Retail is detail

First impressions count and are hard to correct, so in retail, you must get it right the moment a customer walks in.
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First impressions count and are hard to correct, so in retail, you must get it right the moment a customer walks in.

A welcoming environment with enthusiastic and approachable staff, combined with attractive and interesting displays, will inspire and encourage customers to spend and return again, even if they can't afford to buy on the first visit. Don't send them away, never to return, because of dusty stock, faded packages or rude comments.

Staff need to be helpful and apply their knowledge before closing the sale. They need to relate to the customer, listen to them and guide them through the sale in a patient way, explaining why a particular solution is good for them. Offer the customer a choice so they are in control by suggesting upgrades, additional features and higher performance. Upgrading a small drive in a portable is more convenient than selling external storage. It's also more profitable because you are selling a service.

Offer something new once in a while as an experiment and get yourself in the local paper with it. For example, use your disk cloners to do a high speed full system backup and have a customer visit you monthly.

Manage stock to make more sales. Rotate items on display in the window and in key areas of the shop. Monitor what sells and look at profit, not just turnover – this means mice, cables, memory sticks, ink, etc. Don't buy lots of one item to gain a small discount and fill the shelves with stock that doesn't move. Buying less, more often, creates a wider variety of new items from many vendors and a faster turnover of stock.

If you know better and want to share, or need more ideas to boost your profits, then check out the ITACS website and forum at www.itacs.org.uk

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