Baby & Children's Product News

OCT-NOV 2016

Baby & Children's Product News™ is dedicated to the needs of the juvenile retailer, whether "big box" or independent specialty store. Reach juvenile retailers with new product information through our pages.

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84 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 BABY & CHILDREN'S PRODUCT NEWS ™ Boost Sales: Go Back to School By Caletha Crawford A s winter merchandise starts rolling into stores, take me to test how well your sales help knows your current products. Would they pass or fail if asked which products are eco-friendly, made in the U.S.A., or reg- istry favorites? If you're not sure your employees would make the grade, then how can you be sure they're selling effecvely? Your customers expect expert help at specialty stores, and an educated staff is the first step toward more sales. Use the following ps to help your sales help perform beer. Plan post-show tutorials As soon as you come back from a buying trip, while your ex- citement for your new finds is sll fresh, give your staff a crash course on everything you bought. Hopefully your en- thusiasm for the incoming stock will encourage them to want to dive in and learn all about it. Handout homework When you bring in a new brand, assign a staff member to it, giving them the task of learning all they can about the line and the company behind it. Their research should include me spent on the brand's website and social media chan- nels, where they can uncover dbits about the owners, their philosophy, producon and product characteriscs. With these lessons learned, they can then teach everyone else, including the rest of your staff members and your cus- tomers. Call an assembly A couple of mes a year get the whole team together to re- view your current assortment. Prepare a quick lesson plan on the brands, how the products work, and the top traits of each. If you sell toys or gear, make it a show-and-tell event, during which you can each play with everything so you know the items inside and out. Create a cheat sheet Draw up a bulleted list of key selling points for each brand and/or product that your sales associates can refer to while on the floor. With this in hand, they'll be equipped to an- swer customers' quesons on the fly. Encourage hands-on learning The more your staff interacts with your products, the more familiar with them they'll become. Make it their responsi- bility to select the items you use for store displays and so- cial media photos. This will require them to comb through the racks and shelves with an eye toward cross merchandis- ing, which will make them more effecve at upselling. Editor's Note: Caletha Crawford is a children's wear consult- ant and co-founder of FluerSales.com, an off-price B2B marketplace where stores buy immediates direct from brands. Find her at www.calethacrawford.com. ◆ Making the Cut

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