Tag Archives: guerrilla retailing

Guerrilla Selling – the Transaction Step

In the last issue, we discussed The Presentation Step, and how to create excitement and motivation to buy.  The Transaction is the fifth step of the “NaB & CaPTuRe” roadmap: Need, Budget, Conviction, Presentation, Transaction, Reward.

The Transaction is that exciting moment when the customer signs the paperwork, writes a check, or hands over their credit card. Traditionally called the “Close,” guerrillas know that this is really the beginning of what we hope will be a long relationship.

“Are You Sure?”

As you finish your Presentation, prospects sometimes stiffen. They’re thinking, “UH-oh, here comes the contract.”  Many customers dread this moment even if they really need the product, because they feel they’re losing control,  Understanding this, guerrillas end the Presentation Stage, with something like:

“Well, that about sums it up.  Do you have any questions?”  The prospect now feels a little more relaxed.

“No, not really.”

“What do you see as the next step?”

“Well, don’t you have to write up an order?”

“Do you want me to write up the order?

“Yes.  Let’s do this.”

You know you’ve done everything right when the customer asks you to write up the order.   With that, the guerrilla fills out the order form, writes up a contract or prepares the financial paperwork.  Now the guerrilla hands the form to his new customer for his or her “approval.”

The Turnback

As the new customer is about to sign, the guerrilla gently interrupts:

“You know, something’s still bothering me. Remember when you said you wanted mahogany?  Are you sure walnut is going to be okay?”

What the guerrilla wants to hear is something like:  “Yes, in fact, walnut is really going to be much better.  It will be cheaper and probably fit in better with our decor.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes.”

In the Transaction Stage, a guerrilla will recall at least one problem or objection, from earlier in the conversation, express genuine concern, and ask again if the concern is going to be a problem.  In so doing, not only are you turning control back to your customer, but you’re pre-empting buyer’s remorse. By capping the issue now, the guerrilla pre-empts buyer’s remorse.

When to Close

The best time to close is all the time.  Recognize that you have an opportunity to close any time the prospect makes choices, challenges, or changes.

Close any time there is a choice or small decision to be made, and that’s more often than you might think.  Close early and often, especially on little things.  Because people hate making big decisions, close on the small ones.

Always try to close after answering a challenge or objection.  If they accept your response, they will be psychologically receptive to making a commitment.  Guerrilla salespeople automatically finish their Presentation with a closing question, like, “Did I answer your question adequately?” or “Is that clear now?”

Also close any time there are changes in your prospects’ body language or changes in their criteria that could be interpreted as buying signals.

Five Types of Closes:

There are five basic closes and infinite variations.  They all have the same objective: to give the prospect an opportunity to say, “Yes.”

1. The Rx CloseRx Close

In the Prescription Close, you carefully probe, ask questions, summarize the problem, and then prescribe the solution.  “Based on what you’ve told me, I would recommend . . ..  Here’s what you’re going to need.”  This tactic is effective if the prospect trusts your expertise.

2. The Action Close

Pull out your pen and you start filling out the form, or phone the installer to set an appointment.  Or you might say, “Let me see if we’ve got that in stock. I’ll be right back,” and disappear into to the stockroom.

Return with the box in your arms and ask, “Okay, where are you parked?”  You know the deal is done when the prospect holds the door for you.

3. The Choice Close

Give them a minor decision that carries the major decision along with it.  This can be useful when breaking down a large decision into smaller, increments.  You’ve been looking at a $30,000 automobile and the guerrilla salesman says, “Would you like to put the stereo in the dash, or would you rather conceal it under the seat?”  Now, you have a small decision to make.

“Well, it would be more convenient in the dash.”  Not only have you bought the stereo, but of course, the car as well.

