I was listening to the story of a guy who was opening a store to sell watches. He had great watches to sell and he pulled in some very creative people to design a dazzling store. His front window display was one that pedestrians loved to stop at and enjoy.
Sales, however, did not follow.
How could a store that was so eye-catching and stocked with top-of-the-line watches fail to rack up record-shattering sales figures?
The answer is really very simple: He didn’t have any experience selling watches from a physical location, and the way his store was merchandised didn’t appeal to people who were actually ready to buy a watch.
Entrepreneurs tend to have a lot of confidence in themselves – which is good because otherwise they wouldn’t take the necessary risks – but it can also cause them to unwittingly charge down dead ends.
The wise and experienced entrepreneur knows when it’s time to reach out for help and that’s what this shop owner did. And the strategy that ultimately paid off best for him is a strategy you can use as well. Today.
He started talking to all the sales reps that came through his shop. He would take them out to lunch and pick their brains. After all, this group of professionals knows which stores are moving the most inventory and they are familiar with the way the stores are setup and operated. They see it all.
Further, it’s definitely in the best interests of your sales reps to see your business make as many sales as possible. At the end of the day, it’s more money in his or her pocket as well.
Have you taken the time to pick the brains of the various sales reps you see over the course of a year? Ask for their advice. Try to find out what’s working for other businesses similar to yours and also ask for an honest critique of how you are doing business.
If you’re a retail business, ask your reps to give their opinion on how you have products displayed and how your store is organized. Make notes about what they say and try different strategies based on their input. When you have more than one sales rep tell you the same thing, you can be pretty sure they’re onto something.
So when sales reps walk through your door, see yourself as the one who needs to get something from them, not just the other way around.