The weather has a role to play if you have a physical store because if it’s icy, snowy, blowing a Hooley or pouring with rain, people just don’t want to get out and about. I always feel especially sorry for market traders in the early part of the year. You do have to be made of stern stuff, don’t you? I take my hat off to them. For the rest of us, we need to make our physical premises warm and welcoming and entice our customers in from the cold.
So how can you increase sales?
Well the good news is that you can increase sales in some fairly simple ways that won’t involve making major changes to either your stock or your shop or stall. Here’s a few ideas that should hopefully help you to maximise selling opportunities and increase sales.A change is as good as a whole new shop!
Use your slack time to have a good clean up and move your stock or the layout of the shop around. This is a bit like deep cleaning at home. Once you start you do have to commit to it because it gets infinitely worse before it gets better. By changing the layout of your stock, customers who visit regularly will ‘see’ things they have never seen before and it will give them ideas.Have a display of ‘extra products’ near your checkout area. It can be random accessories or odd novelties (we have plenty of those – check us out here) – things that don’t cost much and don’t take up much room. Customers will fiddle and touch things while waiting to pay and this can increase sales in a very blatant fashion.
A more difficult sales strategy that can be used to increase sales is to customise sales techniques. By this I mean watch your customer’s body language and react to it. If they seem interested in a product go over and persuade them how wonderful it is. Try and put in their mind the idea that their world will be complete with this item. Yes, you do need the gift of the gab, and a bit of cheek, but if you’re good at this technique you can increase sales effectively. You don’t create sales by standing behind the till.
If your cash flow can stand it, you can increase sales by paying special attention to your top performing items. If you have items that sell quickly and you’re running low, it’s not rocket science, you need more of them and you need them now! If you don’t have them you will lose money so keep an eye on your stock and re-order well in advance.If things aren’t moving very quickly then you will increase sales by marking slow moving items down. I have a car salesman friend whose advice to me is always “First profit is the best profit”. Sell your slow items at a reduced price because if you keep stock that doesn’t sell your overall look will be stale and stock that isn’t selling hurts your bottom line. If you want to increase sales you need to move on! If you have people working for you make sure they are completely on board with what your store is about. Cheap and cheerful? Make sure it’s cheerful! More high end? Then the focus has to be on quality and service. Somewhere in between? Then you have to walk a line between accessible, engaging, good service and quality on a budget. Not easy to do! Make sure that everyone who is working for you knows how products operate, or how they smell (toiletries, perfumes, candles, incense etc.), where they are made, what they are made of etc. etc. etc. How do you want customers to perceive your shop or business?? Make sure your employees (and you yourself) understand what you are aiming for and this is a sure fire way to keep everyone happy and increase sales. Make sure you are healthy and up for it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, YOU are the most important resource that your business has. You’re on the go all day – usually 5 and in some cases 6 or 7 days a week. That means you need to take care of you. That can be difficult to do at this time of year – so stay warm, get enough sleep, eat well and stay healthy. A healthy, energetic, smiling you will increase sales faster than a lurgie ridden bronchial, sleep deprived monster. Think on!
Over to you!
How do you increase sales, particularly in a slow January? What tips can you share with your fellow small business owners? Join us here on Facebook here or comment below.