Avoiding The Emotional Traps Of A Store Closing Sale
Many independent retail business owners that are considering closing their store don’t stop to consider one of the most important factors when going through a store closing sale…the emotional journey they are about to take.
The level of success or failure of this very specialized sale, is directly tied to the ability of the store owner to avoid the many emotional pitfalls of this process.
The awareness of what lies ahead emotionally is the first step in the success of a store closing sale.
Facts and what some would call “brutal honesty” is one of the first tools that is needed to be embraced to help work through this process.
Looking at hard numbers, and detaching from emotional triggers are a must for generating sales and avoiding potentially costly mistakes.
Over the years I have developed what I call the 4 biggest emotional traps of a store closing sale.
JUST IMAGINE…YOUR STORE LOOKING LIKE THIS…
WITH LONG LINES OF CUSTOMERS AND MINIMAL DISCOUNTS…
AND LOOKING LIKE THIS AFTER YOUR BIG SALE IS OVER…
One of the biggest emotional triggers for anyone is money.
Whether it is an abundance of money or lack of it, people experience many emotions when dealing with it, especially during the process of closing their store.
Most are in desperate need of cash flow when they finally make the decision to close their doors and this can be very emotionally many painful.
An owner who has already seen a decrease in sales is now worried about all the details, including the cost, of coordinating a store closing sale.
The best way to deal with money has an emotional trigger is to make sure you have done your due diligence and looked at all the resources available to aid in this type of a sale.
Many store owners choose to run their business and leaving running the store closing sale to a professional store closing Consultant.
This essentially removes a lot of the emotional stress of money from the sale.
Although it may seem like you are saving money “doing it yourself” that is not a fact in most cases.
Having someone who has years of experience in this unique process that can walk you step by step through the sale, providing how much money is typically generated and has proven systems in place, goes a long way in easing this emotional trigger.
Memories can be another large trap to fall into during a store closing sale for a number of reasons.
One of the biggest is because memories almost always have deep roots that are attached to physical reactions in the body.
I have had clients tell me that they have lost sleep, had anxiety attacks and bouts of anger in dealing with the closing of their store.
Even if the reason for closing is a positive one, like the land became more valuable than the business or they are retiring, memories can create an emotional trap causing costly mistakes.
The best way to deal with memories that come up during a store closing sale is to deal as much with them in a positive light as much as you can.
Getting caught up in the “Ending” of the business and dwelling on how many years you have been in business or that you prepared to hand it down to your family, will keep the owner from creating a fun and friendly atmosphere.
This happy atmosphere equates to dollars because research shows whether it’s a going out of business sale or not, customers want an enjoyable experience when they shop.
Of course when an independent business owner starts the business everything is on their shoulders and this continues for as long as the doors stay open.
So it is reasonable that the owner creates an attachment to everything about his business.
My business, my employees, my merchandise and my money are all common thoughts and expressions that come from a store owner.
The “My” emotional trap can negatively impact a successful store closing sale, because of these emotional attachments.
The best way to stay out of this emotional trap is to realize it is a business decision to close the store based on facts.
The fact is they are not letting your employees down, being in business is no longer a profitable thing for them to do.
The fact is the merchandise is only as valuable as the money someone will give to get it, regardless of what was paid for it.
Dealing with these attachments can be one of the hardest traps to avoid and savoy owners realize this and can hire the right outside consultant to help them keep their perspective on their attachments.
Order during a store closing sale is a must on many levels. Having either a figurative or physical mess during the sale will result in decreased sales and major emotional pain for the owner.
Uncoordinated marketing messages, employee confusion or a dirty or unkempt store are all the precursors for a lack of revenue generated with the sale.
Preparation and processes are the key to avoiding this emotional trap. Some owners may think that merchandise out of place or dirty shelves won’t impact the sale but they are very wrong.
A good cleaning and organization time before the sale begins is a must. Marking and labeling for the sale will go much faster after this process.
Most importantly this sale is like no other and the marketing and promotion of the sale must excite people to drive them into the store.
Day one of a store closing sale should have people pouring through the doors.
A store closing sale is truly an emotional journey and independent store owners need to be aware of the many emotional traps that could make the process a costly and painful one.
An owner gets one shot at the opportunity to close their store profitably with their head held high and that entails avoiding the emotional traps that lie ahead.