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CI.N seminars: “Bike retail is crying out for more teamwork,” says veteran sales trainer

Bike market specific sales trainer Colin Rees has spent the past 18 years visiting over 600 bike shops and leading industry brands, successfully training staff to boost profits.

Already a CyclingIndustry.News regular columnist, we invited him along to The Bike Place show to deliver a 30 minute segment on how the modern bicycle retailer can quickly enhance net takings, develop staff sales techniques and improve store layout, among other topics.

“There is nothing more damaging to a business than the phrase ‘we’ve always done it like that’,” begins Rees, outlining that poor management and refusal to listen to ideas to modernise from within can be often be a root cause for a slow down in shop floor sales.

Pointing to ever-changing consumer buying habits, Rees talks through the psychology of the modern shopper, rightly pointing out that patience with poor sales practices now all too often results in a customer that can become quickly fed up if not instantly gratified.

Following a segment on diffusing such situations, Rees goes on to explain that a session he conducted in the Midlands brought one store an extra £100,000 in accessory business from just one idea delivered in a typical four hour session. In another, the owner raised his average spend from £48 to £82 per sale. A further branch in the Midlands stopped offering discounts following Rees’ sessions, reportedly adding £20,000 in net profits in the first year.

“Discounts come from your back pocket,” says Rees of the widespread practice, something he says bike shops must stop encouraging year round.

“Expecting people to come to you to provide your living is now outdated. With online growing at a rate of around 5% a year new age competition means you must become customer care driven. The bike shop must adapt its thinking as such. I believe the industry is crying out for more teamwork and a greater awareness of the objectives of the owner between staff,” says Rees on the topic of ensuring staff are trained to provide a thoughtful sales experience.

“Bike sales are likely to have been 1 million units less than in 2016. A gradually reducing high street in turn restricts potential customers. Trading figures in the average UK high street are pretty dismal,” says Rees, outlining that the in store experience must be one where the customer is encouraged to, at worst, feel comfortable and at best, wish to remain for a long period of time, something that in turn enhances a store’s opportunity to get to build a customer relationship.

Catch the full 30 minute seminar in full below. Should you wish to employ Colin’s services to enhance your business he’s contactable here.

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