Some retailers getting into risky sales business

Offering customers a good value for their money is one of the best ways to give sales associates a leg up in meeting goals and generating revenue. Having the best products, services and overall experience compared to competitors will naturally make a business more appealing than others, and when clients are vying for attention, it puts sales personnel in a good position to succeed.

When customers are offered the same product at a higher price, though, this is likely to drive away business. Most executives would likely consider increasing consumer-end costs to be in poor taste, but J. C. Penny (JCP) is using this as part of its recent sales strategy to encourage more traffic to its stores. Forbes wrote that this was an intentional choice that will allow the retailer to reduce prices more drastically in the future, basically marking up to mark down again in an attempt to lure people with what appear to be deep price cuts.

Finding the winning solution
As the source pointed out, however, this is only half of a successful sales model. The other portion should focus on outreach, advertising and building corporate message. This is an ideal position for sales coaching and training leaders to guide personnel into becoming better voices and overall pitch people for the company, facilitating sales through excellent customer service. If the retailer fails to rise to the challenges inherent in its current strategy, though, it could harm its bottom line more significantly than it has seen in previous quarters.

On the other end of the spectrum, retailers like Apple are finding it is possible to offer both lower prices and enhanced service levels. 9 to 5 Mac wrote that Apple is working on creating more table sales, focusing on pushing products at a specialized level. Instead of all personnel helping each person they come in contact with, individual employees will be assigned to specific tables on the floor. This encourages more targeted salesmanship, allows workers to hone their pitches and creates a more direct path for finding expertise on a specific device or subject.

Addressing the needs of each individual in a focused way like Apple's approach allows for specialization and rapid delivery of the products and tools a customer is looking for. Forbes wrote that JCP continues to struggle despite its new sales tactic, meaning the idea may be harming more than helping the organization, and that considering a solution more similar to Apple's may make for better returns. Taking risks may be part of sales success, but being able to recognize and recover from errors is important as well.