After many, many years in the retail industry, some facts repeated themselves over and over. Try to spin them in any direction or skip any one of them and the formula does not work. Here it is - simple and clear - think of it as a sample marketing and sales plan for merchants.1. Always deliver the numbers - be sales obsessed. That is why you are a merchant, you drive sales!2. Be open to new ideas. Just because it may sound different, it does not mean it is a bad idea.3. Shop the competition. Don't just look for what they don't do well, look for what they do better than you do, the same as you do, and of course, what they have that you don't.4. Go after an item - find that treasure and make it sell by huge features, overexposure and educating your team to sell it. Cross-merchandising can make a great difference to a sleeper item.5. Increase average basket - there are only 2 real ways to grow sales: get new customers or increase the basket size of the customers that you have. Pick the item that will increase basket size, or add to an existing item to increase the basket size.6. Read more about Sample sale.Be the right price, right out of the gate - you will build confidence in your product and trust in your relationship with the customer.7. Know what the customers want - you may even need to go ask them by surveys, walking the salesfloor and asking them, observing what they purchase. You need to understand what they want, how much of it and when are they purchasing. You need to make it convenient to purchase so they are saving time as well as money.8. Understand shopping habits - what is customer frequency and average purchase. What is causing the repeat traffic? Is it an item? A sales flyer? New signing? New product?9. Stays loyal to the brand - keeps focused on why the business is in business and what the customers expect from you. 10. Turns liabilities into sales -let's face it, every item cannot be a winner, so analyze and understand the sales trends and react quickly so that if a markdown is required, the first markdown makes the best sales and gets you out of the situation.Try it! It works. It does seem like a lot to remember but the funny thing is, it is all about the customer. As a merchant, you are working to get the customer to purchase your product - start with the customer in mind and you will not go wrong. Do you possess the leadership trait it takes to lead a retail organization?For more info visit Sample sale.