Sales Clinics Through the Eyes of a Retailer

Manufacturer and Sales Agencies have limited opportunity to influence sell-through in their retail accounts. Historically, the most available method for influence is the tried and true “in-store clinic.”
Today’s retailer, however, is running a tighter ship—and any extra time or payroll dollars that don’t pay off in short order won’t be considered. Clinics that aren’t interesting, motivating, or productive are not longer acceptable.

This seminar addressed that issue, and we’re sharing the notes to help manufacturers train their sales reps to be more effective.

Moderator – Dan Mann

Ed McAlister – River Sports Outfitters
Roy Gass – Diamond Brand Outdoors
Chris Howe – Denali / Trailblazer

       Dan Mann      Chris Howe  Roy Gass   Ed McAlister


A. What are the Problems?
Common errors & mistakes to avoid include:
-Poor Presentation Skills
-This is a public speaking position and should be treated as such
-Overly technical, not helpful
-Quoting the product managers
-Be clear on the TIME FRAME (and stick to it)
-Give Staff something to look forward too
-Advance Sheet
-Know who your audience is (young, no experience in outdoor industry)
-How do your brand and product fit into store?
-Teach staff how to SELL the PRODUCT
-Talk to the product that is actually in the store
B. What do retailers want?  What is working?
1.  Best Practices
-50% of the time should be on how to SELL
-Sales associates have to learn people skills
-Give them nuggets (webinars from vendors for those employees who leave after clinics)
-We want employees to walk out and go WOW!
-Make it memorable and compelling!
-More interaction with Staff – Must be unique
-What problem does this solve for your customer?
-How to sell products “to the overall consumer”
-KNOW your Retail Sales Tactics
-Practice your presentation style
-Leverage any 3point5 stars in the clinic
-Solve a problem for me
-Is the brand helping = Be Authentic
-What are the new issues at the store?
2.  Innovative idea
-Footwear = put it on the staff
-Present properly
-Retailers want their staff to learn
-Keep their attention
-We want our staff to ask about clinics
-Your brand is well represented if you teach people how to sell
-Know your sales tactics
-Who has tested into the EXPERT category with 3point5
-Matt at Superfeet does great job by getting people involved
Chris Howe – Arc’teryx Taught how to sell it, how to over come price point. Staff 
needed the push because it was such a high price point for them to sell.
-Retailers, Manufactures and Sales Reps need to work together to be successful. 
-This will develop strength, trust, and fulfillment through the channels
C. Demonstration of Best Practices for Clinics (BY THE MANN GROUP)
Example: Socks.
Bare Feet. Try On (Keep ‘em)
Demo how to introduce Socks during a Boot try on
Staff tries it with each other.
D. Q AND A From the Audience
1.  3.5 How important is it to be on 3point5 as a manufacture? 
It makes things simple for a retailer.  One place to send employees

2.  What is the proper use of swag?
-Everybody likes swag
-Swag box and use it for recognition
-Gets product on sales associate
-Whatever the swag make sure that it is germane to the clinic.  Don’t give a 
water bottle out and then talk about coats

3.  Do you provide feedback to reps?
If we are asked, but we are never asked from the sales group how the clinics went

4.  How could Marketing help with clinics?
-Handouts for Sales Reps
-Think of clinics as a marketing program

5.  Where are the clinics heading?  What is the future of Clinics?
-Consumers are more intelligent with the product and often know more than the sales
associate. So what is the future?  CONNECTION
-The customer experience is the differentiator. People would rather buy from people and the stats prove that.   

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