Retail management seminars, Small Business expert, retail speaker

Join us in these
social media

Social Links Slideshare Twitter Facebook Social Media Linkedin Socail Media YouTube Twitter Social Media You Tube

Want to share or save this page?




Retail Management, Retail expert, retail keynote speakers Sign up for e-ret@iler, small business help, small business advice
Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
Retail Expert speakers Retail Management training seminars

(If you like this article and wish to pass it along to someone else, please use our on-line form)

What Do You Sell?

Determining what type of business you are in

Most every type of business, and every size of business, has the opportunity to receive multiple trade publications that provide tips and information.  If you make a point to review several trade publications, you will find yourself exposed to many ideas to enhance the operation and profitability of your business.  In addition to reading this magazine, a two-person office can gain from reading the magazine addressed to the operators of a clothing store or a quick print shop because many of the fundamental business concepts transcend all types of businesses.

If you are a reader of Dr. Steven Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", you will recognize that reading trade publications is a part of the seventh habit: sharpening the saw.  Looking at any industry, attending a seminar, trade show, visiting with someone in the same business field to exchange ideas, or reading a management book, report or trade publication are all excellent ways to sharpen the skills of the trade no matter what you sell.

The name of the publication and the name of the advertiser have long been forgotten, but the skill that was shown by the company that paid for the advertisement will long be remembered.  In the advertisement, a gas company was addressing restaurant owners.  The invitation was to come to their laboratory and test the various brands and types of   cooking equipment that were available.  The advertisement mentioned that there were 45 different pieces of equipment that had been assembled and that any restaurant owner was invited to bring his chef, recipes and ingredients to the laboratory. 

The idea was that the chef could test cook before they purchased the new equipment for their restaurant.
Surely, the gas company is attempting to persuade a chef to cook with gas instead of electric.  But, this is also a situation where a company understands that they are selling customer satisfaction as compared to being a company that is selling gas.  And with the restaurant owner that would have probably just replaced a worn piece of equipment with an updated model, he now can investigate the alternative choices.

Too often the opposite scenario happens as exampled by a report in another trade magazine.  A young couple wanted a safety fence built around their in ground swimming pool.  Their concern was the safety of their 3-year-old toddler.  They shopped the yellow pages, interviewed several contractors and made their selection.  A contract was signed and the fence was soon constructed.

During the inspection, which was made upon completion of the fence, the parents discovered there was a method in which the toddler could gain access to the pool.  Obviously, this made the fence unsatisfactory to the couple.  The solution was not quick in coming as the contractor explained to the parents that he had built the fence as detailed in the contract.  The parents responded that the fence did not achieve its purpose.

Granted the contractor had fulfilled the letter of the contract, but the problem was in the perception of the sale:  the contractor was selling a fence, the couple was buying peace of mind.  And, as the solution to this scenario was long and drawn out, you can expect that the couple did not provide any referrals to the contractor.

A survey performed by Dr. Richard Feinberg of Purdue University interviewed 20,000 people about their shopping experiences and preferences.  And before you say, “This doesn’t apply to me because I am not a retail store”, consider that everyone, no matter what profession, is selling something.  If not a product, then a service, to either a customer or to their employer.  Dr. Feinberg’s survey showed that the five most important factors were:

Having the item(s) or performing the services that the customer needs
Saving the customer time
Selling value to the customer
Producing the product(s) or service(s) in an attractive manner
Having someone qualified to assist the customer

If you are the individual responsible for pricing your goods or services, note that price is not one of the top five concerns.  And for everyone, note that the desires of a happy customer are fairly basic.

Even if you have an unhappy customer, while only one in thirty will take the time to tell you about the problem, 95 percent will continue to do business with you, if you resolve the complaint immediately.  The bottom line of this article is to demonstrate a comparison.  Did you notice that the first part of the article contained two stories?  Most people can identify with the ideas and needs that were expressed in each. 

The second half was more statistical.  Both conveyed the same information, but the first half was designed to help you to see a situation from a human perspective as compared to just giving information. 

Both the stories and the statistics were designed to be persuasive about the importance of paying attention to the wants and needs of the customers that every person has. 

And the next time that you have the occasion to make a difference in whatever work you do, you can decide what do you sell.

If you would like to send this article to someone you know, please use this form to forward this page:

Your Name: E-Mail:
Friend's Name: E-Mail:
Security Code:

This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.

Copyright Notice

Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179