Chilled Out Record Store Manager Breaks Down Seasonal Sales Quotas

Yo, everyone. What up? First, right off, I want to thank all you for coming in on a Sunday. A lot of you are missing Dexter, and that sucks. I know. Is everyone here? Craig? No? Well I’m going anyways.

Alright staff—wait. Naw. I hate that word “staff” you know? Makes us sound like we’re a bunch of Bay Street bigwigs. Or like we’re that thing that one Ninja Turtle used to carry. Which one was it? The Purple One. Raphael? Whatever.Corporate asks me to address you as “staff” but fuck that. I like “team” better. Makes us sound like we’re the 92-93 Jays. Molitor. Borders. Henderson. Alomar. You feelin’ me, team?


So team, the holidays are just around the corner, and for those of you who’re new here—‘sup Jess?—this is the time when we make something like all of our revenue. Revenue is just a fancy word for money, but you don’t have to worry about that. What you do have to think about is like “Yo, how am I going to sell this holiday season?”  and “Yo, how much of it am I going to sell?” You’ve all have seen The Wire, right? Sick show. So dope. So it’s like imagine you’re part of the Barksdale crew right? ‘Cept instead of slinging rock you’re moving like Norah Jones CDs. So if some cat rolls up to your corner and is all “Yo, you got that new Norah Jones CD?” play it cool like “Yeah man, disc’stight” And then like pull that classic move from the corner where you up-sell them the double disc with extra tracks, a bonus DVD, and fold-out poster. Or if someone’s buying a Titanic DVD, try and sell them the Diamond Edition that comes with all the rare Titanic pictures. Easy, right? It’s just about chilling out, and being attentive to the customer’s needs.

So basically, if you’re working an eight-hour shift, you need to be attentive to the customer’s needs 61.8 times, assuming that the average transaction is +/- $34.17. On that, it’d be ideal if we could boost the average transaction to somewhere in the $37 dollar range, but don’t sweat that right now. The key is vertical selling. Let’s say some guy comes in and he’s after like, whatever, the new MF Doom album. Hook him up, right? But don’t stop there. Try being like “Oh you like hip-hop and rap? Have you heard the new Fifty triple-disc Deluxe Edition package. It’s the shit.” But don’t actually swear. Obviously.

It’s important to be casual. But not too casual. I mean when people come into one of our 118 locations nationwide, they expect a relaxed, chilled-out and most importantly uniform corporate identity. We’re a record store, yeah? So people know that we’re not going to be impressed by them. But don’t be like a huge dick about it. Shoot more for Ethan Embry in Empire Records than Jack Black in High Fidelity. Whatever your angle, remember that basic algorithms of choice architecture dictate that you can pre-arrange a default outcome by presenting choices along certain organizational axes.

It sounds retarded, but it’s true.

Another thing to keep in mind is to be nice to the customer. That’s why people choose our chain. Sure, they could drive out to Wal-Mart to save a few bucks on the new Foo Fighters Greatest Hits comp. But they come here because they know we have the know-how. Because they know we’re all total music nerds. And they like that. And we like that.

But what’s the difference between a total music nerd and an employable music nerd? Anyone? Andy? Jamal? That’s right. An employable music nerds know how to close. Closing’s tricky. And apart from figuring out the shipping/receiving software, it’ll probably be the toughest part of your job. But let me break it down.

When a customer strolls in here, don’t think of them as a stranger. They’re not just dicking around. Except for maybe the schizo bro in the Labatt’s Blue hat who comes in every morning like the law of fucking gravity to pick up the same Peter Gabriel album, sob loudly and then leave, or the elementary kids who crash the place at lunch to play the free X-BOX demos and don’t buy shit. Apart from them, people are here because they want to buy. They need to buy. All you need to do is close it, yo.

There’s a few basic s strategies here that I’d like to see you guys floss out there. You can try the either/or route. Like make the only option either/or. Like “Oh you’re looking for the new Norah Jones CD? Do you want the basic, bare-bones disc at $14.99 or are you after the double disc with extra tracks, a bonus DVD, and fold-out poster for only $19.99?” Trickier to pull off is a move called “The Duke of Wellington Close” or as I like to call it, “The Duke.” Basically what you’re doing here is spinning negatives into positives, like “Yeah that Norah Jones double disc with extra tracks, a bonus DVD, and fold-out poster is five bucks more, but I mean these are tracks you won’t even find on the Internet.” In fact, anytime any target is sweating about price, just be all “true, but it’s ‘cos this shit ain’t even on the ‘Net” or something like that. But again, no cursing. You all know that, though. Right?

Another technique is to compliment them. Saying stuff like “Oh, dope kicks” or peeping someone’s tee and being all “Hey man, you like Shellac? Me too, man.” Once you’ve earned their trust with a bit of empty fawning, swoop in with more advanced moves, like the Sullivan Nod, or as I call it, “Da Sully.” All you have to do is, when you’re going through a list of products, subtly nod you’re head ten of fifteen degrees when you say the product you want them to buy, generally the most expensive or something listed in the System under 09CAM promo codes. This works a lot of the time, ‘cos you like get inside their brain all unconsciously and can totally make ‘em buy something they wouldn’t have thought of buying. It’s like total Frasier Crane shit. Yo, Meagan, write that down and e-mail it to me later. “The Crane Technique.” Mine.

I know this sounds like a lot of corporate shit, and a lot of it is. It’s just like the RM and the Divisional Manager are all “Yo Ryan, like we need you say this shit” and I’m like “Whatever” ‘cos I know you guys are the best. I know we got the best team in our division ‘cos you guys are all wicked cool and know like a shit-ton about music and CDs, and if any team can meet a projected quarterly gross of +$485,000, I know it’s you guys. Y’all are little, skinny-jean wearing Dave Winfields.

So yo, let’s all just chill out for a bit. There’s some pop, pizza and dipping sauce in the back. Do it up. You’ve earned it. Fifteen minutes then let’s get started on inventory. Batter up.

What the fuck, Craig? When did you even get here? Put that party tray down. Pizza’s for closers.

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