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Mark Blezard writes...

  • Writer's pictureMark Blezard

Retail Sales – the fine line by Mark Blezard

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

There is much confusion between the roles of sales and marketing. Many blur the positions and some combine them. I'm not saying that you can't be a 'Sales & Marketing Executive' but clarity on the function of each job is key.

In smaller, SME, corporations sales tend to lead. In larger, blue-chip organisations, marketing typically leads the sales teams, delivering both leads and market direction. That said, there is one sector where sales and marketing come together perfectly, small retail outlets.

Small shops must be both innovative and great 'sales & marketing pros.' All their efforts drive local sales to their stores, and the real stars use every single square inch of free space around them.

Number one is your shop frontage. If you don't make your second [if not first] most expensive overhead work for you – you will struggle. Put it to work, this is your number one sales executive, your shop window.

Then there is number two, your 'street sales executives.' Yes, this is technically 'marketing' but think of it as sales – because these guys are pitching the reason for coming in.

This is the point that sales and marketing merge, when you employ free sales executives who are willing to stand outside in all weathers. The power of street signs will amaze you, in times of reduced foot-fall you need every single tool available and trust me, these work...

This is four-in-one. Selling, marketing, sales executives, sales leads generation. Do not under estimate the power of sales signs, done well they are highly paid executives for free. Mix humour with a clear, targeted message. One of my favorites of all time is this one for self-storage. It's a boring subject, an annoying cost when required, yet a necessary requirement from time to time. So how do you stand out to be chosen when the time comes?...

Genius! And, finally, we have the more 'local, heart-felt' signs. Done right, and sincerely, these can be the most powerful...

So, a takeaway? Sales and marketing does cross in small retail. Think of it as your 'free sales force.' Mix humour with sincerity, and work at it. Don't consider this as a single job, diary your 'sign message' as a weekly task. Spend a couple of hours a week on the message and theme. Consider this: a sales executive would cost you £600+ for the week. Your sign and shop front are already in your P&L so put them to work!

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