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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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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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