Episode 24: Retail Applications — Balancing Financial Quotas and Ethical Sales Techniques
In this episode of Evolutionary Sales, Jason answers a listener question about whether or not Evolutionary Sales can be applied to high-end retail department environments.
In addition he explains how quotas can take a person off-center and that in the long run, if they keep sight of building relationships rather than each individual sale, in the long run, they will more than exceed those quotas as a result of referrals and the quality of experience the clients are having with you.
He teaches a couple quick techniques to convert those relationships into additional business.
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Jason McClain: Welcome to “Evolutionary Sales”. I'm your host, Jason McClain, and your guide in the 21st century marketplace.
Give them what they want. It's not about pushing some product on them. I tell you what, it wasn't just a few weeks before I was number one in sales in that department.
But if you really provide such a level of service above and beyond what people are expecting in a retail environment, people are going to remember that.
It's my pleasure to bring you yet another question of application from one of the listeners, Mary Fox from Troy, Michigan Neiman Marcus, emails us, “I subscribe to your podcast and find it to be the answer to my selling style.” I'm glad, Mary. She says, “I work in the cosmetics department making strict commission at Neiman Marcus in Troy, Michigan. Is there any special advice for planning the Evolutionary Sales while in a retail environment? After all I do need to meet my goals. I feel that I should only be showing customer products I feel they will be happy with as oppose to just showing them big ticket items that most people in my department do. My question is, “Is it possible to sound evolutionary way without feeling like I'm fleecing my customers yet still make the money I need and meet my goals?”
That’s a great question, Mary. Thank you. This is the kind of question that really gets to the heart of the difference in the 21st century marketplace and I can't thank you enough for the quality of this question. It's a great question. It's a question that most sales people struggle with, “Well, gosh, if I don’t close them on this big ticket item or if I don’t meet my goals, what am I going to do? Sure, I’ll be happier because I will have served the client and I won’t be pressuring them to buy something they don’t need.”
“But how do I make the money I need to make? Especially, in your kind of environment, I'm sure you have [xx], or something like that, in place and many sales people have [xx] in place. It's often the theory because a lot of times, the system you've been using works. Your boss is happy, your customers don’t have any complains at least. You're making good money. First of all, there's going to be a dip when you shift you to a new system. That’s just the way it is in any business, any performance-related environment whether it's sports because you have to adjust to the new system. Like if you give a new quarterback a new playbook, I don’t care how good he is, he's going to need a few months to adjust to that new playbook to learn the moves. So it is with the tennis player, so it is with the sales person and the sales professional.
So first of all, I would say you've been absolutely make as much or more money than you're making now and meet your goals, maybe not immediately. But here's the thing, there's short-term thinking and long-term thinking which has been popularized in economic theory at first. But we all have kind of gotten used to the idea thinking of in the short run and in the long run. Here's a thing, Mary. In the long run, those clients you can use those testimonials. I know you've got a blog--you mentioned your blog--you can use it as testimonials as you being a different kind of sales person.
You’ll always serve them, you'll have people refer people to you specifically. You'll have people coming in to your department. You can ask them, “Did you like the way I sold? Did this feel right to you? Do you have anybody else who would like this kind of service?” Begin to leverage it, begin to leverage your--you're still influencing people to take action but you're coming from a grounding of only ever selling them what they need, not what you need to [xx] because your quoter [sp] because what the department needs to move or anything like that.
In the long run, Mary, you'll have raving fans and people will be coming to you and you'll never know. You might even have people--I can imagine the time where you have people in the future who would only be willing to buy from you. They'll coming into the department asking for you alone. What's available to you through that is you can even start your own stylist company, your own consultant, your own image consulting company because you build such a client base. I hope I don’t get any nasty letters from Neiman Marcus in Michigan. But if you really provide such level of service above and beyond what people are expecting in a retail environment, people are going to remember that.
So that’s my advice to you. The last time I worked in a retail environment, to be fair, that was in 1987. I worked in a similar environment, I worked on strict commission and there were high-end items in a large department store environment. I found that the people who walked in because even then, I think even [xx] I have the idea that what you needed to do is you need to give them what they want. It's not about pushing some product on them.
I tell you what. It wasn't just a few weeks before when I was number one in sales in that department and I was generating something like $300 an hour in 1987 or 1988 in retail sales. That caught everyone’s eye, “Here's this young kid.” I was only 18 years old or 17 years old who’s always doing, Mary, was making sure that I was serving them. I hate to say it but often, it meant I had to ignore what the department head was saying we should focus on that day in terms of sales. I always serve the client, I stay with them until they were done, ask them if there's anything else they needed. You kept them in these little teeny things.
I had people writing letters in about me and I was generating nearly twice as anyone else in the department in terms of sales. I knew nothing about sales but I have an instinctive understanding of what people needed. I hope that helps, Mary.
I'm Jason McClain, your host and your guide in the 21st century marketplace.
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