posted: Friday, June 10, 2016
A challenge to your store and to your salesmanship is the competition to be found on the internet. If, as your potential customer, I can find the exact thing I want, without needing to put on my shoes and brave the cold winds of winter, why the heck would I want to leave my cozy environment to engage with multitudes of other people who may or may not be purely annoying?
Most obviously, I am not completely certain that the internet offers me exactly what I want. I may be searching for an item that has a unique quality that the internet is not offering me. The doohickey that Uncle Igor requested has four control knobs on it and he wants it in the amber color to match the hobby tool he already has. Of course, I cannot locate the specific brand of doohickey, with the four knobs (as opposed to the three shown on the internet) in the amber color as opposed to white (which will get filthy in his shop after only one use).
I am most satisfied when I can arrive back home with the exact item, purchased at a better price than on the internet, without the added cost of shipping, and having the item in my hand NOW!
Additionally, I need to make stops at five other stores nearby, so I can get ALL of my list handled very efficiently!
Bonus! The four-knobbed, amber doohickey is offered at the mall at a price cheaper than I can find it anywhere! Besides, I need to stop at the liquor store, the grocery store, the dry cleaners and the gas station as well as the mall.
Once a customer makes the decision to buy locally, it is imperative that the interactions with that customer are as rewarding and beneficial as possible, in order insure that the initial buying experience opens the possibility for a great business relationship. Guess what! Great business relationships are NOT possible in the world of impersonal internet sales!
Therefore, as a flesh-and-blood retail salesperson, you absolutely MUST create that fabulous business interaction with your actual physical customer!
Impeccable customer service is, of course, the beginning of that great business relationship. Next, there is the concept of added incentives. Is your store offering an enticing pricing situation? Are you offering bonus purchasing options? Do you include gift-wrap? Heck, is there a table filled with cookies and water? How can you impart to your customer that you value their business and that you are interested in meeting multiple needs in the course of the sales transaction? Are you offering bounce-back coupons?
The objective here is to make it more difficult, less convenient, less lucrative, and less enjoyable to shop the competition, including and especially the internet. One of the biggest advantages you have as a REAL, LIVE salesperson is the possibility of an extended relationship with each and every person who walks through the door. In this market, the knowledge for the customer that they are valued and honored is a HUGE value-added situation--particularly in a world where human interactions are increasingly rare!
FINAO - Brad Huisken