In the Trenches: Four vital functions that drive produce sales
Ever hear of the doomsday syndrome? It happens when sales are on a steady decline and become critical and unacceptable. Continuing on that performance path can undoubtedly have a company be doomed forever.
How would you like to sit in a staff meeting and constantly have to explain to the boss why produce sales are running behind week after week? Just thinking about having to explain it only once is a severe mental strain.
Selling is a never-ending activity. Peak performers know that it’s not only about selling produce to their customers, it’s about persuading them to return again and again. Driving greater produce sales is really what selling is all about.
What are you doing to generate more sales once customers enter the produce department? It isn’t always wise to just let the product sit on routine displays to sell itself. You have to give it an extra boost in order to encourage those sales to transpire.
It’s most important to know all about consumer trends today, especially their shopping behaviors during this post-pandemic phase. Understanding that information is essential in order to adapt to the refashioned consumer preferences.
Driving sales isn’t always simple when surrounded by relentless competition. But no business can sustain its operation unless it is unique and has a remembered image by your customers. The first step to escalating sales is to draw people into your produce department.
Here are four principal components that will drive produce sales every time:
Advertising — Marketing and promoting fresh produce is more than just an item and price. It has to go up against product as well. Advertisements that include telling customers about your quality, value, local farmer support and superb service will cater to your customers. Ads need to overpower your competition with information.
Customer Relationship — First of all, know who your customers are and how they shop for produce. Greeting customers as they shop throughout the produce department is always a good practice. It’s always nice to have a devoted friendship with shoppers. But remember, you don’t just want people to like you, you want people to buy your produce. Encourage the recommendation of certain items to your customers. Upselling can increase your sales as much as 25 percent. Pay attention to selling product and making a profit.
Visual Displays — The old saying that “eye appeal is buy appeal” still holds true to this day. A captivating display that has the power to attract customers will drive sales faster than a dull, routine presentation. The main ingredient is the product, not an element you add to it. For example, if you place cheese along with your apple display, make sure the apples are the focal point and not the cheese. It’s always important that your most dominant selling items are always fully stocked on display. If Gala or Honeycrisp apples are your top sellers among all apples, make sure they get the larger display space and are adequately stocked.
Pricing — The hottest subject today is that of inflation. Consumers have price at the top of mind when it comes to making purchases. Since prices have been increasing, it’s imperative to get this step right or you may start losing your customers. When prices are on the rise, shoppers generally adjust to purchasing lesser amounts — or none at all. In order to alleviate your customers’ inflation frustrations, it is better to concentrate on promoting product value as a fair return for their money.
Sometimes we make it harder for customers to spend their money. This occurs when shoppers are trying to buy advertised items that are stocked in limited amounts in their normal shelving locations. This is not at all driving sales, it’s “un-driving” them.
In order to motivate those produce sales, you will need to be aggressive by setting the most popular items and advertised specials in locations with good focal visibility. That way your customers can have better interaction with the product.
In summing it all up, advertising that sends a message of value backed up with attractive visual displays and friendly dialogue with customers can overcome prices.
The majority of customers only have a very short attention span when shopping in a store. You need to personally sell to them — and sell to them fast.
Ron Pelger is the owner of RonProCon, a produce industry advisory firm. He is also a produce industry merchandising director and a freelance writer. He can be contacted at 775-843-2394 or by e-mail at [email protected].