1) Mark it down. Aggressively get rid of the laggards from last year. Not sure what to clear out? Checkout my post on clearance items Balancing Your Retail Inventory and download a checklist of the ten types of merchandise to put on sale. Ideally start the markdowns on Christmas Eve so all you have to do is open your doors the day after.

2) Get them in the door. Update your Facebook Fan page on Christmas Eve with your sales information. Don’t be too specific but give it a headline, something like, Get what they forgot – for less or You gave them a little something before Christmas; how about a bigger something for you now? Send out an email to your list at the same time. Make sure to send out a reminder on Friday talking about the last weekend of the year to save big.

3) Greet them at the counter. You want to minimize customer returns as much as possible so in addition to your retail sales training to greet every customer, train your cashiers to always ask the customer walking in with your shopping bag if they would like to look around for an exchange first.

4) Tag the returns asap. Make sure every return is immediately tagged. You don’t want to lose sales because someone threw it into a big pile to get around to it at the end of the day. Price it and get it back on the sales floor with the rest of the items quickly.

5) Give in. Don’t plant your feet and refuse to give a refund if a customer has a receipt – especially if they paid with a credit card. They will get their money back either in front of you with a smile or behind your back with a chargeback. It isn’t worth the aggravation – give them a refund if there is any way possible.

6) Tell everyone. Your messaging on your floor from every salesperson is your big sale. Greet customers when they come in and again as they browse to let them know what is on sale. You want to interrupt them before they get to the counter wanting their money back. Talk up the fact to those gift returners that their money goes further now to encourage browsing.

7) Get them to try it on. I don’t care if you sell intimate apparel, sports equipment, hardware or jewelry, you have to bring out the kid in your customers. Giving that suggestion to “try it on” from the sales floor increases the likelihood of a purchase by 50%. If you sell flooring and customers are shopping after the holidays, make sure to have them touch it as well. Ownership begins with handling the product any time of year.

8) For this week only, neatness does not count. Retailers get a different customer after Christmas – the customer who enjoys the hunt for a bargain. Therefore, don’t over-straighten every sale table – size them certainly but a display that is too neat means nothing good will be found.

In Sum

And one more thing. Cleanliness counts throughout the year.

There is no excuse for a sales floor looking like a herd of elephants just ran through the place. Rotate who will police every couple hours so your customers don’t mistake your after-Christmas sale as a going-out-of-business sale.

Good selling and Happy Holidays!

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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