4. The Question Close

In the Question Close, you ask a question, which, when answered, gives you permission to proceed.  You might ask, with pen in hand, “What’s today’s date?”  When prospect answers, they’ve given you permission to proceed.  Or you might ask, “Excuse me, how do you spell your last name?”  When they provide the missing information, they’re saying, indirectly, “Yes, I’m ready.  Let’s go ahead with this.”  You’ve avoided putting them on the spot by asking, “Well, do you want me to write this up or not?”

5. The Add-on Close

The key phrase of the Add-on Close is, “Now you’ll also need. . .,” proposing some low-cost option or accessory.  “You’ll also need one of these to keep your blade nice and sharp.  They’re only ten dollars.”  When they agree to the blade sharpener, they’ve bought the lawn mower.  Guerrillas repeat the Add-on close until they get a “no.”  That’s when they know they have reached the limits of the prospect’s budget.

Close Early and Often

People do not want to be pressured.  They want to make their own decisions, and they resent being pushed too hard.  The goal is to make them feel that buying today is the most natural, intelligent decision that they could make.  Closing repeatedly will not only increase your sales, but also help prospects make good choices, and increase their respect for you.  So don’t stop until you have used at least three guerrilla closes.

When selling a new stereo system, a guerrilla we know combines the Question, Action and Add-on Close at the very beginning of his presentation by asking, “How far from the amplifier will you be putting the loudspeakers?”  Based on the prospect’s answer, he goes to the service counter, measures off the necessary length of wire, cuts it, ties it in a bundle and hands it to the prospect.  Now he’s setting through the Presentation, already holding the first component of his new stereo.

Silence is Golden

People are less suspicious than many salespeople believe, but they are also more sophisticated.  The public is as smart as your mother, and you know she’s no dummy.  People know when you’re asking them to take some action, and if they’re not ready, they’ll let you know.  Top salespeople will confirm that the simple, direct, unsophisticated closes can be very effective, but only if you use them.

In future installments of this series, we’ll explore each of the steps of “NaB & CaPTuRe” in more detail, and perhaps double or even quadruple your sales.

Guerrilla Selling – the COMMITMENT Step

In the last issue, we discussed how to determine your customer’s budget as the second step of our “NaB & CaPTuRe” roadmap: Need, Budget, Conviction, Presentation, Transaction, Reward.

The Commitment Step

In this critical step, you actually close the sale before making a presentation, by aligning your product or service with those criteria to which your customer is already committed. In the automobile industry it’s said that only 50% of the cars are sold. The other half are bought.

As often as not, your prospects have already decided to buy, before you get to talk to them. Car buyers are much more likely to be influenced by experience, friends, or media than by a salesperson.

A couple looking at a potential venue for their wedding reception has already committed to marrying each other. If they’ve also set the date and decided how many guests they will have, then you know they are ready to buy. Ask about other elements of their plans.

“Who have you arranged to do the catering?”

“Where will you hold the formal ceremony?”

“What transportation will you use from the church to the reception?”

“Will you want help with the decorating?”

The more complete their picture, the deeper their commitment.  So, for example, if the ceremony is being conducted at the church just up the street, you can emphasize the advantage of your location. “This will give your family a short, easy trip from the church.” If you know they’ve ordered an elaborate, expensive cake, you can emphasize the posh surrounding of your hotel. “Everyone will be impressed when you invite them into our lovely gardens.”

Criteria Words

The prospect will also have a set of physical specifications that the product or service must meet, in order to be satisfied. As in “it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight,” or “I’m looking for a dress in a size seven.” The guerrilla listens for these criteria words and notes them throughout the interview. Ask:

“What are you using now?”

“What do you like most about it?”

“What do you like least about it?”

These answers tell you what they want to keep, and what they want to change. Concentrate on those issues, and safely ignore everything else, because people do things for their reasons, not yours. You may have a hundred good reasons why they should buy this particular mountain home; price, location, good roads, rapid appreciation, close to schools, shops, recreation, and you know what? They couldn’t care less. No matter how good your reasons may be, ultimately, their reasons will prevail.

