This Year Retailers Must Focus on Increased Productivity for Sales Staff - Training Is Key
Pam Danziger, Luxury Marketing Expert, And Greg Winston, Sales Guru, Team To Help Marketers Generate Top-Of-The-Line Growth In The 'New Normal' Retail Environment
For the second year in a row, retailers face a holiday shopping season marked by cautious shoppers who will be slow starters when it comes to gift purchases and intent on bargains. Americans across all income levels are on edge about the security of their jobs, as the nation's unemployment rate approaches 10 percent. People will opt to save, rather than spend this holiday season.
For Christmas 2009 shoppers are putting the brakes on spending by cutting their gift lists and buying gift items that people really need. Even among the affluent (people incomes at the top 20 percent of U.S. households), Unity Marketing's latest survey found that nearly 40 percent expect to spend less on holiday gifts this year as compared to last year, and 50 percent expect to spend about the same.
The underlying psychology of shoppers has shifted away from extravagant, generous spending toward a frugal approach and that change in shopper psychology has shifted the future of the retail sector. Most analysts predict sales declines of 1 percent this holiday shopping season following the 2.4 drop experienced last year, but some analysts are even more pessimistic.
Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, says, "Retailers haven't the luxury of optimism this year. They need to prepare for the worst, especially if the H1N1 flu keeps people at home and avoiding crowds. With flu the wildcard in this year's retail calculations, Unity Marketing expects sales in many retail sectors ˆ but most especially those that cater to the luxury shopper ˆ to be down from last year's dismal showing."
Embattled retailers are making adjustments to stay the course as sales drag. A recent Hay Group survey among 25 top national retailers found that inventory and staffing levels are down relative to last year. Fully 64 percent of the retailers surveyed said that they have lower than normal staffing levels. For shoppers that will translate into less attentive service and longer lines; for retailers that will mean missed opportunities and lost sales, when they need those sales the most.
With retail staffing levels off, retailers need to increase the productivity of the available staff, to give sales staff the tools and training they need to maximize every point of customer contact. Unity Marketing has teamed with The Greg Winston Company to offer retailers new ideas and new approaches to grow revenues, build deeper connections with existing customers, and attract new shoppers with a willingness to spend into the store. Sales and marketing training for retail staff is the key.
Retailers this shopping season need new strategies and tactics to turn lookers into buyers and build momentum for 2010
"Hard-hit retailers can't afford to wait another minute. They have to take action now to pull out of this year's sales slump and build momentum for next year," says Danziger. "On the plus side, retailers can finally expect to see an uptick in traffic in their stores with the holiday gift buying season. But this year, more than in any other, they have to make every customer contact count. Just putting a warm body on the retail floor to work the cash register will prove deadly this year. Retailers need to invest in new and improved sales techniques that will generate more sales from each customer contact. In this climate, every member of the team needs to be a sales expert," Danziger says.
To help retailers learn about the 'new normal' shopping environment and what they need to do to grow sales and build business, marketing and consumer insights expert Pam Danziger has teamed with Greg Winston, expert in high-performance sales training, and author of Opting for Opulence: 14 Proven Strategies to Master Selling in the Luxury Market, to launch a new idea in sales and marketing training.
In their Top-Of-The-Line Workshops Danziger and Winston offer intensive hands-on training that will deliver to retail marketing and sales teams new understanding and powerful techniques that will maximize each customer contact.
Commenting on the critical role of sales training in the new normal economy, Winston says, "The time when Luxury and Quality items were sold without sales skills has passed. With a reduced number of customers, retailers can't gamble on outdated -- or non-existent -- selling skills. Each customer contact today is worth easily 50 percent more than it was two years ago. Selling the customer, not just presenting merchandise, is what is needed today."
Top-Of-The-Line Workshops are designed to teach sales professionals to think and act like marketers and to transform marketers into sales executives
Each customized Top-Of-The-Line Workshop packs a powerful one-two punch combining research-based marketing strategies with proven high performance sales tactics. Our client promise:
- Custom solutions.
- Innovation, energy, and change all accomplished in the Luxury Market.
- New sales and marketing team alignment.
- Actions with real impact.
- Great leadership.
- High-performing professionals and business teams.
- New ways to connect with customers based upon consumer insights.
- Engaged people who embrace change.
Winston explains, "I founded my sales consulting and training firm back in 1998. Since that time, there have been profound changes in the luxury market which require fundamental changes in the way we sell to the affluent. Our Top-Of-The-Line Workshops are based upon our understanding that higher economic buyers think differently, so sellers targeting the market must think differently too. In our training program we apply one or more of our core strategies to a specific affluent business context to create quicker, more reliable sales success. Our style is simple: provocative, high-energy, research-based with a strong bias for action!"
Danziger concludes, "It is exciting to be working with Greg to bring not just keen strategic marketing insights, but to translate those ideas into sales tactics that work on the selling floor. Our unique advantage is the ability to research and discover consumer behaviors and translate those into sales and marketing strategies. From 'shops that pop' to 'people that shop', our curriculum will deliver results."
(For media: Danziger and Winston available for interviews.)
Coming Soon: News about Top-Of-The-Line Sales and Marketing training for other luxury product and service sectors.
About Greg Winston, the Sales Innovator
Greg Winston is a pioneer in the study of high-performance in the area of sales. His innovative ideas and methods have had a lasting positive impact on the careers of many hundreds of marketing professionals. Companies at all levels use his seminars and training programs with proven tools for increased personal and professional success. Greg has been referred to as being the best there is for enhancing motivation and creating achievement. That keeps him busy speaking at company, association and volunteer meetings.
In his early years Greg began a sales career with the Xerox Corporation and became one of their lead sales professionals. At one point in his year-to-date sales figures were 10 times more than the average sales representatives. While most sales representatives averaged 125% of budget, Winston set a branch record of 1003%. Immediately following that success he was then promoted to work with new hires. He used those same concepts during stints with CBS Television and Radio then Warner Bros. And now Greg brings those skills and more to your organization.
Greg is one of the few speakers guaranteed to receive a standing ovation with his interactive motivational speeches and sales training.
Follow Greg on Twitter @1GregWinston