An Inside Look at One Client’s Sales Success

iga-640x427At a recent meeting with a long term client, Karl Loh, National General Manager Ritchies Liquor, we were discussing sales, one of my favourite topics. We introduced a process called Product Awareness, way back in 2008, when I ran my first training course for the Ritchies Liquor division.

Back then, the stores weren’t doing much with suggesting additional products to customers when they came to the counter. With our training and follow up, we ran a pilot at 3 stores with phenomenal results – an increase of sales of products sold at the counter by a minimum of 275% with 2 of the stores increasing by over 800%.

This resulted in the training program being rolled out to all stores in 2008/9 and ongoing training with Ritchies since then. I asked Karl, how the Product Awareness program was going and to my delight (not surprise) he said that it was a well instituted part of each store manager’s weekly focus and has become a key KPI.

The program, Product Awareness, is now part of Ritchies Liquor language, it’s just the way they do things. Ritchies Liquor now has a 3 tier program based around product awareness each month.

  • A ‘Spend and Get’ fortnight activity where staff are trained to suggest a range of offers to the customer for $10
  • Sales Driver which is also fortnightly and gives staff the opportunity to sample a new ‘focus line’, set targets and recommend the product at the counter.
  • Store managers can select their own products for in store tastings at any time which encourages ‘buy in’ by all staff. Often these products are local lines which are a strong point of difference and builds credibility in store.

To ensure these programs continue, they train all new staff to get on board from Day 1. All current staff receive follow up monthly and performance is measured after each activity. Store managers need to show how they are using the program to drive sales and how they are training and coaching their team to be successful sales people.

The Product Awareness program continues to deliver results for Ritchies Liquor. This year sales have been up 3% which is a great result in a very tough competitive market. Additional sales from their ‘Spend and Get’ promotion are averaging $50,000 a fortnight.

So what’s the secret to making this happen and getting great results like this?

  • Management buy-in and focus – without this the program would not have lasted. Senior management has to get behind the program and provide direction and ongoing support to managers.
  • Measurement – by using Product Awareness as a KPI, all stores and individuals performance is measured on an ongoing basis. Rewards are provided for success and consequences for non-performance.
  • Training – after our initial training, Ritchies Liquor were able to take over this process and provide ongoing training to new and existing staff.
  • Ongoing coaching – Managers are required to follow up with their team on a regular basis to praise the staff who are successful and help the staff who are struggling.
  • Consequences are provided – positive consequences such as praise, minor rewards, peer recognition, are provided for achieving and beating targets. Staff and managers who are not achieving the required results are provided ongoing support and re-training. However if poor performance continues the warning process is put in place.

Thanks Karl for sharing your story and it’s great to see what can be achieved when you have the right focus and ongoing support.

Roger SimpsonRoger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Retail Solution” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service and selling skills.