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e-ret@iler from Profits+Plus and Tom Shay
ideas to sell merchandise and services
April 2003 - Our 41st edition

This month's issue of e-ret@iler contains:
1. Article of the month: Minefields and Mindfields
2. e-ret@iler advisory: Taking control of the sales area
3. Power Promoting Idea of the Month: Candy
4. Your free subscription to e-ret@iler and
contacting Profits+Plus

=> Print this month's issue of the e-retailer so
you can read it at your lei


1. Article of the month: Minefields and Mindfields
"Having to battle the competition everyday", is
an expression used by many small businesses. And
in many ways, each business is fighting its' own
war every day.

The article of the month for April 2003 talks about
the battle on two fronts - one is fought by observing
what your fellow merchants have done in their efforts
to gain business and solve the problems that we
face every day. The second part of the battle is
fought within our minds. And how often I have seen
those small businesses that have lost the "battle"
by refusing to first open their mind and step out.

Click on the link below to visit the Profits+Plus
website and read the April article of the month.

Minefields and Mindfields

O <= After printing the e-ret@iler, check here if
you plan to read this month's article


2. e-ret@iler advisory: Taking the final step
towards making the sale.

Last month I mentioned some material that I
received from Bob Woodhall and the folks at
Jupiter Music. I said that I often hear
people state they are uncomfortable about talking
to customers about what they are purchasing.
They tell me that customers know what they want
to buy, and by making suggestions or showing
them additional merchandise, they would
be pressuring the customer.

Quite the contrary is true. In a study provided
by POPAI and DuPont, they found that only 35.2%
of customers actually walked into a business with
their purchasing specifically planned. With the
majority of customers being subject to our influence,
where are the major points of influence within
your business? They are:

Entrance to a department
Within or adjacent to other displays
On the counter top
On a wall or in a showcase (not in a box)
Window display
In the head of the salesperson

Let's take a closer look at each of these 8 ideas.

#1 Entrance to a department. With the exception of
the United Kingdom and Australia, people walking
into a business or sales area will first look and
then walk to the right - much like the way they
would drive a car. What are you putting there
for your customer to first see? Hopefully, it is
something that is new, or something that is most
profitable for your business.

#2 Within or adjacent to other displays. Your
display does not have to only be an end cap, but
can be anywhere on the sales floor that you
choose. Make it standout by placing the item on
a base so that it is better seen. The ideal level
is between 4 feet and 6 1/2 feet off of the ground.

#3 On the counter top. Of course all of us have
heard this one from many sales representatives.
"Just place this near the checkout counter, and
it will sell like hotcakes!" This may be true,
but what you want to do is change what is on the
checkout counter at least twice a week. This is
because repeat customers will only notice the
counter if it appears different from their
last visit.

#4 On a wall or in a showcase (not in a box).
While a manufacturer has spent a lot of time and
money designing an attractive and informative
package for their item, the product will show
much better if it can be seen outside of the
manufacturer's container. Exterior walls or
a showcase call attention to the item.

#5 Window display. A window display is one
of the most frequent problems a business has as
they often cannot decide what the window should
be doing for them. There are several options.
One is to have signs on the window that can
be seen from the exterior while the interior has
merchandise that backs up against the window.
Using this idea means the windows have simply
become walls that the customer cannot see

The second idea is to have the windows so
that the customer can see through them, and what
they are seeing is the first row or aisle of
merchandise. This means the first row needs to
have additional attention so that it will
cause the customer to want to come inside and
see the rest of the store.

The third idea is what many of us think a
window should be - a display. Within this
third idea, there are two options. One is to
have a backdrop for the merchandise on
display. The backdrop will stop the customer's
eyes from seeing into the business, but does
provide a pleasant backdrop which will cause
the customer to focus on the merchandise.

The second way to display involves a backdrop
like before, with the difference that the
backdrop goes only up to five feet. Again there
is the merchandise with a backdrop to cause the
customer to see the display, but with the
display stopping at five feet in height, the
customer can also see into the business. With
either of these two window display ideas, the
"floor" of the display needs to be several feet
off of the ground as you cannot expect customers
to stoop over to look at a display.

#6 Website. The Internet is everywhere.
See this as an extension of your business. Customers
today are much more knowledgeable. And you can
help them gain that knowledge by having as much
information as possible about the products and
services you offer. The research can be very easy
as you can visit a manufacturer's website and
do a "copy and paste" to gain the information
you need for your site. You need to have the
manufacturer's permission to copy things from
their website.

#7 Catalog. No, you do not have to go to the
extent of having a catalog that compares to
the Sears or Spiegel catalog. Try this idea by
having a small brochure printed for a group of
related products or services from your business.
As you make these available to your customers
and prospective customers, do you see an increase
with the number of sales and questions about this
category? If so, you will probably want to
develop more versions of this silent sales tool.

#8 In the head of the salesperson. We have a
poster on our website that you can download
for free. The message is, "A master sells three
things: Self, the business, the product or service"
Understand that if you sell yourself as an expert,
the customer will follow and purchase the
product or service you suggest. If you get the
sequence backwards, you find yourself telling
the customer, "Trust me. I know what I am
talking about. Buy this item."

O <= After printing the e-ret@iler, check here if
you plan to use this idea in your business.


4: Power Promoting Idea of the Month: Candy

This month's power promoting idea came about
because of a mention of a unique experience as
reported by Roger Herman, author of The Herman

Roger mentioned a particular pilot, Darren M.
Tilder of United Airlines. That within itself is
unique as I would ask how many people that fly
frequently could ever say they have met a pilot
and know them by name?

Darren made a substantial difference in the way
he promoted his business (United Airlines) by
printing business cards with his name and e-mail
address on it. Darren also signed the business
card and made a point to pass it out to passengers
on his flight along with a piece of candy.

While I will not begin to take credit for the
efforts of pilot Darren M. Tilder, I will tell
you that these two ideas as well as another 98
ideas that can work in your business can be found
in our Power Ideas series of books (There are four
books currently in the series) Click on the link
below to visit the Resources section of the
Profits+Plus website.

Resources for your Business

O<= After printing the e-ret@iler, check here if
you plan to use this idea in your business.


5. Your free subscription to the e-ret@iler and
contacting Profits+Plus

Our monthly electronic newsletter, the e-ret@iler,
is sent to you free of charge as one of our efforts
to help you increase your profits, plus build your
business for the future.

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Don't forget to celebrate May 10 - National
Small Business Day!

And as always,
Make an effort to locate and do business with
other small businesses - let's keep the money
in the family!

Get your Profits+Plus,

Tom Shay

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