As I've said, there are 7 steps to the retail sale. Can you list them by memory yet?
Unless you have a photographic memory – whether you can or cannot, there was a time when you’d been exposed to them and could not recite them.
Should you be able to recite them? Of course.
Why is that important? Because if you retrace the steps of billions of successful sales at retail (in other words, the 7 steps) you’re much more likely to be successful at retail sales!
You've Got to Be Able to Sell in Your Sleep
Now here’s the thing. In the heat of the sales transaction, you neither have time, or the mental capacity to be performing the 7 steps perfectly AND doing everything you can to give your customer (or customers!) your complete attention. In fact, the ONLY way that you’re going to pull off a flawless 7 steps is if you’ve trained, and trained, and trained – and practiced, and practiced, and practiced.
Training without practice is basically worthless. If you know it all well enough to take a test on it – but can’t do it with the pressures and distractions that are on the sales floor – you can’t be successful in the long run.
You Must Practice.
Practice without training is worthless – because you’ll cement the wrong things into your head!
Only the combination of regular training, combined with regular practice – will make you great at retail sales.
And when we talk about being able to recite the 7 steps from memory there is actually so much more to being great at retail sales! Each of those steps has been tested, refined, practiced, and experimented on by millions of sales people the world over – and each of them have an incredible number of tips, techniques, strategies, skills, and methods for literally hundreds of sales situations.
Your goal, as someone who wants to become great at retail sales, is to become a student of the 7 steps, all of the skills that each of them involve – for every possible sales situation you may encounter during your career – and memorize not only the theory and technique – but also practice every bit of it until it just flows.
It's All About the Flow.
Which is the next point I want to make here. Flow.
You absolutely cannot have a cheat sheet, crib notes in the aisle. Imagine having a customer tell you the price is too high, and you say, “Hold on a second. Let me see what to do when you think the price is too high,” as you fumble through your notes.
In other words, you need flow.
Sales is a conversation. And conversations need to flow. I like to say keep it light, free, and flowing.
Only with regular practice can you accurately judge at any moment, in any sale, which of the 7 steps you are in, whether you are in the step too soon or too early, whether you need to switch to another step, what’s going on in that step, and what comes next – on autopilot.
There's a Reason the Greats are Great: Years of Practice.
Pianists don’t look at the keys. Guitarists don’t look at the strings. Surgeons don’t have to have anatomy books open during surgery. Because they all have spent years training and practicing.
While you can, and will, massively improve your skills by taking the basic, intermediate, advanced, and expert training courses – and practicing every day – it takes years to become a master – just like anything worthwhile.
So the bottom line is that you need to get plugged into this training, stay plugged into this training – and train every day of your life. Study the material. Practice with friends, family, and customers as they come in to your store.
Then go back and do the same things over and over and over again.
You’ll make mistakes – lots of them – but a secret of the human brain is that mistakes help you learn and cement correct behaviors. Every mistake takes you close to that master, expert level of retail sales greatness.
So let’s get to work.
Go out there and Achieve Retail Sales Greatness!