Exceptional Customer Service Tips For Retail Sales

One of the best ways to boost your retail sales is to provide excellent customer service. But what does excellent customer service look like in a retail setting? Beyond just smiling and “being nice,” there are other concrete things that you and your staff can do to make your store the best in customer service.

The first thing you should do is walk a mile. Place yourself in the shoes of your customer. We all are from time to time, so what bothers you Exceptional Customer Service Tips For Retail Salesthe most as a customer? No matter why you are going into a store, what are your expectations? What things annoy you? What do you expect from an associate? Is it being bombarded with “can I help you with something” the minute you cross the threshold, or the opposite, being totally ignored? Not being able to find anyone to help you when you need it? Your best first place to start is right there.

Follow the rules of the store. When a customer enters the store, smile and greet them. The greeting should be as simple as “Hi!”, no more, no less. You should obviously be an employee, by uniform and name tag, so continuing with “let me know if you need any help” is unnecessary and already assumed.

Then be sure to keep an eye on them. If they seem to know what they want and where they are going in the store, leave them be. If they wander around seemingly aimlessly, give them some space and then go over an offer help after about 5 or 10 minutes. Again, simply offer assistance, “you seem to be puzzled, can I help answer a question?” It is not pushy but helpful.

As staff you should be knowledgeable about the products and services you offer. If there is something new that you aren’t sure about, get trained. Don’t take your ignorance out on your customer. Also be honest in the advice and services you offer. Don’t go just for the quick sale, offer the honest answers your customer needs.

Also very important, don’t take your bad day out on your customers, and don’t take it personally when they take theirs out on you.

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POS (Point of Sale) Checkouts Have Moved to Tablets

Point of sale (POS) checkouts no longer mean sales staff being chained to a big cash register or computer system. Today your POS, training and follow up systems can be as small as your tablet. This has been revolutionizing retail sales and making customers happy for some time, and it’s time you hopped on the bandwagon!

POS (Point of Sale) Checkouts Have Moved to TabletsIf you could find one easy fix to improve your store’s sales bottom line, would you do it? Using tablets for your POS is that easy fix. Think about it, how many times have you walked into your own store, or someone else’s and found that people needed assistance, but your sales staff were at the register trying to ring up another customers sale. That translates to frustrated customers and lost sales. Now, how great would it be if your sales staff could walk around the store, not be tied to a cash register and still make the sales for customers, answer questions and do it all on the go? Using a tablet will do all of that and more.

Tablet computers have become very affordable. You know this because you sell them. So use them. There are apps that will ring up sales, track inventory, and take credit card sales for you all while your sales staff is anywhere the customer needs them to be. Play out this scenario: A customer walks in and asks for help with a product. Your sales staff answers their questions and makes suggestion for a better answer than the one they started with, but it’s more expensive. They got their “yes” or “well, ok” and start the trek back to the cash register to ring up the sale. While walking with them, the customer is doing some serious math in their head. Many times, they get the chance to change their mind on that walk. Now let’s change it around. Same question, same answer and suggestion, but your sales staff can ring up the sale on the spot. All the customer is doing is digging out their credit card or payment method. Done and done right on your handy tablet.

Even better, that tablet becomes the best way to demonstrate how amazing technology is for the customer. They can try out apps, see how it works and then get the sale rung up on the spot. Don’t wait another day. Dump your registers and get tablets for point of sale POS. You won’t regret it.

Sales at Trade Shows: Yes or No?

Sales at trade shows, the question is yes or no? A resounding yes so get ready to show and sell.

You’ve got your space at the trade show, and you’re getting ready. So what do you bring? Obviously all kinds of materials to hand out, and maybe a product or a few to demonstrate, but you should also bring stock with you to sell. Make your trade show space a show and sell space.

Sales at Trade Shows:  Yes or No?Trade shows are a great place to make contacts who can become customers, but why wait? Make them customers now. Make your business stand out by not making those customers wait to purchase what you have to show them. Don’t just be the typical “hands out flyers” that promptly hit the floor and answer a question or two, do something to make you be the “go to” booth. Make it a fun space, a space where asking questions and showing interest is rewarded.

