you can’t match the singular product price.  Or you might have other design options that provide a similar aesthetic at a lower price to them.
- Have you made an appointment for the next step so that you can meet with them again?
- Have you asked them if they like working with you and you are too expensive, how close you have to get to be able to do the project together?
- Have you asked them to meet with you again before they decide?  Have you asked them to give you another chance?

So much of it gets back to building a relationship and having a good product at a price within their range and within their time frame.  If it’s only money that’s driving their purchase, find that out as soon as possible and find out how true that really is.

This inquiry gave me an idea to open to all of you – is there a particular issue that challenges you that you would like some help with?  I like to address issues that are pressing and relevant to you, and I have been inspired by Lauren’s request so that I am going to feature a blog the second week every month that answers a request from you.  All you have to do is send me an email (jody@onexone.com) with a situation that you request help with and I will take care of the rest!

Thanks for your partnership and participation.

Now, go sell something!

Love,
Jody