Wishing you a blessed holiday season with lots of time for family and friends.

The Christmas and Holiday season easily outshines other times of the year in sales, but it can also be the most exhausting. With proper planning and preparation, it can be not only a successful and memorable season, but in the most positive sense of the word, an enjoyable one for owners, managers, staff, and certainly customers.


• Having all salespeople read company ads, catalogs, literature, Facebook, Twitter and Blogs before customers come in with questions and inquiries. An uninformed salesperson is bad for business. Also check out everything about the competition.

• Establishing dress codes for employees and enforcing these dress codes. (Even if there is a uniform, clean, neat, etc.) Employees are the representatives of the business and should project the image the business wants to convey.

• Greeting everyone who walks through the door. Coming up with different greetings — so customers don’t hear the same greeting over and over when shopping in the store.

• Making it comfortable for customers to shop. Adjusting the thermostat because customers may be wearing coats and the staff can wear a sweater. Perhaps a rack for customer’s coats and a place to check their packages. Offering the customer a basket or shopping tote makes it easy for them to buy more.

• Having employees identify themselves when answering the phone. This adds a professional touch and provides the caller with a person to identify with on the other end of the line.

• Cleaning up the cash-wrap area as-you-go and putting everything in its place. Customers are concerned about transaction accuracy and your services, i.e., shipping, if this area is a mess with clutter, drinks and food.

• Listening, really listening to customers. If you don’t really listen and show customers the wrong merchandise — they will assume you don’t have what they are looking for and leave.

• Having all cash registers open when the store is busy. An extra staff member can mingle with the customers in line — making additional suggestions.

• Getting everyone on board. Ensuring that everyone in the organization understands what the winning advantage is and what their role is in supporting it.

• Getting to know what other merchandise and services are offered around town. Keep customers shopping in your community by knowing what all is available. The customers will be thrilled, always come to you first and will let the other businesses know you sent them.

• Build your database and use social media. Use email marketing and social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Keep your brand in front of your customers at all times.

• Stocking and cleaning during hours when the store is not open. Doing these chores when the store is open is inconsiderate to shoppers and doesn’t convey a professional image. Instead have the staff mingle with the customers and help with suggestions.

LET’S STOP . . .

• Trying to get a head start on store closing times. Vacuuming while the store is still open is rude and should be done after the business closes.

• Helping phone inquiries while other customers are in the store waiting to be helped. The customer in the store should take precedence. Have someone besides the cashier answer the phone.

• Running out of sale items or advertised specials early on the first day of the promotion. A product should not be advertised unless there is sufficient stock.

• Using the store phone for personal calls.

Thank you Barbara Wold for the information provided in t  Barbara Wold is an internationally known speaker and authority to the retail and consumer industries. More than 40 years of firsthand retail experience in executive and sales management, marketing and repositioning have made Ms Wold as one of retail’s most sought after speakers and consultants. Ms Wold is an authority on building business through customer driven strategy and maximizing human assets.

Her areas of expertise include customer experience, CRM, marketing strategy, consumer buying patterns, image, sales and service quality, public relations, redevelopment and tourism, which truly make Wold a master in the retail and the consumer industries.

Barbara works with airport retail, the airlines and duty-free. Ms Wold also works with many downtowns and historic cities that are going through revitalization in an effort to boost their economic viability. Barbara is a representative for the International Council of Shopping Centers and has taught in over twenty countries.

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