Why Don’t You Want The Sale?


Maybe the question should be ‘why don’t your teams know that you want the sale’?

Or, how about ‘why aren’t your teams, on the sales floor, motivated to sell your products’?

These are serious questions that should make retailers wonder.

A sales associate in a large furniture retail store is much more inclined to ‘sell’ products to customers than a floor/service/sales associate in many other types of retail stores.

If you agree with this statement, why do you suppose it is?

Is it the Pay for Performance compensation plan? Probably.

Anyway, suffice to say opportunities are being missed in many types of retail stores that do not engage in active selling to customers.

In fact, huge opportunities.

We looked at the possibility that a retailer who has no one who actually sells, wants to sell, or is expected to sell might think the products will eventually sell anyway so there is no need to be active in the sales process.

To many of you that is laughable but, honestly, it does have some merit.

If you are completely product driven with absolute perfection in your buying, visual merchandising, marketing and management then it could work for you. Could…it is not a given.

But, if you are not quite perfect, your products will need a spokesperson and that would be a sales associate – call it what you will.

Here’s a story to illustrate that a lack of motivation to sell – or ignorance, or indifference, or whatever it takes to lose a sale that was already in the bag – costs you sales dollars…

The customer is in need of two counter stools. She has been searching for just the right ones and she comes across them at a familiar home decor store – part of a very, very large chain of different types of retail…apparel for men, women, children, plus, footwear, housewares, home decor, etc.

She flags a ‘person’ down and mentions that she wants these two stools but they are both scratched. She asked if they had anymore.

No, they did not have anymore and probably wouldn’t get anymore. They are a once in and once out retailer. They get fresh goods all the time and rarely get replenished on the same item.

The customer asked if they would offer any type of discount if she bought them, even with the scratches. The ‘person’ said she would go and find another ‘person’ who might be able to help.

A couple of moments later, along comes ‘person 2’. She looks at the damaged stools and says “oh, we would just fix these up with furniture marker”.

The customer said that she would leave them as she didn’t want to pay full price for clearly damaged merchandise.

‘Person 2’ said “ok, bye”.

The stools were $129 each so the total of the sale would be $258 if they were in perfect condition. With a small discount – say 10% – the sale would have been $232.

In our area, as in most we imagine, it is a certainty that no reasonable person would buy these scratched stools for full price. Doing so would be what we would call ‘dumb’.

No one does it (unless forced in some unimaginable way).

And, make no mistake, no furniture marker was going to make the scratches go away, or even disappear to the naked eye.

‘Person 2’ will realize this when she tries to cover the imperfection in the attempt to dupe the next customer.

So, a sale…a sale of two imperfect items to a customer who really wanted them…two pieces of merchandise moved out…floor space freed up for something else…two large items that would, eventually have to be marked down, red stickered and moved to a clearance area…none of that mattered to ‘person 2’ who said “oh, we would just fix these up with furniture marker”.

The customer could have pushed the issue or asked for the manager but she did neither.

Some people are just tired of having to fight retailers.

But here is the icing on the cake, so to speak!!

The next day, the customer visited the same store in a different town – about 30 miles away – and guess what? The REGULAR price of the identical stool was $99. (This was not a fluke. Other stools were also priced lower than they were in the first store.)

Anyway…that’s 25% less than the other store was selling them for. (fyi: this story is completely verified for accuracy)

Draw whatever conclusions you would like regarding their pricing strategy, but realize that if the retail company, the DM, the Store Manager, and/or the Sales Associates in this chain were motivated to make sales – this ‘furniture marker’ thing would not have happened.

A small discount would have been offered and accepted.

A true win/win.

We would be remiss if we failed to point out the value of missed opportunities based on this example. So, here you go…

Now, remember the slightly discounted price of the imperfect stools in the first store would have been higher than the regular price for the identical stools in the second store.

$ 232 lost in one store in one day
$ 6,960 lost in one store in one month
$20,880 lost in one store in one quarter
$83,520 lost in one store in one year

If you own a 100 store chain…$83,520 x 100 = $8,352,000…that’s a lot of money to leave on the table.

It’s more than a ‘missed opportunity’, it’s an outright disaster for a retailer trying to stay in the game.

Maybe ‘Person 2’ and her superiors could use some motivation to sell…perhaps, some training on how to do it, as well.

You can stop the opportunity leak and we can help you do it – DMSRetail.com

 

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