by Becka Johnson Kibby
“You have to do what others won’t, to achieve what others don’t” (Anonymous). This is a great quote…and one that we all really should think about. A company’s ability to deliver an experience that sets it apart in the eyes of its customers ensures clients will increase their spend with the company and, optimally, inspire loyalty to its brand.
In today’s market place, you have to stand out. You have to be different. You have to be remembered. What do you currently do to make that happen? It’s a good question and one to think about as we move closer to the busiest selling season of the year. What sets you apart and makes YOU the obvious choice?
Are you or your staff in autopilot mode? Autopilot is a little like being able to do something while you are half asleep, because you have done the same thing over and over again. Do we use the same exact greeting each and every time a customer walks in? Do we say the same things during each sales presentation? Or, do we really take a few minutes to ask some questions, get to know a customer, then customize our presentation and experience for each client’s needs? Jewelry and watch purchases are a very personal and often times emotional purchase. We need to tailor our presentations, be completely in the moment and appear client-focused, or our store experience will feel like many other retail experience out there. This is not a time to blend in. This is a time to be noticed and recognized as a unique experience that your customer wants to come back and enjoy time and time again.
When you are present, selling is about the customer, THEIR desires. Yes, we all want to sell something, but if that desire outweighs your desire to serve the customer, you will lose in the long run. You must tap into your client’s emotional state of mind. The first step is to create a comfortable atmosphere, so they warm up to the store and you. Once you get the client talking, only then, can you get sufficient information to form a valid presentation. This is also the start of a relationship…is the art of relationship building happening enough in your store? If not, it IS contributing to fewer closed sale, fewer clients coming back to shop with you again and fewer referrals.
Some other important aspects: 1) Fuel your client’s excitement about the occasion they are celebrating. That is the real reason they are in your store! Keep talking about their upcoming occasion. 2) Know your product. Before you can start showing product, be familiar with all the options, where the product is located and have a story for each collection you carry. Identify the history, the craftsmanship and other important details that will entice the customer to become interested. 3) Showcase the company in a positive light by informing the customer how you are different, what benefits you offer and why they will want to become a customer for years to come.
What is your experience per square foot? From the moment a client walks into your store, to the moment they leave, what has the experience been like throughout the process of shopping with you? How are they greeted? Are they offered refreshments? Do you show them around? Do they have the opportunity to speak with others from your team while there? What is the selection process like? How and when are the company benefits relayed? What is the checkout process like? How does this interaction come to an end? Finally, how and when do you communicate after they are gone? Trust me, the experience doesn’t end once they leave your store. The experience should continue and be just as pleasant and service-oriented, as if they were still in your store.
You want people to remember their experience at your store and be left with a feeling of wanting to come back to shop again and again. People remember 30% of what they read, 50% of what they hear, but 100% of how they feel/felt. Good companies make you think. Great companies make you feel! Here is a good question to ask yourself. After each customer leaves your store, what kind of feeling are they left with?
Cheers to an incredibly successful Holiday Season!