Other criteria may be introduced as the conversation continues, but the guerrilla concentrates only on those priority words and criteria words isolated by the prospect.

Buying Roadmap

It’s also useful to isolate the mental and physical steps your prospect follows when making a decision. People have a mental roadmap that they follow when making decisions. This strategy is unique to each prospect, but they tend to use the same strategy whenever they make a buying decision. The question that you can use to elicit their roadmap is to ask, “How did you decide . . .?” For example, a real estate agent might ask, “How did you decide to buy the house where you live now?” then listen carefully to their explanation.

“First we narrowed the search to a particular neighborhood where we wanted to live, then we checked all the listings, marking each address on a map. Then we looked at each house until we found the one that felt right.”

This answer reveals not only the criteria, but the roadmap of their house-buying strategy. If you lead them through the same progression, it makes it easy for them to buy from you. Start by “narrowing down” to the particular neighborhoods they liked best, then pull out a map, and start “marking.” Like a familiar chair, following their roadmap puts you in the selling “groove”. Besides, they’re going to buy the house their way, anyway. If not from you, then from someone who makes them feel more comfortable. So you might as well match their strategy. Listen for the sequence of the process they follow when making a similar decision, and then systematically structure your case using the same progression.

Is That Clear?

Sometimes the customer doesn’t really know what they want. Let’s take the case of a copier salesperson. If you ask the question, “What do you want in a copier?” and the response you get is something like, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure,” there are additional things you can do to get to their criteria. You can ask, “What are you using now? What do you like most about that?” or “What’s the exact problem you’re trying to solve?”

“What are you using now?”

“We are using an HP LaserJet.”

“What do you like most about your LaserJet?” he asked, repeating the prospect’s criteria words.

“It’s inexpensive to operate, and the copies are crisp and clear.”

“What do you like least about your LaserJet?”

“It’s too slow, and it wasn’t able to print collated and stapled documents.”

Now we’re getting criteria language: inexpensive, crisp, clear, (visual cues, you’ll notice) as well as the functional need for automatic collating and stapling. If you can show her that your copier will do it more quickly, collate and staple documents, and still reduce their operating cost, she’s going to lease the copier. And she really doesn’t care how many pixels of resolution it has, or how many reams of paper the bins will store, or what its internal drum speed is, so long as they get “collated, stapled copies that are crisp and clear.” This decision will hinge primarily on these five factors. You can ignore the rest, (at least for now) because. These five words are the keys to unlocking their sub-conscious mind.

Remember, priorities, criteria words and roadmaps are often unique to the context in which they’re used. The way your prospect makes decisions about buying office supplies may be very different from what they look for when shopping for a car.

Some additional questions for isolating criteria include:

“What is your main objective?”

“What are you doing to deal with that situation?”

“What are your plans for the future?”

“How do you plan to get it done?”

“Can you tell me more about that?”

“Is there a deadline?”

The answers to these questions will provide the performance specifications for your proposal. Whatever else this product may have going for it, must satisfy these physical criteria. Now present your product using the same criteria words, and follow their roadmap directly to the sale.

In future installments of this series, we’ll explore each of the steps of “NaB & CaPTuRe” in more detail, and perhaps double or even quadruple your sales.   This article was originally published in Marketing Africa magazine.

Guerrilla Selling – How Performance-based Compensation Drives Sales Through the Roof

How to Manage and Motivate Your Sales Team

Any behavior which gets rewarded will tend to be repeated. So we advocate paying close attention to how employees are rewarded for performing (or not performing) the various aspects of their jobs.

Performance-based compensation is nothing new. Commission plans for salespeople are common because their productivity is so easy to measure. But small business tends to eschew these compensation plans thinking that “we’re just a mom & pop store. We’re different.” In the competitive environment you’re faced with today, you have no choice. You must use every management tool available to maximize your marketing firepower.

