How to Spend the Last 10 Minutes of Your Work Day

10minutes

10minutes

The last 10 minutes of your day can also be the most crucial. It’s a time where you can prep for the next day, organize your work-space, sign out of email and reflect on what you achieved in the past eight hours. In the end, you should feel confident and proud when you walk out of the office.Read more:Also check out:5 Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Productivity Levels5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

Enjoy;

Barbara

10 things your staff must do to Drive up the Average Sale

  1. Learn about a new product every day.

  1. Do not shy away from big-ticket items.

  1. Know all the accessories!

  1. At the cash: always point out the feature item nearest to you !

  1. Know what’s in stock and what’s out of stock.

  1. Do not control the customer’s budget.

  1. Do not stop showing until they stop buying!

  1. Always show the best item first.

  1. Ask more questions to understand the total scenario. Example: “ have you finished all your shopping today?

  2. What or who else is on your list?"Have confidence in your solution!

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I recommend that you call me today to book your Retail Sales Training!Best

Barbara

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Essential Marketing Guide

Hello Retailers,You will love this information. Still considering if you should have a website? or maybe your website doesn’t work properly ? Please contact Steve at Retail Makeover Web Design Services: www.retailmakeoverweb.comBlack Friday has quickly turned into one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year, while Cyber Monday has even surpassed Black Friday in sales.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Essential Marketing Guide

cyber-mondayBlack Friday has quickly turned into one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year, while Cyber Monday has even surpassed Black Friday in sales. In this article we have cover some amazing marketing tips that pit Black Friday vs Cyber Monday against each other. It may seem like you should take the same approach with both, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.You may also be interested in these articles:Not only are Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers dissimilar, but they expect different marketing tactics and shopping experiences.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday Marketing: The Main Differences

Black Friday differs from Cyber Monday in a few ways. The first, most obvious difference, is that Black Friday has been around for a much longer span of time. In the past, Black Friday existed solely as a brick and mortar holiday when people would come out and wait in lines for hours.Therefore, this has carried over to the internet age, where more people expect to get an experience (offline and online) than they would on Cyber Monday. This includes giveaways and raffles. That said, plenty of brick and mortar stores get in on the Cyber Monday fiasco, similar to how online stores take advantage of Black Friday.The average Black Friday shopper is a younger female who may still live at home with parents. Think college students and early young professionals with more willingness to seek out deals because of their youth and budgetary constraints. The numbers show that these women make less than $75K per year and generally don’t have children.Keep in mind, this is the average, so there are still plenty of men and women with children shopping during Black Friday.Women still beat out men during Cyber Monday, but not by nearly as much. The main difference lies in their lifestyles. For example, Cyber Monday females are more often over 30 years old, employed and owning their own home. The chances of getting women with families spikes as well.Considering much of the Cyber Monday shopping is done online, this makes sense, because these types of customers aren’t nearly as willing to brave the cold and wait in long lines.mobile-black-friday-and-cyber-mondayAs for the smaller demographics and overall trends with Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:

  • Cyber Monday shoppers care more about pricing than brand. That’s not always the case with Black Friday shoppers.
  • Black Friday shoppers are far more likely to complete their shopping in physical stores as opposed to online.
  • Cyber Monday shoppers complete more research online. For example, they look at online reviews more frequently than the average Black Friday shopper, and more of them own smartphones and care about the operating system being used while shopping through a mobile device.
  • Regardless of sex, Black Friday shoppers are generally younger than 24 and without jobs and living with mom and dad.
  • An interesting metric is that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers use the internet in some way. Black Friday customers seem to love Pinterest, while Cyber Monday people are all about technology blogs and online magazines.

And Now… Essential Black Friday vs Cyber Monday Marketing Tips

1. If You Can Only Pick One, Go With Cyber MondayYes, both Cyber Monday and Black Friday online sales have been increasing over the past years. However, online stores see far more sales on Cyber Monday than they do on Black Friday. This might have something to do with the fact that some folks still see Black Friday as a brick and mortar day.Regardless of the reasoning, you have a bigger piece of the pie to claim on Cyber Monday.2. Don’t Just Test Your Site..Ensure Its StabilityIt may not seem like keeping your site fast, functional and operational has anything to do with marketing. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 58% of potential customers decided not to return to a brand during the holidays because of website problems.This applies to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so we recommend spending extra money to boost your hosting plan, clean up the clutter, focus on landing pages and speed up the checkout process. Your website is the ultimate marketing tool. But a slow one, regardless of your deals, turns a happy shopper into a frustrated one.3. Offer a Price Comparison on Your SiteThis is particularly important for Black Friday, since more shoppers are used to researching online and understanding the differences in prices between your competitors and you. Not only that, but shoppers indicate 33% of the time that they take online comparisons into consideration.black-friday-vs-cyber-monday-marketing-comparisonIt may seem counter-intuitive at first, but providing the tools to compare with competitors at least gives you the benefit of keeping people on your own website. If you feel like your pricing is no match for other companies, we recommend at least implementing a comparison .As always wishing you every success;Barbara

Albert Einstein & Retail Business Management

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler."

