5 Ways to Stop Paying Sales Staff to Stand Around!

Sample Clientele sheet

Yawn…

There’s nothing more discouraging to a small business owner or manager as walking into your store to see your staff just standing around, arms folded, slouched posture, looking oh, so bored…

Don’t assign busy work!

Do not hand them a duster or send them to organize the stockroom. No customer or owner/manager should want to see staff doing housework when the business at hand is SELLING! Hire a part-time housekeeper and stockperson for chores.

Make $$$ Clienteling

Clienteling is making customer calls, sending reminders, birthday cards and more.. Sales book, client book, customer book, whatever you want to call it, EACH person on your sales staff should be clienteling. Why? Basically because people have lousy memories, and worse, are not instinctively organized.

Clienteling is simply enhancing what salespeople already do well.

How do you Clientele?

Old Tech: Present your sales staff with their own small binder. Preferably the organizer style, but if you’re on a budget, standard 3 rings are a good start. And don’t make them buy their own! Cough up a few dollars – supplies expense it.

You’ll need alphabetical dividers and a clientele form like the one shown here (but, please, make a typed form and get lots of copies printed – pre-punched!)

Make sure you include blanks for all the info that will help you make a sale.

New Tech: Tablets and apps. Use the same guidelines as above.

So how will it increase sales?

Here are just 5 Ways to begin using Clienteling to make more sales:

  1. Enter emails provided into your customer database for your monthly email marketing list (you do have a monthly customer email newsletter, right?)
  2. Keep track of birthdays / anniversaries and send cards Emails and SendOut Cards are great for this – no maintenance, easy branding, no need to buy stationery)
  3. Track customer preferences for when new merchandise comes in that matches their “likes.”
  4. Make Follow-ups of all kinds … “Just got in a new belt that would look fabulous with those pants you bought last month!” … get the idea?
  5. SALES!!! Have a “Sale Only” customer section in the Clientele books… You’d be surprised how much you can increase sales volume during sale and clearance days. Staff should call customers who were interested in items – just not at regular price. If you made note when they were in before and expressed interest, you are armed and ready!

How to make a killing with sale / clearance events:

If your staff is taking notes in their clientele book when customers express a desire for an item that isn’t in their budget the day they shop, they will be set!

  • Before the sale – call customers to tell them the item they looked so wistfully at is now going on sale.
  • Tell customers you must have their credit card number to hold the items and you’ll ring it up on that card the day of the sale for them to pick up later. It’s a win-win for you and the customer! (make sure you secure the credit card info)
    [UPDATE: This is no longer a desirable option for consumers because of potential credit card abuse and theft – consider an extended 24 hour hold once sale begins with a reminder call to customer]
  • Before you even open on sale day, you’ll have a pile of goods ready to ring up!

Entice your staff with an added individual $ or % bonus for pre-rung sales.

Ka-Ching!

It’s those nickel and dime sales that can really add up for you AND make the customers feel special. Now everybody is happy!

Get to your local office supply store and buy some organizers or binders TODAY!

ANNNNND! Don’t forget to incorporate Social Media!

8 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stop Paying Sales Staff to Stand Around!

  1. Hmm interesting approach to retail. I know my friends who work at high end boutiques use the “clientele” book approach but I wonder how it will be received if it were a retail chain. Based on your suggestion, it would be interesting if retail stores started including online marketing during those dead, empty store periods.

    1. Hello Edith!
      Actually, I learned the most about clientele practices when I worked for Neiman Marcus years ago… So yes, high end department store chains expect sales staff to work their books as a best practice.

      Did you mean social media and email marketing when you mentioned online marketing?

  2. Hmm interesting approach to retail. I know my friends who work at high end boutiques use the “clientele” book approach but I wonder how it will be received if it were a retail chain. Based on your suggestion, it would be interesting if retail stores started including online marketing during those dead, empty store periods.

    1. Hello Edith!
      Actually, I learned the most about clientele practices when I worked for Neiman Marcus years ago… So yes, high end department store chains expect sales staff to work their books as a best practice.

      Did you mean social media and email marketing when you mentioned online marketing?

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