I was in Hudson, New York with friends Saturday night for dinner when I spotted a new shop, C.M. Cherry. From the windows you could see this was a unique operation - it was primarily lit by candlelight. It made me curious as to what was inside.
That illustrates the first tip, display your store so well that your window draws us in.
The average customer only goes into three stores on an average shopping visit so make sure they will include yours as one of those three.
I entered the store and was greeted and encouraged to "explore our shop." This set the tone for my visit; graciousness, hospitality and a pride of ownership.
What made this store so very unusual is that they feature antique glass candlesticks lit with modern oil filled glass tapers. The effect is magical.
"Have you ever seen anything like this before?" Amanda asked. "No, I haven't," I replied." She went on to explain how the owner Claude, who was also in the shop at 6pm on a Saturday night had created a very special store including glass candle holders from Baccarat to Tiffanys and various time periods and price points. "The glass tapers are included in the price of all of the candlesticks or you can buy a set for $39 in five different sizes."
Second tip, always present information you think a customer would be curious about. She had pre-sold me I could also purchase the glass tapers separately as an add-on.
Claude came over and picked up the new glass ornaments he had commissioned for this holiday and showed my friend Karen. He concluded, "And we've pre-wrapped them so you can take them with you now." Karen purchased two which shows the power of tip three, make impulse items look special.
As I was considering a pair of glass candlesticks in the display unit Amanda provided more detail when I noted the price tag. Which leads me to tip four, don't fold your tent.
So many times when customers are shopping more expensive items, clerks say nothing to justify the price. Because of that, the customer often is allowed to believe it may not be worth the price. So they remain lookers instead of being converted to buyers.
Tip five is simply ask for the sale. No need to hem and haw or have that awkward pause. Simply ask something like, "May I put this on the counter while you continue to shop?" or "Would this be wrapped as a gift or for yourself?"
There are a hundred things you could say - just say them. Remember: Those that don't ask don't get.
I continued to speak with Amanda after the sale and she shared she had learned retail sales at Marks and Spencer in London. She had a celebrated past working for the best of the best of English retailers, including opening a flagship store in Los Angeles several years ago.
She ended up in upstate New York because of a boy and while that relationship didn't continue she found the area and the people she got to work with were exceptional.
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