Increase sales and gain more customers…. lessons from my Christmas shopping


We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Feeling like you’re in that Arnie movie, Jingle all the way! You know the one, where Arnie is scrambling around trying to find the Turbo Man Doll for his son that he forgets to buy because he’s too busy working?! When he finds one, he is willing to pay any price, just to make sure his son gets one.

Well, that was me today, not looking for Turbo Man but Five Night at Freddie’s Minecraft figures! At this point, you are probably thinking 3 things. 1.) What on earth is Five Night at Freddie’s Minecraft figures? – that’s what I was thinking when my nephew asked me for them several weeks ago! 2.) Jade, I don’t think it sounds like you survived Christmas shopping so probably shouldn’t be giving tips and 3.) what has this got to do with increasing sales and gaining more customers? Well, let me explain further….

Lessons in sales

I have worked in sales and business development for over a decade and worked with senior management in businesses across a range of sectors, that are looking to sell more and gain more customers. Today reminded me that there are lessons in sales to be learned everywhere, even from the big names in retail and I thought why not share some tips.

Losing customers…

After visiting several toy shops, talking to 6 different shop assistants who said they didn’t stock ‘Five Night at Freddy’s Minecraft Figures’. Having 2 trolleys full of toys driven into my legs and narrowly avoiding tripping over 2 children, a very helpful assistant informed me that they don’t exist! THEY DON’T EXIST!! Apparently, they are 2 separate toys – by this point, I am in a slightly worse situation than Arnie, at least the toy he is after exists!

Anyway, I end up picking the last toy from both ranges. Not quite what he asked for but at least he can’t be disappointed with 2 presents?! I join the ridiculously long queue and watched the single till assistant scan the mountains of toys through at a snail’s pace while the people in the queue were getting more and more annoyed, some even left the toys and walked out! Finally, it gets to my turn and she scans the toys and then states that’s £42.98! £42.98?! Are you joking?! I hadn’t even looked at the price in my hurry and didn’t really have much choice unless I wanted to go back to the drawing board and so ended up buying them anyway! So how is this relevant to generating more sales? Below I have highlighted just 5 lessons that we can learn from the shopping experience….

Sales tips

1.) Know your products

Ok, so maybe a little obvious but so many teams don’t know the product or service in enough detail. Your sales team need to know enough about the products and services you sell, to answer any questions or be able to respond quickly if they don’t have all the details to hand. If the first shop I had gone in had told me that they were 2 separate toys, I would have bought 2 separate toys from them! I wouldn’t have gone to any other shops looking for an imaginary toy! Do you and more importantly, your team, really know your product, its benefits and its USP’s?

2.) Customer service is vital

We are not great at customer service in the UK. We are getting better and some companies really do have a great customer experience but so many don’t and it’s such an easy one to improve on. The shop I bought the toys from needed to respond to the needs of their customers, they had staff available to jump on the tills and shorten the waiting time but didn’t. They lost a couple of customers while I was there – I am sure they lost others throughout the day. Do you know your customer journey? The pain points and processes? How can this be streamlined to improve the experience?

3.) Limited availability sells

I purchased those last couple of toys because they were the last ones and time was running out and essentially, I didn’t want to miss out. I didn’t want to let my nephew down. What can you make limited in your offering?

4.) People don’t buy based on price

people buy emotionally. I didn’t want to let my nephew down, so I bought the toys, regardless of price. Everyone else in the shop also purchased overpriced plastic to ensure the children were not disappointed. What was the last thing you bought? Even if the final decision considered price, A is cheaper than B, your brain was really deciding which was the best value for money. What adds value in your business and how can you create value for your clients? More importantly, how do you clearly demonstrate this value to potential customers?

5.) Have a pitch

Ok, so I didn’t get the Five Night at Freddy’s Minecraft toys, BUT, my nephew did get 2 toys instead of 1. As far as he is concerned on Christmas day he got the better option! Think about your customers wants and desires, how does your product or service meet this and solve their problems.

6.) Lastly, a lesson from Jingle All the Way….make time for family and find your work-life balance

If you want advice on how you can increase your sales, win and keep more customers, why not get in touch.