So it’s the week before Christmas and like everyone else who celebrates the holiday, or who’s performance is measured on a year-to-year basis, I am scrambling to get things done. I am thinking, “Why do I take on so much?” I find myself floating the time sensitive items to the top of my list and letting the tasks that can wait meander somewhere around the middle until those hit urgent status. I consider myself a patient person, but find my patience stretched thin when someone I am working with fails to focus anything but their full and undivided attention to completing the task at hand in an emergency fashion. It makes me wonder if I am giving the same level of service that I demand of my service providers and I challenge to you ask yourself the same question.
I am going to quote a good customer and friend of mine, “In this business, time kills all deals. It’s not like real estate or stock where if you have patience your land, building or shares will appreciate.” In this business patience costs you money. If you walk away from a deal to hold out for more, that inventory just became older and you lost a sale. The more time you give a customer by not closing a deal, the more time they have to shop you, talk themselves out of it (the same way they talked themselves into it) or have someone else talk them out of it. Be impatient and close that deal! Get creative, bundle some accessories or something else of value into the deal in order to entice the customer to buy now. Bundling is not the only way to get creative, but its gaining in popularity as it will allow you to move more product, preserve the profit margin and save some sales that might otherwise be lost.
How do you handle your customers precious time? You know, the person who took time out of their day to come into your store and shop and who pays our salaries? Are your employees trained on the products you represent so as to give the customer a timely and informative sales pitch? Do they know where to look to find more information to the questions that they don’t have an answer for? Do they have full access to those tools be it manufacturer’s websites, forums, etc.? Are they impatient with their customers? No, I am not talking about rolling their eyes and huffing and puffing cause the customer cannot make a decision. But do they respect the customers time as much as the customer does? That means speeding it up for the girl that wants to get in and out and slowing it down for the guy who needs more hand holding.
Use this holiday season’s personal shopping experiences as a gauge to where you want your staff to be, use the slow time after the holidays to implement the changes and be impatient to get there, despite what your momma told you!
Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the US, owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at:
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