In a recent interview, I was asked what companies can do to ‘boost their close ratios’ within the specialty retail market. Here were the questions as well as my responses.
Question: What techniques have you seen work in terms of boosting close ratios within the retail market? Are there any action steps that retail owners need to take to boost their close ratios?
Response: After tracking your sales numbers and closing ratio, you’ll find that you may fit into one of the following scenarios in terms of how much prospecting, marketing and selling you will have to do in order to reach your income goal.
1. You are right on track to reach your sales and income goal.
2. You’re slightly off but can easily adjust your daily routine to compensate.
3. You’ll need to put aside a considerable amount of more time to devote to prospecting. This may require some delegation of responsibilities or taking some other activities, tasks, or projects off your plate that may not serve you best or support your goals.
4. You feel like you just got hit with a two by four because the amount of marketing and selling you need to do in order to reach your income goal is off the charts and unrealistic; even to high to count.
If you fall within the fourth category, do not despair! If you find that you need to spend more hours selling than there are in a day in order to reach your income goal, consider some other alternatives that will decrease your required prospecting time, marketing dollars and time on the floor selling.
1. Improve your selling skills to boost closing percentages. You may want to consider revamping your marketing and selling approach as well as doing an analysis of your own sales acumen and selling skills. After all, if you’re fishing in a lake and everyone else at the lake is catching fish but you aren’t, do you go to a different lake or do you change the bait you’re using! If you are still selling or marketing the way you’ve been doing it or have never been shown the right way to market and sell effortlessly, then you are making it easy for your competition to take your business. Consider it’s time to reach out and get an overhaul or tune up.
2. Increase your profitability/commissions or income per sale.
3. Increase the size of your average sale.
4. Decrease the amount of prospecting or marketing needed to identify one new prospect.
5. Decrease the average time it takes for you to identify a qualified prospect. (Remove all distractions.)
6. Change your income/sales goal.
7. Find a new career path. This alternative is only for those people who have thoroughly explored all options (including working with a sales coach) and, most important, have taken the time to develop their selling skills and implement a comprehensive selling system they have followed for a considerable length of time.
Fine-tuning the first six of the seven measurables I just mentioned will ensure that you are maximizing your time, your talents and your potential as well as each prospecting and selling opportunity.