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Retailing is Selling — What Part Don't We Get?

By Rick Segal, CSP

Rick SegalRetailing is so easy and we try to complicate it. Do you want to make more money? Then do this: Sell MORE stuff to MORE people. (I will get more sophisticated and give you the technical way.) Period, that’s it.

The answer to all of the problems in retailing is a store’s ability to move/sell more merchandise. Duh! Isn’t that what retailing is all about? In almost every speech I give, I talk about the 4 ways to increase sales and how every business needs to know which path to explore. Here they are:

    1.    Sell more of what you already sell to your existing customer base.
    2.    Sell new products to your existing customer base.
    3.    Sell more of what you currently sell to a new customer base.
    4.    Sell new products to a new customer base.

There are no right or wrong answers here. But the easiest way to increase your revenues is to just get better at the skill of selling. Let’s face it -- the recession may be over but the recovery is going to be long with its ups and downs.

Besides there is too much competition out there, there are fewer customers, the web is getting stronger, and then we have the morons who fight to give it all away. Things have been challenging to say the least.

We just need to focus on the 3 key measurements that most retailers rarely pay much enough attention to. Then we need the tools to improve those components.

   1. Conversion rate = This number is the amount of people who enter a store to the amount of transactions that occur. An example of this would be the following. 100 people enter a store and 40 transactions take place.  This would represent a 40% close rate which is very good. This is the most difficult to collect and is generally only tracked during certain test periods.


   2. Units per Transaction = This is the average amount of units sold for every sale that occurs. An example of this would be a salesperson makes 3 sales. One customer buys 2 items, the next buys 3 items and the third buys 4. The average units per transaction are 3.

   3. Average Transaction Size = This simply means the average dollars sold per transaction. An example would be 3 sales which would include one for $40, one for $50, and the last one for $60. That means your average transaction size is $50.

Now that we know how to measure the information, next is how do we improve sales? Just use my G.R.E.A.T. System for Retail Selling which is from my latest book, The Retail Sales Bible. This book has been in our pipeline for a while and has gotten bumped by various projects. Shame on me for allowing this to happen. I am really aggravated with myself for letting that happen because there is nothing more important than this book in times like this.

So now that we have cleared all of the projects from our plate, and we have made this our top priority, it should be off to the publisher in the next 10 days and released by the end of September.

Let me give you an abbreviated excerpt from the book that explains the G.R.E.A.T. System for Retail Selling. G.R.E.A.T. is an acronym that stands for the different sections of the retail selling process.

G stands for THE GREETING — The greeting either makes or breaks the sale. The key element of the greeting is to determine the path for the rest of the sale. You always want to ask if the customer has been in the store before or if this is their first visit. You are building a bridge to the next stage of the selling process.

R stands for Researching the customer — That means we start to ask the customers as many questions as possible in order for us to make the proper recommendations.

E stands for Experimenting & closing the sale — Experimenting simply means the suggestion process. This is where we use lines, such as “from what you have told me, let me suggest __________”. It is important to note that closing the sale is included in this step because it should be a natural progression and NOT a separate step. (This area in the book covers 12 different ways to close a sale and they are there to match your style.)

A stands for Adding On or the Ad-On — My philosophy is one item and one clerk. We need, NO WE MUST make multiple sales to survive in this difficult market. Many times a simple, “Did you see this?” goes a long way.

T stands for Tethering the customer to the store — That means collecting as much information as possible. The sale is NOT complete until we can capture the customer’s information so that we can bring them into our community.

That is an abbreviated version of something that is approximately 60 pages long. I believe you get the essence of the system. We wanted to make the system an acronym so that it would be easier to remember.

G.R.E.A.T worked perfectly. That’s why we call the Sales Bible the GREAT book of Selling.

We hope it will become your G.R.E.A.T. book real soon.

Posted September 7, 2010


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