Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sales Strategies and Le Tour

Today is only Tuesday? OMG - this week is just going to drag itself along behind me like a 50-pound weight attached to leg irons. My feet already hurt because I had less than 30 minutes to sit yesterday and I have five more days to go. Am I being a wuss? Maybe, but it's no fun standing for nine hours with sore feet and a lower back that should be shipped back to the shop. I know I'm carrying too much weight, and this is confirmation of that fact. But it doesn't change the fact that things had better change quickly or I might lose my temper.

OMG this looks so comfortable! My back could really use this
type of stretch. 

That said, my manager was actually helpful yesterday, coming out whenever I asked him to help and not getting too much in my way. I have no guilt about asking him to pull this or that for a customer, or to work with this person or that when I'm tied up with other people. I will call him out of the back for a large order or a small. My problems arise when he sits at the main computer to compile purchase orders or look through sales histories. Then I have issues because he'll sit there, ignoring the world around him, for hours. I rely on that chair to take a load off my feet. I may have to use my stool - something I haven't had to use in several years - just to relax my back a bit.

I had no issues with calling for help, and my manager
was actually fairly responsive when I called him out
to the sales floor. He wastes my time in idle chit-chat
sometimes, but I just try to ignore that and get on
with my own work. 

Still, because I called on him to help with the smaller sales, I had the chance to work intensively with several families and smaller groups, building their $20 sales into end results of more than $100. I was happy, they were happy, and if it took a lot of work to achieve that goal, well, that's why I'm really good at sales when I apply myself.

It's important that people feel welcome, but it's also important
that they actually find what they're looking for. 

I find that all too often my staff will welcome customers to the store, but then they will turn their attention back to whatever task they were doing and not really pay attention to what the customer is looking at or where their curiosity is pulling them. If you watch - really watch a customer, you can answer questions, show different colors or products, and generally satisfy needs that they never knew they had. That's the mark of a successful sales person and a successful sale.

A lot of my customers are older women and they can be a lot of
fun. Sometimes they can be a PITA, though. Generally I find
them to be interesting and unafraid to voice an opinion. 

Chickie can show almost infinite patience with some really difficult customers and often is better with older ladies, but I can read body language like words on a page and I watch people. Chickie also loves to chat about this or that, but although I'm also talking, I'm talking about the products, colors, stitches and design, not really allowing the discussion to pass through to the personal except to get an idea about what the customer really wants to achieve as their end goal. Differences, good and bad, but the two of us make a formidable sales force.

Chickie is on vacation this week. She should be roaming around
Seattle today, taking in the sights and sounds of that great city.
I hope she's having a wonderful time. 

With Chickie on vacation this week, it's up to me to deal with everyone and that might be difficult with some of the groups we get in. The week has hardly started, but I hope I'll end it with a feeling that I did a good job both in terms of dollars in the till as well as happy customers. I guess my sore feet are a small price to pay for satisfied clients.

Stage Four, although it does have crosswinds and some topography, is generally
a "meh" stage just to get from the coast into the interior of France. 

Today is Day Four of Le Tour de France and the boys are finally on French soil. They all flew over last night (the support personnel had to take the ferry or the Chunnel), and today's stage will be relatively boring with the possible exception of wind issues when they're near the coast. Today seems more like a transition day as they move from the coast of France to the interior for tomorrow's dreaded cobblestone stage. Today will be "meh", but tomorrow? Tomorrow will be broken bikes and possible crashes here and there as they deal with nine separate sections of cobblestone roads. So, as I finish this out so that I can get to the TV in time to watch today's stage, I wish all of you a wonderful Tuesday. Have fun and make someone's day a happy one.

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