10 Steps to selling retail!

One would think we would be knee deep in promoting retail for the Holiday and reaping the benefits of the profits involved.

However, with COVID still on the forefront of our minds, I’m afraid many have “dropped the ball” in preparing for this Holiday season. After all, we still do have a season.

When I teach my classes there are two(2) common denominators of what I hear when it comes to retail. Intimidation & Lack of confidence.

I can speak from first hand experience when it comes to both of these…IF I think about it as “selling retail”.

When it comes to products you wish to promote to your clients for at home care…..it is NOT selling retail. It is more about the benefits for the client, then it is just buying a product off your shelves….at least it should be.

STEPS TO RETAIL

The 10 steps to selling retail are simple:

  1. Tell a story
  2. Use product
  3. Assortment
  4. Education
  5. Listening skills
  6. Communication skills
  7. Engagement
  8. Identifying/solution
  9. Bundle
  10. Location

There are also the “P’s” in retail which, really coincides with the top 10!

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Packaging
  • Promotion
  • Positioning
  • People
P;s for retail

Let’s dwell

#1 TELL A STORY

Think back to when you made your last purchase which involved conversation with a sales rep. I would bet money you heard a story.

Recently I took my Mom into the Apple store. She had used up all the space on her iPad and we were ready, willing and able to purchase her a new one with more gigabytes.

Jackson, the sales clerk shared with us a little secret in clearing not needed data and apps. He shared with us how he had heard about this secret and suggested we try it first before making an unnecessary purchase.

We did, it worked and we saved the price of a new iPad.

His story is what made us feel like he knew what he was talking about. He gained our confidence, our trust and a high review to Apple. And, in the near future we will be back to make a purchase.

#2 USE THE PRODUCT

I can’t stress this enough and I say it all the time. If you don’t know how it feels or see what it can do….how can you promote it?

Clients trust you on a brand when you use it yourself. They have confidence in the idea if you use it, it has to be good. Many times I have been engrossed in a conversation with a sales member and as soon as I hear them say “I prefer, or I use”…..I’m sold.

Not too long ago I was out shopping with my husband. While he was in the dressing room I was watching a sales member of the store steam iron clothes he was getting ready to put out on display. the machine he had was so cool and appeared to be doing an awesome job.

I went to him to get the name of the brand and asked him point blank…does he like the way it worked.

He shared with me, he has the same machine yet in a hand held model which, he loves for travel. End of story, sold….and I ordered one the same evening.

#3 ASSORTMENT

This seems to make sense but yet, we can’t all afford to have a variety of products all the time. Maybe we don’t have the space or maybe it’s just too costly. Whatever the reason, there is a work around.

As an example – Even though I sell wholesale to you, my client….the same holds true.

I carry the LCN brand of foot care. However, LCN has everything from nails, hand, feet and facial care. Virtually impossible for me to carry it all.

What I do however, is I stay focused on my niche (feet). When a client ask for another LCN product I may not have….I am NOT turning them away. I special order and then I make it a stock item for their future purchases.

The same can be true for you, selling to the end user. Stock the items you know and love. Have your RESOURCE! Resources are your greatest assets. It’s nothing to making a call (to me) to inquire about an item you don’t have and possible getting it on order.

Never EVER turn your client away!

Prior to getting into the Beauty Business I owned an office supply store. I grew that Business from -0- to $50,000 in 1 month. Why? Because I never said no. Just because the product wasn’t in my catalogue, didn’t mean I couldn’t get it. Eventually my clients just came to me for everything. 

Keep them close, keep them informed, keep them happy.  Don’t give them a reason to go anywhere else.

#4 EDUCATION

Are you ever impressed by someone who knows what they are talking about? Not the person that thinks they know everything, the person who is truly passionate about what they are promoting to you.

I literally get chills when I hear someone do their job right. What does this mean?

  • It means they studied the features and the benefits of the brand
  • They are sharing the information because they know you need it
  • They are not pushing a product, they are helping you realize the need
  • Simply put….they know their job (and that includes knowing what they sell)

Maybe I’m a sucker for a passionate sales person. If I’m looking to purchase something and the sales person is obviously educated about whatever it is I’m purchasing….I know instantly and I’m sold before they even finish.