Guerrillas are not only intolerant of non-performers, they lavishly reward their stars, setting ever-higher standards for the whole organization. The problem is how to reward your people appropriately, particularly if they’re not directly responsible for easy-to-measure activities like sales revenue. Some simple guidelines can put this powerful management tool to work for you.

The foundation of an effective performance-based compensation plan is a set of clear and specific goals for your organization as a whole, for each functional department, and for each individual employee. These goals must be objective and quantifiable. For example, “Increase walk-in traffic by ten percent, or to 650 shoppers per month, by the end of the year” or “achieve an average rating of 4.5 of 5 on monthly customer satisfaction surveys.” Subjective factors, like attitude or good work habits might be included in review criteria, but if you can’t measure them statistically, you can’t use them as a standard for performance-based compensation. Then devise methods for gathering data to measure progress (or lack of it) toward these goals. What you measure is what you get, so inspect what you expect.

Salary
The advantage is that it’s easy to calculate: punch in, punch out, so much per hour. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t motivate.

Commission
Commissions can be computed on the gross sale price (good), or the gross profit margin (better). One important factor to consider when designing a compensation plan is that it must be simple. Paying commissions on straight gross sales is easy, and if you put the table below up on the wall in the break room, everyone can quickly estimate what they’re earning if they know the overall gross margin of the store.

Do not pay commission on any gross margins below 13%. If they’re selling at less than 13% margin, they’re giving away the stock and putting you out of business.

Generally, the lower the gross margin, the easier the product is to sell. So guerrillas recommend paying commissions based on gross margin, to reward your sales people for working harder to maintain higher profits, not just sales.

Commission Based on Gross Sales:

Overall Gross Margin % of Gross Sales
on Sales for the Month Paid as Commission

All above 27%…………………………………………… 2.8%
26.0 – 26.99……………………………………………… 2.6
25.0 – 25.99……………………………………………… 2.4
24.0 – 24.99……………………………………………… 2.2
23.0 – 23.99……………………………………………… 2.0
22.0 – 22.99……………………………………………… 1.9
21.0 – 21.99……………………………………………… 1.8
20.0 – 20.99……………………………………………… 1.7
19.0 – 19.99……………………………………………… 1.6
18.0 – 18.99……………………………………………… 1.5
17.0 – 17.99……………………………………………… 1.4
16.0 – 16.99……………………………………………… 1.3
15.0 – 15.99……………………………………………… 1.2
14.0 – 14.99……………………………………………… 1.1
13.0 – 13.99……………………………………………… 1.0
Less than 13.0%………………………………………… none

Basing commissions on gross margin rather than gross sales is harder to track, but it motivates salespeople to sell higher-priced and higher-profit items, accessories and extended service contracts, as well as to follow up with prospects and customers for referrals.

Commission based on gross profit discourages discounting. It can also produce competitive rivalries between salespeople, (which is not necessarily a bad thing).

Commission based on Gross Margin:

Overall Gross Margin % of Gross Profit
on Sales for the Month Paid as Commission

All above 27%…………………………………………… 15.5%
26.0 – 26.99……………………………………………… 15.0
25.0 – 25.99……………………………………………… 14.5
24.0 – 24.99……………………………………………… 14.0
23.0 – 23.99……………………………………………… 13.5
22.0 – 22.99……………………………………………… 13.0
21.0 – 21.99……………………………………………… 12.5
20.0 – 20.99……………………………………………… 12.0
19.0 – 19.99……………………………………………… 11.5
18.0 – 18.99……………………………………………… 11.0
17.0 – 17.99……………………………………………… 10.5
16.0 – 16.99……………………………………………… 10.0
Less than 16.0%…………………………………………… none

Of course, you have to adjust these percentages to your business and your market.

Bonus
Bonuses can be paid on a monthly sales quota, or on reaching a target profit margin. The whole sales team can qualify for a bonus for reaching a collective goal. Managers often receive a bonus for exceeding key performance targets. Some retailers offer year-end bonuses, but these are not really very motivating. Bonuses are more effective if they cover shorter cycles. People need to be able to envision their progress, either on a regular report, a reader board, or a United-Way-style thermometer.

