Tips for Success in Retailing
Seven Rules for Doing Good Business
Business owners need all the help they can get in combating the effects of sagging sales, layoffs and rising prices. But some things never change, even in hard times. Attracting and keeping good customers is one of those constants, though many in business these days seem to have forgotten some basic rules of thumb.
Here are some time-proven “do’s” and “don’ts” to help people in business relate better to potential customers:
Rule #1 –
DO welcome people warmly when they enter your business (or department). Say “May I help you with something?” and if not, offer to assist them later when asked.
DON’T ignore people by sitting at the desk or counter while you work at the computer, watch closed-circuit TV monitors, read a book or update paper records.
Rule #2 –
DO smile and share genuine friendliness with prospective customers.
DON’T make negative comments about business, the weather, politics, your long day or other matters.
Rule #3 –
DO stay busy in ways that are productive for you and not distracting for your guests.
DON’T discuss private matters or personal issues with other staff people, take personal phone calls unless they are true emergencies, or rearrange displays while customers are present.
Rule #4 –
DO comment on an occasional item a customer admires by sharing something interesting about the manufacturer, artist or the item’s history.
DON’T comment on every item a customer examines, or ‘shadow’ the customer by following that person everywhere, invading personal space, and eavesdropping on conversations among customers.
Rule #5 –
DO offer help, information and advice if asked; suggest an item only if it seems a perfect ‘fit’ for that person.
DON’T ‘push’ items at a customer or ‘gush’ effusively about an item’s qualities, trying hard for a sale.
DO act in a gracious manner and accommodate the customer’s needs, wishes and time frame.
DON’T ‘shoo’ customers out the door at closing time or – even worse – earlier, as an indication that your scheduling needs are more important that theirs.
Rule #7 –
DO thank people for coming when they leave, and encourage them to return in the future.
DON’T show displeasure if they’ve bought nothing, or adopt a negative attitude after they’ve gone. The next person(s) in the door will pick up on your discontent.
Violating any one of these rules is a sure way to guarantee that people will a) buy nothing, b) leave soon and c) not return.