It should come as no surprise to anyone that while the “reopening” of the economy is hopefully in its early stages, there are a lot of people who will still be hesitant to go out and shop for anything other than absolute necessities. Some will be flat out scared. Other than doing everything you can to reassure potential customers that your business is doing everything possible to protect their safety, there is little else you can regarding their emotional state before walking into or calling your business. You can, however, do a great deal to control their emotions once in your store or on the phone asking about buying from you.

Part of this will be done in a customer service context which is certainly very important. Equally, if not more important, will be how the reduced number of customers you’ll have the opportunity to sell are managed in a sales context. And a key metric that you are able to influence is average sale. This metric will be key to making up for part of the impact fewer customers will have on your business as you pull out of shut down mode. Pushing higher margin items will amplify the positive impact higher average sales will have on your business.

So, how do I increase average sale you might ask? It’s actually quite simple, though not easy. First and foremost, you need to have the best possible sellers taking on the mission of pushing average sale metric. You will need to make them aware of what products are high margin and/or good upsells related to what the customer is planning to buy. Superstar sellers will rise to the challenge if they are well compensated for achieving the goal.

My first job out of college, somewhat to my parents’ dismay, was as a waiter in a touristy seafood restaurant on the downtown waterfront. I learned a lot from that job! I was not the best waiter in the place, but I consistently had higher tickets than the others because I knew that, for the most part, I was going to earn 10-15 cents on every dollar I sold to the diner. Same thing works no matter what the business. If the seller is a real seller and understand what’s in it for him to push that average sale, you’ll both benefit.

These are anxious times for all of us but one thing I’m sure will help your business crawl out of the shut down more quickly is a team of REAL SELLERS who can take their orders knowing there is a big reward for them once the mission is accomplished. And there are more REAL SELLERS looking for jobs right now that there have been in the last decade or more.