Don’t buy into the traditional thought that is trade shows are for lead generation, not sales. If you can make the sale then, why wait? Staff your booth with people who know the products, can answer questions, but who can also sell them. Don’t forego the literature. Some people may not be ready to buy right then and there, and will want to take something that tells them how to find you later. Any sales people you send will be able to both provide answers but also can make your booth a sales powerhouse. Make it a show and sell space.

Of course, that doesn’t mean emptying out your sales staff from your store. You will need to hire reps that are trained as well as your store employees, but know how to handle the tradeshow customers and sell to them. Using a company like Retail Business Development is the answer. They can provide you with experts in your business to be a sales staff at the trade show! Go where the people are, and sell them then and there. The perfect use of your trade show dollars. Make those dollars a true paid for investment, not just a “spend it to make it later” opportunity. RBD will send in well trained teams to show and sell, not show and tell.

Should you sell at trade shows? Yes and Retail Business Development can help you do it! Check out our event and on site sales teams!

Back to School Sales – The Effect of Backpacks on Kids Health

Back to School Sales - The Effect of Backpacks on Kids HealthBack to school sales may be affected by health concerns. The effect of back packs on kid’s health is becoming an issue.

Back to school is right around the corner, and with it comes back to school shopping. One item on your list may be a new backpack for your child, but what kind should you get? You’ve heard all of the reports and you know that an overloaded backpack, or one poorly designed can have an effect on your kid’s health.

While studies haven’t proven that overweight backpacks cause serious problems, like scoliosis, it goes to reason that if heavy bags cause back pain in adults, they will in children too. There are a few issues with backpacks and children: the weight of the bag; the type of bag; and how it’s carried. We use backpacks because they allow us to carry more things than we could with our hands alone. Carrying one for too long or that’s too heavy causes you to lean forward. When this happens your balance is off and the natural curves of the middle/lower back are distorted, causing muscle strain, joint irritation and rounded shoulders.

There are several things you can do to help your kids to avoid back problems. First, don’t allow them to wear their backpack on one shoulder, or use a messenger type pack. Also limit the weight of their backpack to 10-20% of their body weight. For instance, if your child is 50 pounds, their backpack should be no more than 5 to 10 pounds, or about the weight of a gallon of milk. Once school starts, meet with your child’s teachers and if possible keep a set of the heaviest of their textbooks at home. Teach your child how to pack their backpack: heaviest objects first so they are carried lower and closest to the body; fill compartments evenly throughout the backpack; and pack sharp or bulky objects in the backpack so they do not contact the back.

Another thing to consider is an ergonomic bag. An ergonomic bag has a shape that improves positioning. It’s designed to hang asymmetrically, redistributing weight throughout the entire length of the back, reducing stress on the shoulders, neck and back. It has better designed pockets for organization. This bag reduces perceived weight by 30%, and relieves pressure on the back, neck and shoulders. Also be sure to have your child with you to try on a backpack before purchasing it. Put things in it and see how it fits. Find the right one, and then teach your kids to be smart about how they pack and use it.

Back to school sales can be affected by the effect of back packs on kid’s health. If you want to sell to back to school buyers, have information available on how to find the best back pack for your child as well as how to fill it and wear it.

How Millennials Buy – Some Motivating Factors

How Millennials buy and some motivating factors that are involved with sales to them is a topic that bears some looking into but first, who are they?

How Millennials Buy - Some Motivating FactorsMillennials: individuals born approximately between 1979 and 1999. They can be a challenging bunch. The have been raised surrounded by technology and are well educated in using it to get answers. They generally have a high opinion of themselves, who they are and their level of sophistication. As a customer, this can be a good thing, as long as you understand what motivates them to buy. Sales to Millennials mean understanding them and the motivating factors that will make them buy.

Millennials have been studied a lot and the data is in. Millennials are 27% more likely than the average adult to consider themselves to be sophisticated, 45% would say that they are risk takers and 44% think they live a lifestyle that impresses others. Millennials are educated, have been raised to think they are special and that their opinion is valued. This is important when realizing where they are coming from as customers. Look at the first three pieces of information. When Millennials buy, they are looking for technology, something they are very comfortable with, and that will be and make them look sophisticated. For you that means show them the top of the line smart phone with all the bells and whistles.

