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December 2012
Volume 14 Issue 1

Article of the Month
How to wait on customers
Tom Shay

The article for December 2012 is one that I wrote for the rental storage industry. As one that has recently done business with someone in that industry, I sincerely wish their staff had read the article before I called them.

Your business may not be renting a storage facility to anyone but the idea of the article applies to everyone that sells.

Engaging the customer by asking questions does more for building a relationship as well as increase the possibilities of making an additional sale to your customer.

Click on
Article of the Month
to read this article.
Book of the Month
When Fish Fly - Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace

by John Yokoyama and Joseph Michelli

The December book is suggested as a primer to this month's e-ret@iler conversations conference call with Joseph Michelli.

This is the story of the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle as told by the owner of the business.

While I thought I would like it because Joseph Michelli wrote it, I definitely liked it as I heard the owner say one of the most important components of their success was their bi-weekly staff meetings.
The more I read in this book the more I see this owner is not doing anything uniquely different - he is simply committed to taking care of basic human needs every day.

Click on Book Referral to see the list of small business books we have found that may be helpful to your business.

e-retailer conversations

Hey, we are blogging, tweeting, facebooking and invite your participation.

Visit our e-ret@iler conversations, find the category of interest and post your comments, questions or best practices. You may also go directly to one of our categories by clicking on one of the links below.

Employee Issues
Financial ManagementGeneral DiscussionMerchandising
Sales Techniques
Vendor Issues


And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.

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Contact Us
Profits Plus 
PO Box 1577 
St. Petersburg, FL 
33731 USA 
(727) 464-2182 Voice 
(727) 898-3179 Fax 
Send Tom an e-mail:

Send our staff an e-mail: 

Business Advisory
E-ret@iler conversations conference call - past and future

We will be having Ron Friedman of Damomics return as our guest for one of the 2013 conference calls. He just has too many good ideas for your business; definitely a lot more ideas than we could fit into the one hour we had for November.




Ron is so correct in saying that your business, selling product or services, needs to be utilizing gift cards and having a customer loyalty program.

the conversations I have had with Ron since the November call, he is always sharing an example of another business that is, or could be, profiting, by doing just a little bit more to get a lot more business from their existing customer business.

If you missed the opportunity to be a part of the live show, you can visit the link below where you can listen to it online or down load it as an MP3 file for your portable listening device. As always it is free.  


E-ret@iler conversations


December may be a busy month for most businesses and I know that makes for a challenge to get away to join the e-ret@iler conversations conference call.

So allow me to make the December call a big event by inviting Dr. Joseph Michelli as our guest.


Joseph is a New York Times best selling author having written, 'The Starbucks Experience', 'The Zappos Experience', 'When Fish Fly', and 'The New Gold Standard'.

Whether your business proposition is a product or service, here is your opportunity to visit with one of the great minds of understanding business. While I could write extensively about Joseph Michelli, I will instead provide you with a link to a page on his website where you can view several of his speeches as well as interviews on national, and international, television.


 The Michelli Experience

Send your questions now so that we can make the conference call more valuable for you. People pay a lot of money to get to hear Joseph speak - even more to get to speak with him.  

My Christmas present to all of you is the opportunity to do both on Thursday, December 13 at 8pm eastern. Directions for participating in the call will be coming to you on December 9 with a reminder on the morning of the conference call.   



Speaking of gift cards, allow me the opportunity to explain what you are going to be hearing about gift cards in the days just after Christmas. 


The 'big' retailers will begin advertising on December  26, inviting customers to come and use those gift cards they received as presents. These retailers need this to happen because of the financial side of selling and using a gift card.


When a business 'sells' a gift card, it is not really a sale. You may ring it up at the register, but it is not a sale. It is simply an exchange of a 'deferred liability' - known as a gift card - for the cash the customer gives you.


It is not a sale until the customer exchanges the gift card for a product or service. As the stock price of these big stores is a reflection of their sales, the big retailers are going to do all they can to get the gift cards redeemed as soon as possible.


Let's look at your position in a gift card. A customer 'buys' a gift card at your business for $50. You have $50 in the drawer and the customer has a piece of plastic or paper.


While there are local laws that apply, as long as you are going to offer to accept that gift card you get to keep that $50.


You can take the position that you hope the customer never redeems the $50 gift card and you have all that cash. You can ask the customer to bring in the $50 gift card to redeem it, and as Ron Friedman pointed out, know that it is an 'odds-on' possibility that the customer will spend more than $50.


It is yours to decide.




Thanks for taking the time from your busy day to read this edition of the e-retailer newsletter. This issue begins the 14th year of my having sent you something on the first day of the month. I take it as a compliment that you would take the time to read my observations and suggestions for business.

A blessed Christmas to you and yours.  


Internet Tip of The Month
Space productivity calculation

Where is the highest sales per square foot?

It used to be the Shops at the Forum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas with approximately $1500 per square foot in retail sales. In 2012, the Bal Harbor area took the title with over $2200 per square foot.

The retailer who holds the individual title? It's Apple stores with reports of some $6,000 per square foot.

More importantly, what is your sales per square foot? What was it last year? Are you improving? Operating expenses are not going down so your sales per square foot should be increasing.

Follow this link to see how it is calculated.

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
Helping your community and the residents

Your community, like ours, has several organizations that make an extra effort at this time of year to give special attention to children.

Contact these organizations and offer to provide a 'Santa hot line' for your community. Creating flyers that yours and other businesses can use as bag stuffers can invite children to call in (use your business lines after hours) and speak to either Santa or Mrs. Claus.

There are sure to be individuals that may not look the part of Mr. or Mrs. Claus, but would be thrilled with the opportunity to be the voice of these December celebrities.

Do your public relations homework and get the information in the hands of the media. They will surely want the opportunity to interview your celebrities as well as the owner of the business who thinks enough of their community to make it extra special for some young residents.

In the red power promoting book, the second promotional book I wrote, this is idea #51.

You can find more ideas like this in our promotions books. You can order your copy by clicking on the link below; each book is only $9.95 plus postage.

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PO Box 1577
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(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179