Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Grow Retail Sales

If you are home healthcare provider, you can't go a day without reading an article about adding retail to your offering. Many HMEs and DMEs are diving into retail, investing in new products, and are re-organizing their store fronts. But where the rubber meets the road is the ability of your staff to sell. Most of your employees know your services, patients, and products inside and out, but don't necessarily possess stellar retail sales skills. Here are some quick tips to enhance your staff's selling performance!

How To: Take one afternoon to meet with your team or order dinner in and hold a sales training session. This allows your staff to be away from the day-to-day issues and focus. Keep it fun and light hearted. The number one fear of staff is not being able to answer a question accurately. Have the team create a variety of possible customer scenarios and roll play the dialogue that could occur. Doing this together helps brainstorm a variety of ideas. One person can be the note taker. After you have done this exercise, have the note taker read back key topics of concern and how best to handle them.

Next Steps: Have another team member create a "Retail Sales Cheat Sheet" from the sales session notes. This will highlight the key areas of concerns and with tips on how the staff member can overcome them when speaking to the customer. Pass this out to all sales staff and keep it posted in back rooms. Another great idea is to have bi-weekly product meetings with your team. This is a venue to educate on product features, introduce new items, reinforce current promotions, update your cheat sheet, or have a quick brainstorm on how to move certain inventory.

Reinforcement: They say what gets measured gets done. Keep tabs on your retail sales by staff member. Set goals, provide encouragement and sales tools, and celebrate success - no matter how small. A cup a coffee or a lunch out for sales improvement can do wonders. Bigger incentives like a bonus or a team party for quarterly or yearly goals are also great motivators.

Retail is an excellent way to increase your profits. It can be fun and easy with a bit a focus and a positive attitude. Please share below how your business is profitably adding retail. Happy Selling!

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