You must read this terrific list of quotes from Einstein. ...Not the most flattering pic of him -but- who cares its Albert Einstein! ...You'll see what I mean.

Link 31 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Albert Einstein

Enjoy,

Barb

Prevent Shoplifting

smart ideas Barb pic

Thinking that someone doesn't "look" like a shoplifter might lull you into a false sense of security.  Prevent shoplifting by removing as many opportunities to shoplift as possible.

Merchandise: Arrange aisles and displays so that employees have a clear view of a much of the store as possible. Utilize convex mirrors for areas that are blind spots.2 Put less expensive items closer to the door, more expensive items further away. This prevents a shoplifter from being able to grab expensive items and be out the door in a matter of seconds. Put security tags on merchandise that can only be removed at the cash register.

Learn Shoplifting Techniques: Limit the number of items that can be taken into the fitting room. Lock all fitting room doors so that customers must have an employee them. Require your employees to note how many items the person is taking into the fitting room. Shoplifters will sometimes use a fitting room to put on stolen merchandise under their own clothes. Note anyone who seems to be wandering in the store, or who seems to be watching employees and other customers closely. They may be looking for an opportunity to shoplift when no one is watching. Take note of a person wearing a baggy coat, especially if the weather doesn't call for it. They may be hiding stolen merchandise underneath.

Involve Employees: Have your employees greet each customer as they enter the store. A shoplifter is less likely to go through with his crime if they think someone might be able to identify them. Offer bonuses to employees who catch shoplifters and alert security. Let your employees know that shoplifters often work in teams, with one person distracting the employee while the other one shoplifts. Tell your employees avoid distractions and to watch other customers at all times. If you have more than one employee, train them so that only one deals with a dominant customer while the other watches the store floor.

  Good-luck! -Barbara

Uniqlo

smart ideas Barb picUniqlo: Japanese fast-fashion retailer is working with a broker to open Canadian stores


 

unnamed  201255-uniqlo-toronto

Uniqlo's choice of American locations can be considered an indication of what it wants in Canada: prime retail space on busy streets and in prominent malls. Expect large Canadian Uniqlo flagships, as well as some smaller mall-based stores. However, its cautious American expansion foreshadows what's in store for Canada, at least in the short term, as only a handful of American cities see multiple Uniqlo locations. This will change, eventually, as Uniqlo's goal is to become the world's top-selling fashion retailer. We'll explain why Uniqlo stores will open in many Canadian markets over the next several years, and we'll then discuss some of its most likely Canadian locations.

uniqloSources inform us that Uniqlo is talking to Canada's largest mall landlords as its searches for Canadian retail space. In March, the Financial Post reported that Uniqlo was in talks to open a 35,000 square foot space at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Toronto and Vancouver are ideal cities for the Japanese retailer: both see exceptionally high retail sales, large Asian populations, and considerable Uniqlo brand awareness. Other desirable markets include Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, and possibly Ottawa and Winnipeg, as the company continues expanding.

You've got to read this! ...

Click on image to link to article...0311_レギンス_N15d_朝日_版o_cs3              imageBestBarbara 

Performance Review -Tips For Managment

smart ideas Barb picPerformance Review Tips Are Beneficial To Managers!

 


  Strike the right balance between praise and constructive criticism to achieve that elusive balance and make the review a productive one, start preparing for the next round of performance appraisals once the last round has been completed. performance reviews If you’re dissatisfied with the reviews you’ve given in the past, take steps now to improve the process before other priorities and deadlines force you to put it on the back burner. Performance reviews are a lot like walking a tightrope. If you withhold positive feedback, you’ll discourage and demoralize employees. On the other hand, if you hesitate to point out problem areas, you’ll never see improvement. ...

   

Maintain A Consistent Review Schedule


Performance appraisals should not be a one-time event. In addition to providing ongoing feedback throughout the year, let employees know what time of year that reviews typically take place. Seventy-seven percent of employees polled said they consider performance reviews valuable, so providing them with adequate time to prepare is critical. Give your staff the opportunity to identify their achievements from the past year and areas where they would like to improve. 

Keep  Files On Each Employee


Whenever you hire a new staff member or immediately after your review the performance of a long-time employee, set up a file in which you will document the good, the bad and the just-average aspects of that employee’s job performance and work habits. You can use the file not only to catalog accomplishments but also to track performance-related issues such as tardiness or consistent failure to meet deadlines. By keeping a performance file on each staff member, you won’t have to rely on memory when you find you need to discuss something that occurred months before the actual review meeting. 

Solicit Third-Party Input


Although the appraisal will be based on your observations and assessments of an employee’s performance, you shouldn’t rely solely on your own perceptions – particularly if your interactions with the individual have been limited. Seek input from colleagues and others who work closely day-to-day with the employee. Inquire about the person’s strengths, weaknesses, areas that have improved over time and special abilities. Ask specific questions. For example, how does this employee handle challenges and overcome obstacles? What contributions has he or she made to team-based projects? Does the employee seem committed to continuing professional education and skills development? Compare the feedback you receive with what you’ve directly observed. 

