This is my first of many rants on this subject.
And it explains (partially) why your sales are down.
---- START RANT ----
A day and a half ago I visited 4 furniture stores with a couple friends.
I don’t usually like furniture stores. Mainly because I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to selecting furniture.
But when I visited these furniture stores a day and a half ago I wasn't weighed down by any of my "hard-to-pleasiness".
Because I wasn't there to BUY furniture. I was there to LOOK at furniture.
Anyway, there is a point (and a business lesson) to all this.
But first I need to tell you about my experience in each store.
The first store was run by the owners and one of the owners is an interior designer. This fact was obvious because the layout of the store and the presentation of home furnishings were gorgeous. Yes, gorgeous. Even for me, with no fashion or design sense whatsoever, this store looked good. And inviting. And ... I almost bought something ... and I would have bought something IF the sales girl or my wife (who was with me) asked me to buy. But no one asked.
The second store (I call it “the dungeon”) was owned by a couple of entrepreneurs -- furniture salespeople. I say this because the store was basically a warehouse, piled deep and high with imported furniture they buy dirt cheap and sell for a premium. The owners approach you like you walked onto a used car lot and assume the first piece of furniture you look at (or stand near) must be the piece of furniture you came into the store for. But it's not. When they find out you have NO interest in the piece of furniture you're standing next to they’re lost for words. Dumfounded. And respond with “Well, let me know if you see something you like”.
Those last two paragraphs were long. So here's a short one:
The next store, in my humble opinion, won’t be there 12 months from now. It was reasonably well laid out. The store manager had some design skills. But made no attempt to find out about my furniture needs. The store design didn’t make me want to buy either. So I left.
The final store was beautifully laid out. It's part of a successful 15 store chain with new stores opening in the coming months. But the people who work there are sales clerks with no intention of offering any service unless you practically BEG them. I did like one of their furniture settings though. It was affordable. But I don't have room in my place at the moment so I left without making a purchase. Could they have persuaded me to buy? Perhaps. Could I have been persuaded to give over my name and email address so they could stay in touch and sell me the furniture setting when I move in the coming months and have need for a new setting? Yes. Did they? No.
What you have just read is my attempt to paint a picture of my experience.
What would I do different if I owned any or all of these stores?
Lots of things.
In fact, my experience with the 4 furniture stores taught me there's a lot of opportunity out there for people who know what they are doing or who are willing to learn ... starting with basic sales and marketing 101, which clearly none of these people knew anything about.
Are you losing sales (and market share) because you or your people are incorrectly trained?
I bet you are. In fact, I bet you could conservatively add $2,000 - $10,000 a month to your business if you really wanted to. Conservatively. Depending on your price point and industry I would say adding $20,000 a month is still a fair estimation
Furthermore, I know how.
Contact me if you're interested to know more. Just hit the "get in touch" tab at the top of the page.
You must own a business operating in Australia to qualify.