Another of their motivating factors to watch with Millennials is where they like to be. That can be used to approach them to buy for fun at in person sales events. Places like comedy clubs, concerts and different types of restaurants will get you sales. They like to be entertained and you can use that to your advantage. Another interest of Millennials is their online time. They spend an average of 3 or more hours on social networking sites like Facebook. So using social networking to market to them is a must.

Millennials are a group that, as a demographic, is technologically savvy, and thinks highly of their abilities and technology smarts. Use these motivating factors to get them what they want, and to your business advantage.

Want to get in front of Millennials where they are? Check out our Event and Mobile sales services!

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Retail Store Sales Reports – Vital Reports You Should Look At Weekly

If you own a retail store, and you want it to be successful in sales, you need to keep track of certain types of information. Without it you really have no way to plan anything for your business. You need to know things like what are your weekly sales, when are the busy and slack times and so forth. Weekly retail reports are the lifeline for your business.

Retail Store Sales Reports - Vital Reports You Should Look At WeeklySo what kinds of reports do you need each week? At a minimum, a sales report. This one report will be able to tell you a lot of things. It will tell you if you are making enough sales to pay your bills at a minimum. Sales reports will tell you when busy times and slack times are.

Another report you should run is an inventory report. This will tell you what is selling and what isn’t. With that information you can adjust your sales items in order to move slower selling merchandise.

A report about employee hours, when compared to the sales reports can tell you if you are scheduling enough or too many employees. This can save you a lot in wages and employment taxes.

The computer systems to gather data for these and other reports you need can be expensive, or so fragmented that getting one system to integrate with another can be frustrating at best, impossible at worst. A great way to ensure that all the pieces you need work together and won’t break the bank is to find a system like Retail Business Development’s Campus, Assistant and Connect.

They work together seamlessly, and provide instant information and even training for your employees. Assistant also has a time keeping system for your employees. You need reports that include sales, employee information, training, inventory and CRM (customer relationship management). Find one that works best for you and keeps your business in the black.


Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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Big Box Retail – What are Best Practices for Growing Sales

Big box retail stores (like Best Buy, Target or WalMart) are great places to shop when you need several different things and don’t have time to run from small store to small store. With the size and buying power of a big box retail store, finding quality and low prices isn’t hard to do. But do they use best practices to grow their sales? Mostly, yes.

Big Box Retail - What are Best Practices for Growing SalesMost people only think that big boxes grow sales by selling warranties and upselling at the register. But look around, listen, and realize there is more. The reputation of the employees being under trained and without adequate knowledge for the products they sell is changing. Big box retailers have larger budgets to provide training and it is starting to show. They have started putting best practices to work to grow sales.

Go into the electronics department and start asking questions, and then listen to the answers. Hearing “um, ah, I’m not sure, let me ask my manager” are a thing of the past. Employees who are in these departments are trained to know their stuff. They know the electronics, how they work, what contracts are involved and even what accessories work best. Even better, they have more accessories to choose from so your style will be part of the solution. Best practices include knowing the products you sell and leaning to listen to what your customers needs are and fulfilling them.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingAnother common practice at these larger retail outlets is for companies like Verizon or Sony to have company based employees there to help out with questions. Thees in store employees are hired and trained by the manufacturer and are based at store level to increase sales and provide granular level product knowledge.

Now look around. Many are really getting away from shelves of boxes and are taking time to set up great displays to showcase all the products. Many even let you “play” just like the smaller retailers. Big box retail also has more to choose from because, as with accessories, they have more buying power to have a larger selection. If one brand is missing something you need, they will most likely have another that will.

Big box retail is no longer the last resort when shopping for specialty items and they use best practices to make customers happy and their sales higher.

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Retail Sales – 3 Different Sale Ideas

Retail sales - 3 Different Sale IdeasIn retail sales, it is important to get a fresh start in the new year. The holidays are over and you need to kickstart your new year. There are a couple of ways to do it: loss leaders, post holiday sales and past customer events are three. Use them to start your year off on the right foot.