Spiffs
An acronym for “sales promotional incentive funds,” spiffs are paid for specific sales events. Some spiffs are funded by manufacturers to move specific SKUs. Or they can be paid by the store for selling an unwanted, obsolete or damaged item.

Guerrillas never allow the manufacturer to pay spiffs directly to their salespeople because you want the credit for paying the reward. Also, you don’t want the manufacturers to control what products sell on your floor. You need to manage that mix based on your niche, your identity and your business model.

Sales Contests
It’s important to include all the support people, the back office, the warehouse, cashiers and delivery.

You can run a sales contest on any number of metrics. First Sale of the day, Biggest Ticket of the day, Most Line Items in an order, Most Orders written in a day, Order with Highest Gross Margin.

You can also run contests on product knowledge. Devise a simple test and give a certain sum for every question they get right.

The best sales contests combine performance with an element of chance. For example, every qualifying sale wins a ticket dropped into the hat, then a weekly drawing determines the winner of a cash prize, a merchandise prize, or the trip for two to Hawaii. The more you sell, the better your odds of winning.

An effective variation is every qualifying sale gets to draw a playing card from a deck. The best poker hand at the end of the contest wins all.

Wiltshire TV, in Thousand Oaks, California, has developed an unusual variant of Bingo. Welcome to Bay Area Bingo! Each month, each square on the bingo is assigned a different product. Instead of letters and numbers, their Bingo card is laid out with brands across the top and model numbers down the side. Sell a qualifying product and you mark that square on the card. Sell any five qualifying items in a row, and BINGO!

LOTS more Guerrilla Retailing strategies in our book, Guerrilla Retailing – How to Make Big Profits from your Retail Business. Order it today on Amazon.


10 Lessons for Guerrilla Selling at Events

Boulder CreekFest Vendors Waste a Golden Opportunity, with One Notable Exception

In Boulder, Colorado, my home town, Memorial Day Weekend means the Boulder Creek Festival. And Creekfest is your typical small-town spring fair, with two exceptions: the Boulder Creek Rubber Duck Race (a $5 donation buys a numbered rubber duckie to float from one end of downtown to the other), and the Bolder Boulder (a major foot race that draws a few serious competitive runners and 20,000 costumed crazies).

Creekfest draws some 350,000 visitors so it’s a guerrilla marketer’s dream. It has all the trappings you’d expect: dozens of food stalls, two beer gardens, carnival rides, inflatable bouncers, bungee-enhanced super-trampolines, five stages of live music and block-after-block of EZ-up tents selling art, jewelry, hemp clothing, solar collectors, bottled yogurt, soy milk, artificial turf, New Zealand hats, wheat-filled neck warmers, hand-made musical frogs and 1,000-thread-count-Egyptian-cotton sheets (actually 100% microfiber Made in China).

Also represented were The Libertarian Party (who were having some sort of political shouting match) Boulder County Parks and Open Space (featuring a stuffed coyote you couldn’t touch), a chiropractor (offering “Free Gentle Adjustment”), a yoga studio and a Judo school (who weren’t offering anything).

If I had been the guerrilla marketing police I would have written a whole book of tickets. While THRONGS of people strolled slowly by, most exhibitors just SAT there under their tent, with DOZENS of pieces of literature spread out on the TABLE set BETWEEN themselves and the traffic, and talking to EACH OTHER. These would-be vendors had paid $550 and up for a ten-foot tent space just so that they could waste a perfectly good Memorial Day weekend WISHING they had more business!

We did see a couple of exceptions. The guy at the Boulder Brewery beer kiosk made eye contact and simply asked, “What’s your favorite?” Never mind that a 12 oz. plastic cup was $5.00. He just ASSUMED that because I was standing in front of his stall, I MUST be thirsty. (I recommend their “Dazed and Infused” IPA.)

