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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

Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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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

Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

Promoted Headlines

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