Retail Is Dying, But Salesmanship Shouldn't

If you haven't noticed, retail as we know is quickly disintegrating. It seems as though stores are closing by the dozen with no end in sight. While traditional brick and mortar business is rapidly changing, the fundamentals of selling have not; in fact, they are more relevant now than ever. 

8/10 stores these days will try and win the customer over with a sale. In addition, sales are now not limited to the holidays, but are year round! Just a few years ago it was a BIG deal to get 50% off at your favorite clothing store, but now retailers are slashing prices 60, 70, even 80% from the list price in July nonetheless! 

The problem with this tactic is that when you sell by price, you are not only going in the wrong direction, but you are ENTHUSIASTICALLY SPRINTING in the WRONG DIRECTION. 

Salespeople have to remember that NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, is looking to be sold to. They are looking to buy, and more often times than not, value great product quality and customer service over price. Customers don't visit your website, email, or call your phone line by accident - they are looking for reasons to buy from you. 

When you lead with price, you abandon QUALITY as the main reason why the customer would buy from you. The customer will most likely chose the retailer with the best price, not the best quality product or customer service, because that is how they are sold to. 

My advice to salespeople would be to tell the customer the price at the END of your pitch, not the beginning. Sell quality before price, don't be a price teller. If you lead with price, you throw away your product knowledge and company training and are now in a dogfight over the lowest sticker price. 

Listen, most people including myself like a good sale and to save money. We are constantly reminded how much money we are saving by retailers when we shop with them instead of their competitor, but rarely are we reminded what quality we are retaining or gaining by shopping with them. 

That in an essence is the difference between an order taker and a true salesperson. Just as a chess player works out moves to beat their opponent, just as a jockey works out a better way to handle a difficult horse, so must a salesperson work out ways to showing the quality of their products so when they tell the price, the person will prefer the quality of the goods or service over the price tag. 

Discounting is essential in this sales climate, but it shouldn't be the first thing you go to when you pitch. Think QUALITY and your sales numbers will reflect it. 



Quote of the Day: "Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose.” – Willie Randolph  

Song of the Day: "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" by Beastie Boys

*My latest book; "Living on Purpose: Stories about Faith, Fortune and Fitness that will lead you to an Extraordinary Life", is available for order - Click Here*

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