Flip It


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One of the keys to being successful this week is the ability to flip customers who come in for a refund or exchange into making a big purchase. It won’t happen with every customer, but it rarely happens at all if you don’t try.

The game/contest Flip It makes trying a lot more fun.

The goal of Flip It is to have the largest sale of the day that began with a return or exchange.

I like to make the prize a $20 bill or gift card and then have the prize passed around as one employee tops another. I used to do this back in my Sharper Image days, and I’m convinced some of the salespeople enjoyed taking the prize from a colleague more than the prize itself.

Here’s an example of how it works. The first customer of the day comes in with a $20 return, but the salesperson then sells him $60 of additional items. That means the current top Flip It sale is $40. (You have to net out the return or exchange.)

The next customer has a $130 item to exchange, and the salesperson sells her additional items worth $200. The net Flip It sale is $70. He/she now gets to take the cash or gift card from the other salesperson.

Another way to play Flip It is to pay everyone a prize for flipping customers. You could, for example, say that any return or exchange that has a net increase of $100 or more wins a $5 gift card.

The key to flipping the customer is to NOT ask if he/she wants to see something else. Use proactive phrases like, “You have to see these items on sale” or “I have the perfect widget to go with the red one you’re exchanging.”

While I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of this, it’s important to make sure trying to flip the customer doesn’t have a negative impact on his/her experience. It’s all in the passion and enthusiasm you use to move your customer to other products, and remaining keenly aware of how each customer is reacting.

So let me ask, are you and your team successfully flipping returns and exchanges into bigger sales?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


  1. Great perspective on the dreaded “return,” Doug!

    There’s no greater opportunity to create value, and build a relationship, than the face-to-face encounter with a customer.

    In the retail environment, especially this time of year, the “Return” can be a dreaded, feared and avoided encounter. But your positive perspective is a reminder of what the return really is – another face-to-face opportunity to engage the customer, create value and build the relationship!

    Happy New Year,


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