Allow Sufficient Time To Make An Assessment


Don’t wait until the day before the review to start tracking and critiquing a staff member’s performance – this is unfair to the individual and will not give you an accurate, comprehensive picture of his or her abilities and achievements. Instead, try to observe the employee in a variety of situations over an extended period of time. Ideally, you want to see how well he or she manages both independent and collaborative assignments. 

Create A Conducive Setting


Choose a quiet, private place for the review and try to schedule it at a time when interruptions can be kept at a minimum. When structuring the session, incorporate time for a two-way dialogue so that the employee can respond to your feedback and offer input of his or her own. To prepare for the meeting, organize all documentation – previous evaluations,  comments you’ve gleaned from colleagues and your own notes. Give the employee sufficient advance notice so that he or she can also prepare. 

Performance Reviews

Set The Appropriate Tone


The review itself should be handled in a professional manner and treated as a conversation, not a lecture. Open the discussion by talking about the employee’s accomplishments and positive attributes. When it’s time to shift to negative or problematic areas, focus not on mistakes but on ways to improve performance. Most employees will not be surprised by anything they hear during a review. However, if there’s a gap between an employee’s perceived versus actual performance, be sure to explain the difference and suggest ways performance goals might be met. As you speak with the employee, invite comments on your observations. Once you’ve reviewed past performance, begin talking about future expectations. Clarify his or her job requirements and responsibilities as these can change over time. Also inquire about the employee’s professional development goals and discuss how you both might work toward meeting them. Throughout the meeting, be courteous and tactful. If you must criticize, focus on behaviour rather than personality. Remember that encouragement is the best incentive for improvement. 

Maintain An Open Door


Because employees may need time to digest the feedback from a review, encourage them to come to you afterward if they have questions or concerns. If you show that performance is not a once-a-year issue but a matter of ongoing importance, your staff will focus less on the formal review itself and more on the feedback and guidance they received. They’ll be motivated to see feedback as help with their performance. By preparing well in advance for performance reviews and developing a systematic, consistent appraisal process, you’ll turn what could be an uncomfortable time into a chance to dialogue with team members and set goals for the future. Who knows? You and your employees may start to look forward to these feedback sessions and your employee may improve.  BestBarbara

Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 

Elevate

 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Buying Signals

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...

They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...

Customer Signals:

When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.

The Signals That They Send Will Include:

  • I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.

  • I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.

  • I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.

  • I want to buy this, now!

When They Are Not Ready To Buy:

When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.

Avoiding Eye Contact With You:

When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.

Making 'Not Now' Excuses:

If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual Handling Of The Product:

customers-buying

customers-buying

If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking At Many Different Products:

If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.

Moving Around Quickly:

When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.

When They Are Ready To Buy:

 When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.

Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:

When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:

If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.

the way you buy

the way you buy

Asking Questions About The Detail:

If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.

Asking About Price:

This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using Possession Language:

When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking Another Person’s Opinion:

When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body State Changes:

Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching The Money:

If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To  Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!

Best Barbara

Phone Answering Skills -Critical for Businesses

The phone is still most businesses primary point of contact with customers.

The way you answer your company's phone will form your customer's first impression of your business.

answering phones

answering phones

phone calls

phone calls

Here's how to answer the phone properly and win business:

1) Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.

2) When you answer the phone, be warm and enthusiastic. Your voice on the phone is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.

3) When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your store. Say, for instance, "Good morning.  Laura's Boutique, Susan speaking. How may I help you?" No one should ever have to ask if they've reached such and such a business.

4) Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone, so your caller can understand you easily.

5) Control your language when answering the phone. Don't use slang  Instead of saying, "OK", or "No problem", for instance, say "Certainly", "Very well", or "All right". If you're a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as "uh huh", "um", or phrases such as "like" or "you know", train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone.

6) Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a "down" day. For example, rather than saying, "I don't know", say, "Let me find out about that for you."

7) Take phone messages completely and accurately. If there's something you don't understand or can't spell, such as a person's surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you. Then make sure the message gets to the intended recipient.

8) Answer all your calls within one business day. I can't emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved... and reinforce the favourable impression of your business that you want to circulate.

9) Always ask the caller if it's all right to put her on hold when answering the phone, and don't leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as "That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have ________ call you back?"

10) Don't use a speaker phone unless absolutely necessary. Speaker phones give the caller the impression that you're not fully concentrating on his call, and make him think that his call isn't private. The only time to use a speaker phone is when you need more than one person to be in on the conversation at your end.

11) If you use an answering machine to answer calls when you can't, make sure that you have a professional message recorded, that does the same thing as tip #3, and gives callers any other pertinent information before it records their messages. Update your answering machine message as needed. For instance, if your business is going to be closed for a holiday, update your recorded answering machine message to say so and to say when your business will reopen.

12) Train everyone else who answers the phone to answer the same way.  Check on how your business's phone is being answered by calling in and seeing if the phone is being answered in a professional manner. If they don't pass the test, go over this phone answering tips list with them to make sure that everyone at your business knows how to answer the phone properly.

Best Barbara