#5 LISTENING SKILLS

When I do run into that person that seems like they know “everything” it’s a turn off.

Do you “listen” to your clients when they talk, or are you already onto the next topic?

We so often get wrapped up into our own heads, we don’t even really “hear” what they are saying.

  • Tell you client “I hear you”.
  • Repeat back to them what you understand they are looking for.
  • Ask them questions and let them answer

I can’t tell you how many times I have literally said “I’m done with this conversation…you aren’t listening”. In fact, there was one(1) salesperson I asked if he was married or not. After he answered  with a bewildered yes, I said “does your wife ever tell you to shut up”?  Seriously……

#6 COMUNICATION SKILLS

This may sound very basic, but yet there are many many people that do not know how to communicate. If you are one of those people, do yourself a favor and take a class. I guarantee you, it will be money well spent.

With that being said, good communication skills aren’t always taught at home. They are a learned asset and everyone should take a communications class.

The 30 second commercial is the best practice. Learn how to describe what you do for a living in 30 seconds…..no more. It has to be catching, it has to be relevant and it has to make people want to come to YOU.

If you can master that, you can master the 30 second commercial with every retail product you provide. short and sweet;

  • What is it
  • Why do you need it

What people mis-understand about communication is you don’t have to share your whole life history. You can, if you can do it in 30 seconds or less. Otherwise, the listener get’s lost and is only hearing blah blah blah.

Being able to communicate is having the ability to share the most in a short period of time….effectively.

#7 ENGAGEMENT

    Put the product in the hands of the client. Let them touch it, feel it, smell it, try it.

    Show them how to use if necessary or how much to use.

    Engaging the client a very key element.

    This may not be the best example, however when I bought my last car I swore I did not have to test drive. I knew the car, I already drove one, I was just upgrading. Yet, when my husband spotted another model and suggested I try it, I refused. Then the salesperson calmly walked over, let me look inside and then yes…I ended up taking it for a test drive.

    Yes, I bought the car.  Engagement. If that had not happened, I simply would have walked away.

    #8 IDENTIFYING/SOLUTION

      This is always a bone of contention with me. There are still many of my clients whom I know do not perform a verbal nor visual consultation prior to placing their clients feet in the water.

      Water changes the integrity of the skin. We have got to look at what is or maybe isn’t going on PRIOR to soaking.

      Once we look at the clients feet, they start to justify. It just happens. What we see and what we hear is helping to identify the concern and then it is up to us to offer a solution.

      #9 BUNDLE

        Everyone loves a deal and when we bundle a couple of products together, they feel like they have hit the jackpot.

        Maybe your suppliers don’t bundle, that doesn’t mean you can’t.

        Do you have an item not selling? Bundle it with another product which does sell well. Take a couple of dollars off, make it worth their while.

        They don’t have to be like items. It can be…

        • A bottle of hairspray with a cuticle oil.
        • A shampoo with a foot soak
        • A hand cream with a foot cream

        You can be as creative as you want to be. Look for the items in your facility which aren’t selling well and bundle it with your top seller.

        For the Holiday’s you can purchase very inexpensive gift bags or boxes…..use them as a feature to decorate with.

        #9 LOCATION

          I never really understood why Salons hide their retail. I understand you might want foot care products in the pedicure room. However, what about all those other clients who never go into the pedicure room Not having foot care retail in your lobby with all your other retail brands….is loss revenue.

          • Revisit where you place your products
          • Re-locate often
          • Alternate your brands

          We are a creative group. Use that creativity to come up with amazing ways to feature your retail.

          Many times I’ve gone into a store I frequent often and see an item I never noticed before. In talking with the sales clerk, I’ve discovered they have always had it….it was in a different location.

          Lastly, I understand all to well the expense involved in bringing in retail. You can’t just bring in 1 or 2 items…you have to make a statement.

          However, if you want to make another revenue stream of income, you should try a retail store.

          There are many available and we at Centre for Beauty offer one as well. With our website we drop ship at no extra charge. Minimum cost for set up.

          Interested, reach out to cj@centreforbeauty.com

          CJ Murray, President

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