Remember at Team summit, I said “Have something for the kids to do.”

What stopped me in my tracks was the sound of a four-year-old boy wailing away on a snare drum and hi-hat, accompanied by a ten-year-old blond Hanna Montana wanna-be on electric guitar, and a teen age boy with greasy black hair playing electric bass. You could hear them a block away. Three adults in matching black rock-concert-roadie T-shirts were standing by, cheering them on. The banner overhead said, “Free Lessons.”

This I had to watch. Within seconds, a young woman in her early 20’s wearing black jeans and a matching black T-shirt approached and asked, “Are you a musician?”

“No,” I said, offering my stock answer. “I’m a drummer.”

She laughed, smiled ear-to-ear and said, “I’m a drummer TOO! But I’ve only been playing for about two weeks.” She offered her business card and asked what sort of music I liked to play.

“Actually, I play in a working Brazilian Jazz band.”

“OH, a professional! Well, then, you’ll have to stop by our rehearsal studio in Lafayette. It’s a nice, comfortable place to practice, and it’s already equipped with drums, amps and keyboards.”

I was impressed. Three hours of wondering through block after block of booths and she was the only vendor (besides the beer guy) who had engaged me. Not only that; she had greeted, qualified, and asked for the order in less than a minute.

Her card said, “Dog House Music” and her name was Lindsay Polak, Marketing/Communications Manager. When I asked what they were doing at CreekFest, she explained that they were promoting their Summer Rock & Roll Camp for Teens AND their Fantasy Rock & Roll Camp for Adults. An 8½ x 11 stand-up on the table said, in plain black letters on white paper, “Enroll Today Save $50.” She handed me two single-page fliers and a sticker.

“This is really COOL, what you’re doing here, but I already have a rehearsal studio.”

“Well, perhaps you’d consider being an instructor?” she said. “We’re always looking for good people.” I just about fainted!

S0 what can a Guerrilla Retailer learn from a 20 year old drummer about Event Marketing?

1. You’ve invested a lot to be there; make it pay

2. Remove all barriers between you and your traffic

3. Use simple signs and banners to make your offer clear

4. Put all your people in some sort of uniform so we know who to approach

5. Invite visitors (and especially kids) to participate in a simple, low-cost, fun activity

6. Limit your promotion to two or three offerings you can explain in seconds

7. Proactively engage the adults (they’re the tall ones with the credit cards)

8. Start a conversation and ask qualifying questions

9. Ask for the order

10. Don’t let anyone leave empty-handed

The music wasn’t ready for the main stage, but everyone at this tent was having a ball, ESPECIALLY the instructors. Lindsay and her colleagues are definitely rock stars of guerrilla retailing. Check out their web site. www.doghousemusic.com.


Guerilla Retailing – Where Everyone is Above Average

How to Get Above Average Performance from Everyone

by Guerrilla Selling Speaker Orvel Ray Wilson, CSP

How would you like to see a 10% sales lift on a $10 investment? Start by making individual production public.

Go to the office supply and buy a white dry-erase marker board, a set of colored markers, and a couple of rolls of black border tape (that skinny, vinyl tape used for making lines on your whiteboard).

Use the border tape to divide the whiteboard into 9 columns.

The first column is NAME, then a column for each of the seven days of the week, and a column on the right for TOTAL. Now create a line for each salesperson.

Hang it on the wall in the warehouse, break-room or back office where everyone (except customers) will see it.

Each day, require each of your sales associates to write their sales figures for the day in the appropriate box before they go home. A blank indicates that they were not in the store that day. You may have to enforce the rule at first; if they skip (or just forget) fine them a dollar for the coffee kitty. But soon, everyone will be eager to play the game.

This works on several levels. First, your stars will set the pace for the rest of team, because salespeople are genetically competitive. That alone will increase their overall sales performance by the promised ten percent. Great sales trainers and coaches capitalize on that trait to help team members improve their skills.

