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  #1  
Old 09-15-2012, 01:07 PM
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Default Retailer Tips

Retailer Tips

Take advantage of dropship opportunities. Dropshipping is when you offer a product to your customers but you don't actually inventory it. When you sell a dropship product, you send the details of the order to the dropshipper (a wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer) and they ship it to your customer for you. This method takes some of the control out of your hands with regard to the quality of the shipping but it will save you money in that you're not sitting on as much inventory (cash flow). Dropshippers usually, but not always, charge a small fee for this service.
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2012, 01:10 PM
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Sell what you love! Statistics have shown that retailers have greater success when they sell things they're passionate about. Sure, you can sell anything but when you're passionate about the types of things you sell, you'll have a tendency to spend more time on merchandising and marketing because of your passion for the products.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:15 PM
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Know your products. Learn your products inside and out and be sure to train your employees thoroughly so that no matter what question a customer might ask, you're prepared for the answer. If there are particular departments for specialized products, for example, an electronics department, make sure you hire people for that department that are experts in electronics. Customers appreciate sales associates that are well-informed and have experience and will patronize your store more often if they feel like your staff "knows their stuff".
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:21 PM
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Dress for success! The way you dress and the way your employees dress makes an impression whether you realize it or not. Be sure that your staff is well-groomed and dressed to kill. You don't want to risk any negative impression that might stand in the way of the sale.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:25 PM
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Get your hiring right. Hiring employees is one of the most important parts of running a retail store. If you get it wrong, it could cost you hundreds of dollars and waste a lot of precious time (don't forget, time is money). Take your time with the hiring process. Make sure you're well informed on successful hiring practices and get it right the first time.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:29 PM
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Don't underestimate your expenses. One of the mistakes of many retailers is that they spend too much time looking at the profit they make off of individual products and they forget to look at the big picture. That big picture contains an enormous amount of expenditures and overhead. You must factor that into the pricing of your products or you'll be "giving away the store" and might eventually lose your store.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:34 PM
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Be a guerrilla marketer. Always be thinking about how you can promote your store and your products. You don't have to be at the office to do this. When you're out grocery shopping, leave a flyer on the bulletin board. If you make a post office run, leave a promotional pen on the counter. Did you just meet someone new at your kid's football game? Don't forget to mention your store and encourage them to visit. There are hundreds of ways to market your business. Let the juices flow and be creative.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:36 PM
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Don't oversell. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained in the customer/salesperson relationship. Many employees are trained to be assertive but this can sometimes lead to "aggressive" salesmanship which can turn off a customer and/or chase them away. Make sure your employees understand balance and know that they should spend the most time listening to the customer to ascertain what their specific needs are.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:39 PM
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Build the relationship and you'll have built the sale. Retailers often spend so much energy trying to make the sale that they'll often overlook the most important aspect to selling; the relationship. Embrace your customer as a friend first and foremost. Show genuine interest in their life. Ask them about their kids, etc. Have a friendly conversation. When they like you as a person, they will be twice as more likely to shop with you.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:42 PM
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Be sure you have a website! Many brick and mortar retailers don't feel like they need a website because they're not interested in a running an online store. But, don't forget, we are now in an internet world. People expect you to have some kind of web presence even if it's just an information type of website. Websites are easier to put together now more than they've ever been. While there's a learning curve in the beginning, like anything else, it gets easier the more you do it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:48 PM
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If you have an online retail store, make sure you're taking advantage of shopping portals. Giftys.com for example, is an online mall where thousands of people shop daily. For a very low price, you can put your products there and attract many more customers to your store.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:51 PM
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Be generous with your returns policy. Customers should be made to feel like it is convenient to shop with you. They don't want to get stuck with merchandise that they're not happy with so give them some time to work with. Consider at least a 30 to 45 day window. Also, try your best to be reasonable with what they can return and how they can return it. The more flexible you are, the more they will continue to patronize your store.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:56 PM
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Train your staff in proper and professional phone manner. Make sure they say please and thank you often as well as using Mr. and Ms. Be sure they are picking the calls up by the 3rd ring (the industry standard) and "asking" (not telling) the customer if they can put them on hold when it's necessary to do so. This level of professionalism makes a good impression on the customer and will increase the chances of them shopping with you again.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:58 PM
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Good communication is a must! Most things go wrong due to lack of proper communication among staff members. In your employee meetings, talk about this very thing. Stress the importance of communicating well and how it helps to eliminate errors.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:01 PM
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Merchandise in advance. Don't wait for the holidays or special occasions to get here before you start getting ready. Be prepared for the next two upcoming holidays in advance by having your promotional materials ready, your ads placed, your newsletters written, etc. Then, you won't feel so rushed to push it out last minute. There is no greater feeling than being prepared ahead of time.
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