Last updateTue, 20 Mar 2018 10pm

Getting ready for success in 2018


Now that the holidays are in your rear-view mirror, it’s an excellent time to evaluate what grew your business in 2017 and what caused your headaches. Expending effort now to align all the practices of selling will produce the outcomes you wish to achieve for 2018.

Hopefully, the results you posted in 2017 will be the foundation for your success in 2018. Was every “new” customer given the experience that will cause them to become lifelong customers? Did your salespeople get their new customers to ask them to call for upcoming events and celebrations? It is never too late to provide exceptional customer service and develop personal trade, repeat business and referral business. Remember this is the central goal of each and every sales presentation.

Your organization is as strong as the people who comprise your staff. Causing every staff person to shine with crisp sales strategies enlivens every aspect of your store’s performance and builds morale. Creating the environment where each staff member is valued and encouraged to develop to the best of their ability is the foundation of superb customer service! Utilizing frequent and regular training sessions to ignite the passions for sales is essential for professionalism, motivation, positive results and all-around satisfaction.

Preparing for each day mentally, emotionally and physically creates the foundation for the successes that occur throughout the day. Since the recently ended holidays likely produced the bulk of 2017’s business, the next few weeks are prime opportunities to review each of the sales techniques that each member of your staff brings to the table. Which strategies has each person mastered? Which ones are developing? How can each person (including YOU), be encouraged to reach outside their comfort zone to expand their professional polish? Sharing within your store’s community to cause everyone to greet each interaction with customers with a fresh pizzazz elevates the service of the entire store! Role-playing, open discussion about a variety of scenarios, reading books, magazines, articles and taking part in sales seminars and workshops gives everyone a brighter perspective! 

Knowledge of the features and benefits of every single product in the store may sound redundant and tedious, but I can assure you that refreshing one’s understanding of the products that constitute one’s bread and butter can make all the difference to a customer who would benefit from a gentle nudge toward finalizing a sale. That extra bit of confidence about the performance of a given product builds a corresponding confidence in the customer that A) the product is worthy of their consideration and B) the salesperson (and thus the store) is completely knowledgeable about the best uses of the product they need! If your goal is to build relationships with your customers, isn’t it obvious that knowing which of your products will best meet their needs is both respectful of the relationship and fundamental to their satisfaction?   

As long as you are in the process of enhancing store techniques and knowledge, it is a perfect time to revisit all of the sales procedures and steps that may have gotten a little off-track with the hustle-bustle of the holidays. Carefully examine each of the operations that are designed to create the smoothest flow of a sales transaction, from greeting to cash wrap and beyond! Are there steps in the process that need to be modified (either eliminated or augmented) to produce a more professional or financial benefit to your customer or your overall operation? Now is a fantastic opportunity to receive input from your store’s front-line soldiers! 

An investigation of sales procedures must  incorporate the Non-negotiable Standards that your store and you hold for each component: sales practices, customer service and operational steps. These must be very clearly communicated to your staff and you MUST emphasize that there is no room for manipulating these basic standards. Now is an excellent opportunity to reiterate consequences for non-compliance, as well as including a good deal of motivation and incentive to shine and grow beyond minimums!  Considering each facet of the sales process, plus the operational policies will create the road map for your entire staff to have a superlative 2018! 

IAS Training is renowned for providing detailed expertise to assist you with all of your training needs. We are excited to be a part of your store’s and your staff’s success in the competitive retail environment.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.