It will also make everyone more consistent, because no one wants to post a zero for the day. And nobody wants to be consistently in last place, so they will work to improve their product knowledge and sales skills. And that one person you have on your team who you wish you hadn’t hired? After a few weeks he’ll get the message and leave on his own.

Raising the Bar

You can produce even more dramatic results by tracking all of the associates’ performance on three key performance indicators. At end of the month, calculate their total sales volume, their average ticket amount and their gross margin, then compute the overall averages for each variable across the store, and compare each associate’s performance to the average.

Post the results, or print them in a spreadsheet to hand out, for example:

Associate
Total Sales Volume
Number of Transactions
Gross Margin %
Jeannie
$16,550.00
25
31.1%
Ted
$20,196.00
26
30.2%
Aaron
$24,952.00
30
29.3%
Chris
$19,252.00
32
32.1%
Pat
$22,532.00
31
34.9%
Michelle
$21,036.00
25
26.0%
Ryan
$26,382.00
19
31.0%
Average
$21,557.14
26.9
30.7%

Table 1

Congratulate those who beat the norm, then meet individually with each associate to discuss his or her individual performance. “You’re doing a good job over all, and I noticed that last month, you were above average on (parameters) while your (parameter) was just a little bit below the average. Why do you think that was? How could we work together to help get you up to the average (on this parameter)?”

This is a highly motivating combination. Nobody wants to perform “below average,” but suggesting that you just expect them to work up to the norm will always be perceived as reasonable and achievable. It should be easy enough. After all, you’re not asking a low performer to shatter any records, just to improve in one specific area enough to make the middle ground.

In the example above, the average sales volume per associate for the month was $21,557.14. So you might take Ted aside and ask him to suggest ways that he might sell an additional $1,300 this month. After all, he only needs $1,300 to get up to the average.

You’d have the same conversation with Jeannie, Chris and Michelle, and suggest ways that they could increase their overall sales. Maybe they just need to put in more hours, or take a Sunday shift or two. Perhaps they need to pay closer attention to customers when they’re in the store, or be more proactive about suggesting companion products or accessories. Perhaps you can coach them on effectively handling more than one customer at a time.

In the same example, the average number of sales per associate was 26.9, but Jeannie, Ted, Michelle and Ryan all fell below that average. You can talk to them about qualifying customers more carefully, or help them improve their closing skills. They only need to close a few more sales next month to move into “above average” territory.

Similarly, while the average gross margin was 30.7%, Ryan, Pat, Chris and Jeannie made above-average profits, while Ted, Aaron, Linda and Ryan were below the bar. Perhaps they’re over-emphasizing sale merchandise. You might coach them on up-selling to full-feature products, or adding high-margin accessories. Or show the best first. After all, they only need to cross-sell or up-sell every now and then to be above the average.

From time to time, you can change the parameters to help associates improve in other areas such as closing ratios, total accessories sold or extended warranty penetration.

Very quickly, you’ll find that the averages start to climb, as each associate gets exactly the coaching they need from month to month to improve their most critical skills.

To learn how we can help you built a top-performing guerrilla sales team, or to order your own copy of Guerrilla Retailing, call us toll-free 800-247-9145.

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Guerrilla Book Titles that Drive Sales

What Makes a Great Book Title

With 47 titles in the Guerrilla Marketing series, in 60 languages, and more than 20 million books sold worldwide, we’ve learned a few things about how to name books.

Publishers love a series. So do readers. String your titles together around a moniker, “Guerrilla Selling,” “Guerrilla Negotiating”, “Guerrilla Retailing.”

Try to shorten your title to two words. Two Words. “Emotional Intelligence.” Three if you count the article (“Made to Stick,” “Good to Great”).

Keep the sub-title 7 words or less, and make it stand on it’s own as an elevator pitch.

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