Holiday Jerks, Clerks, Retail Pros and the 35% Difference


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There will be three types of specialty store employees working this Black Friday weekend.

The first type is the jerk. They hate working retail, so of course they’ll be extra miserable this weekend. I know you’re not a jerk because jerks don’t take the time to read this newsletter.

The second type of specialty store employee is the clerk who facilitates the customer’s transaction. They’ll make sure customers find what they need or want, and will get them rung up and out the door. Clerks are nice people, but they miss a lot of opportunities.

The third type is the retail pro who will deliver an amazing customer experience to each and every customer this weekend. It will be fun and rewarding for both the customer and for the pro. Retail pros create many additional opportunities.

The biggest difference between the clerk and the retail pro is a 35% or more swing in sales. That’s right, it can be that much of a difference. I know, because I see it with my consulting clients.

Here are three other major differences between the holiday jerk, clerk and retail pro:

1. First impressions

A jerk will ignore customers, hoping they go away. Most will.

A clerk will say, “How may I help you?” to virtually every customer who walks in the door.

A retail pro will warmly welcome each customer into the store. The pro knows that asking a question that leads to the answer, “Just looking” is an impediment to delivering a great experience and making a sale.

2. Helping the customer

A jerk will point the customer to what they’re looking for.

A clerk will find out what the customer is looking for and take him/her to it.

A retail pro will always focus on the customer’s shopping list, not the single item he/she is looking for. Retail pros sell more by focusing on who, not what. They will also give the customer an opportunity to buy something for her/himself.

3. Adding-on

A jerk never bothers to add-on. That takes too much time and effort.

A clerk might suggest one additional item after asking, “Will that be it?”

A retail pro, like the jerk, doesn’t bother to add-on, either. That’s because the retail pro SELLs ON. The retail pro never asks, “Will that be it” because she knows that question stops the sale. The retail pro keeps showing products and delivering a fabulous experience until the customer says that will be it.

4. Final results

Stores staffed with jerks will have a pretty tough weekend. Of course it won’t be the jerk’s fault. It never is.

Stores with clerks will work extremely hard to get close to last year’s numbers, and maybe even exceed it.

Stores with retail pros will more than likely blow past last year’s sales and this year’s goal. They’ll prove that people still enjoy shopping in stores where the staff cares and the experience is different.

So let me ask, will you be a retail pro this weekend? Follow the above suggestions and you’ll see the results. Who knows, maybe 35% or more!

I wish you the best of luck this weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving to our US readers. To our newsletter readers around the world, have a great week.

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.


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