Loss Leader Sales

Loss leader pricing is a sales strategy used by retailers where they price and advertise an item at or well below cost in order to attract buyers into their store. Early in the new year it is a good way to clear out old stock and increase traffic and expect that customers will purchase regular priced items at the same time.

If you have older items that need to be moved to make room for new stock this is the time to do it. So lowering the price to move it makes sense. Consumers are always looking for sales or the lowest priced products. They also are so used to convenience, and store hopping to get the lowest price on everything they buy is inconvenient. Also with the price of gas being cost prohibitive sales in one place are an answer for them. So the loss leader item is the “hook” that gets them in your store. The loss in profit on that item is made up for by the regular or higher price item sales you make when in the store along with the discounted item.

Post Holiday Sales

Post holiday sales can be combined with loss leaders, or used on their own. Post holiday sales are also a great way to move old or stale stock. Everyone has post holiday Christmas sales, but how many have Martin Luther King Day sales or Second Weekend in January sales? Pick something out of the ordinary to draw in customers.

Past Customer Events

Past customer events are another great way to get return business, and new business too. Hold a special after hours sales event and invite past customers. Have a special “gift” for anyone who brings a guest with them. This is a strategy used by many direct sales “party” businesses to build attendance with great success. People love to be appreciated, and will become loyal customers when you show how much.


Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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What is all the Hype about Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is nothing new. Anyone who uses iCloud to store their iTunes purchases, Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive to file share, or Instagram to share photos knows all about cloud computing. But really, what’s the big deal? In retail, the cloud is a great place to do business.

What is all the Hype about Cloud Computing?Store owners and managers have had this happen before. They have a question about something at the store, but only one employee available in the store at the moment. So who’s there to tell you current sales, or if there is something still available in stock? Should they be keeping that one employee busy with their question instead of helping customers? Of course not.

What if they have questions about employee performance, especially when they aren’t there? Is the staff using the sales training the owner is paying for? Without being there, how can you know? All of these situations are important to the decision making ability of an owner or manager, and each of them can be answered without removing sales staff from the selling floor. Use the cloud.

Cloud based business solutions are now a well established tool for retail stores. Companies like Retail Business Development have great cloud based systems that when put in place can provide you immediate access to all parts of your business. RBD has a system called RBD Connect. It’s an enterprise web-based solution that gives you up to date information on your workforce. It delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, and also in the office to executives, management and personnel. It manages over 500 sales associates in hundreds of retail stores, or the several in your one location, for a great increase in productivity and performance.

RBD also has an app called RBD Assistant. It’s a Google Android™ tablet-based system that manages sales from start to end, and also includes instant training, a time clock feature, assistive sales activities, point-of-sales, customer follow up and real-time sales reporting and analytics. It has an intelligent design that guides employees step by step through the sales process. It also provides information to the customer and checks them out.
The cloud is a big deal.


Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

Retail Marketing – What is Showrooming and Can it Help You?

Showrooming has been the bane of retailers when working on their retail marketing. But, showrooming can be something that works to your advantage, if you know how to use it!

Retail Marketing - What is Showrooming and Can it Help You?Showrooming is when a customer will use your store as a show room to touch and feel a product, play with it and then they leave and find and buy it online at a lower price. As many retailers have found, online stores often offer lower prices than brick and mortar stores because they do not have the overhead cost of a retail location lease, utilities and salespeople. This practice is costly to the retailers. Their salespeople spend time with a customer who isn’t going to buy, the cost of the actual loss of the sale, and the cost of damage caused to the store’s floor samples of a product. So what can you do to combat this? There are a few things.

Some retailers try to combat showrooming by lowering their prices. The problem with an across the board price cut is it lowers your profits. A better way is to do one of two things: look at your items that are being showroomed as luxury brands by creating value; or by selling items that are exclusive to your store.

Luxury marketers create value adding experiences instead of giving price breaks. They do this through loyalty programs that give early access to sales and sales professionals that can help with finding the right product. Loyalty programs can include extra sales that give them the break on the online available product, or just give additional and exclusive benefits.

Some major retailers are attempting to combat showrooming by selling products exclusive to their stores. While these tend to be larger retailers, this can work with smaller retailers by finding brands that not everyone has.


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