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Stop Making Excuses for Sagging Sales — and Do This Instead!

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Bob Phibbs gave this advice at Conclave.

Have you uttered these excuses for why business is down?

Competitors are all online.

We can’t compete on price.

It’s hard to find a place to park downtown.

What’s the answer?

First, says Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, the experience in your store needs to be like an amusement park: bright, interesting and changing. Think of what you sell as souvenirs and your store as the main attraction, he suggested to an audience at the American Gem Society Conclave last week.

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“They aren’t loyal to stuff; they are loyal to people,” Phibbs says. “They are buying better versions of their lives. Our task isn’t nurturing enthusiasm for the brand as much as it is about overcoming customer indifference. There are too many places to buy too many products.”

Make sure your store is “idiot proof,” which means not intimidating, and easy to navigate.

Make sure your team isn’t having too good a time among themselves behind the counter and failing to connect on a human level with whoever is coming through the door.

Truly engage with everyone who walks in. Find something you have in common with them, ask an open ended question, look them in the eye, be happy, smile and say, “Good afternoon.”

“Don’t ask me how I am!” Phibbs says. And don’t ask, “Can I help you find something?”

Only about 10 percent of shoppers can answer that question. Most really are just looking. About 60 percent want “something” but aren’t sure what; another 30 percent want to know what options are available.

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This article is an INSTORE Online extra.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Tips and How-To

Stop Making Excuses for Sagging Sales — and Do This Instead!

mm

Published

on

Bob Phibbs gave this advice at Conclave.

Have you uttered these excuses for why business is down?

Competitors are all online.

We can’t compete on price.

It’s hard to find a place to park downtown.

What’s the answer?

Advertisement

First, says Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, the experience in your store needs to be like an amusement park: bright, interesting and changing. Think of what you sell as souvenirs and your store as the main attraction, he suggested to an audience at the American Gem Society Conclave last week.

“They aren’t loyal to stuff; they are loyal to people,” Phibbs says. “They are buying better versions of their lives. Our task isn’t nurturing enthusiasm for the brand as much as it is about overcoming customer indifference. There are too many places to buy too many products.”

Make sure your store is “idiot proof,” which means not intimidating, and easy to navigate.

Make sure your team isn’t having too good a time among themselves behind the counter and failing to connect on a human level with whoever is coming through the door.

Truly engage with everyone who walks in. Find something you have in common with them, ask an open ended question, look them in the eye, be happy, smile and say, “Good afternoon.”

“Don’t ask me how I am!” Phibbs says. And don’t ask, “Can I help you find something?”

Advertisement

Only about 10 percent of shoppers can answer that question. Most really are just looking. About 60 percent want “something” but aren’t sure what; another 30 percent want to know what options are available.


This article is an INSTORE Online extra.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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Most Popular