Retail……It’s a mindset! It’s that simple. It starts with the willingness to set goals, plan daily, and focus on the basics.
- Sell yourself first – it doesn’t matter if you’re selling jewelry or real estate, your clients need to know who you are and why they should trust you. People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Every interaction, especially the first few, should have a relationship building focus. Ask questions to learn more about them and let your walls down so they start to know you.
- Sell your company/organization – It’s very hard to have someone believe in you and not believe in your company. Ultimately, you are a direct extension of whom you work for. I have always been a big proponent of getting involved with your local community and helping those in need. The pawn industry has always had a black cloud above it; even though the industry has some great people in it that do some great things for their communities. Here are a few simple ways to give back to your community and to ultimately….do the right thing.
- Volunteer at your local food bank or soup kitchen.
- Give a portion of your monthly revenues to the humane society or local homeless shelter.
- Have your local blood bank set up at your store and….give blood!
- Sponsor local youth sports teams.
These are just a few samples. Look for opportunities to help! It not is only the right thing to do, but it shows the community that you care and are willing to be an active part of it.
I cannot stress this next point enough…..BE CLEAN! Make sure that you, and your employees, dress appropriately and look professional. I do not necessarily mean that you have to wear a suit to work every day; just be clean. Also, make sure that your store is in order:
- Exterior of building clean, landscaped, and free of clutter
- Interior – lights working, floors clean, dust, etc.
Be proud of where you work and promote it all day, every day. Hand out business cards constantly and carry them with you at all times.
- Sell “The Dream” – It’s much easier to sell an item when you first sell what it will do for someone. A ladies diamond wedding ring may symbolize love for your spouse, but imagine when she is out with her girlfriends and they all complement her on how beautiful her ring is. Put the ring on her finger and set the mood. Take her to that place and make her “feel the moment”. That’s what true selling is about…attaching the client with a feeling, not a product. This works in all walks of life: construction, technology, etc. Ask questions and find out what each client is looking for in your product and then create “a story”.
- Sell the product – Most people sell this first. You may make a quick sale, but you will never create a lasting, referral relationship by just pushing the item. The client may know what they need, but don’t be afraid to go the extra mile and mention some features and benefits. The product will sell itself if you’ve done the first three steps and established a trusting relationship.
Sales is an art form that is constantly changing. Don’t forget to slow down and take some time to study your craft. Read a book, talk to your peers, seek out an industry expert; there are many ways to stay current and get better.
- Plan your day, week, month, and year. Set goals that will challenge you.
- Use the four basics every day and focus on building long-lasting relationships.
- Never become complacent with your skill set. Seek to get better every day.