High Impact Actions

For sales leaders, everywhere

Many retailers use statistics to measure performance and results, and there are some constants that all retailers measure: Traffic, close ratio, average sale.  All are measurable, all matter, and all have specific actions to increase them.

There are retailers who add another statistic – sales per guest/dollars per opportunity/performance index. Whatever you call it, they all measure the same thing: Total revenue divided by total traffic. It is a combination of close ratio and average sale. It indicates how much every opportunity is worth to each salesperson based on what they do with it, and how well the store is doing. Since it’s a number that measures more than one thing, I have often worked with retailers to lean one way and develop a strategy toward either improving close ratio OR average sale.

Recently, I was working on a seminar for Furniture Row and thinking about this statistic close ration einstein again, and asked myself “Are there actions that improve both close ratio and average sale that would definitely increase performance index?” And yes, there are three: Sketch the room, make appointments to close, use financing for purchases.

As sales leaders, you want to direct your teams to the actions that will get the highest impact AND, since you can’t watch and focus on everything, you and your team members need to reliably and consistently execute the actions that get the biggest return. These do that. Take a look at your team and YOUR actions to direct these three actions and dial up the visibility and accountability.

And if you need help with this, call me. 877-663-9663.

Now, go help your team to sell something.

oxo,

Jody

Jody Smiling Photo copy

Ask Commitment Questions

For sales professionals, everywhere.
 
In keeping with the lifelong practice of asking questions is my lifelong practice of talking about them. Imagine a conversation where YOU really drive the exchange by completing EVERY response you have with a question. Think about it. Even if you answer a question posed by the other person, you keep the volley going with a question of your own. You: “Lobster is my favorite food…what’s yours?”
One of the more challenging types of questions is Commitment Questions – asking for a commitment from the other person so that occurs as a benefit to them.
Jim Grady was a partner and collaborator of mine for years and he was/isask a terrific salesperson. Early in his career, he had the good fortune of working with a top real estate agent. Jim asked him what made him so successful and the response was “I always ask for a commitment”. When he would show a property, he would ask the prospect “Do you like this?” And if they said yes, he would ask “Do you want to make an offer?” Then he would manage their response.
Simple.
Look at your selling strategy. Are you intending to ask for a commitment from the prospect – either the sale today or an appointment to make a sale tomorrow? Do you really know where the prospect is in their buying process and what they are ABLE to do now? Do you need to ask more Discovery Questions?
It’s all research and practice. Keep asking questions…all kinds of questions. And if you need help, ask for it.
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy

Make the Simple Sound Simple

For sales professionals, everywhere.
 
I have the good fortune of working with several tile showrooms. The process of buying and selling hard surfaces is a bit different from selling furniture and lighting, but not that different. They are still retail sales interactions and sales interactions involving designers or contractors…so more similar than different.
As happens in lighting, the more complicated the product, the more complicated the salespeople are apt to make the interaction and conversation – thinking they need to talk simpleon and on about the product, either to try to communicate its value at that price or to establish confidence with the buyer. In both cases, talking too much is just talking too much.
What occurred to me in a call last week was how salespeople can make simple sound simple. Let’s say the retail customer came in looking for tile for a backsplash. A single product and a permanent application, so the stakes might seem high, but they really aren’t. The salesperson could say something at the outset of the conversation, like: “Thanks for considering us…we do these projects every day..they are pretty simple and here’s what tends to happen. Do you have a measurement of the space and a sample of the countertop?” (if yes, great, continue. If no, say, “Good…we will find a couple of tiles you like and make this work”). To continue with HOW the process works: “Today, we will select a couple of tiles that you like, you will take them home and see how they look in the morning and at night and with your countertop, and before you leave we will schedule a time for you to come back. You will be able to confirm the measurements and which tile you prefer. When you come back, we can place the order. It’s simple and we like to keep it that way.”
Will this work exactly like this every time? No. Does it need to? No. What it will do is keep the simple simple…and not complicate what is not a complicated process. Try it and let me know what happens.
(And yes, I know that the salesperson can also sketch the space and change the countertop and the floor tile…that’s for another blog. 😉)
Now, go sell something.
oxo,
Jody
Jody Smiling Photo copy