Advertising is not a substitute for good sales technique and superb customer service. Inserting an ad in a handy newspaper to call attention to a line of goods will not sell those goods unless you can back it up with intelligent, well directed sales efforts in the store. Sales technique and service must follow advertising and unless it does advertising is a failure.
The function of advertising is to bring prospective buyers into the store; nothing more. How you advertise, how much you advertise and where you advertise, can all contribute to advertising's success or failure. Assuming you do an adequate job of promoting your products through advertising, the visitors will come. Your job, then, is to convert them to customers.
When the visitors arrive, everyone in your employ must be ready for the task. Any enthusiasm created by your marketing efforts will cool quickly if greeted by sour faces and dour attitudes within the store, or worse, expecting the customer to crawl under the counter or up a ladder to get what was advertised.
Some merchants believe a "test" of advertising is to hide the item promoted and make the customer ask. If no one inquires, advertising obviously doesn't work. People are basically shy and will not ask, fearing they didn't hear or read the ad correctly, since the item is not prominently displayed. Rather than risk the embarrassment of hearing "no, Stupid, we didn't advertise anything like that", they will leave the store, perhaps never to return. The first step to back up your advertising is to display the advertised products in a conspicuous location with signage supporting the ads. "Ah hah!.. this must be what we read about. Here it is!".
But NOT in the front window. For advertising to work, your visitors must be converted by your salespeople. If the advertised product is in the window, the visitor can make a decision not to explore further based on a quick first impression. At least give your salespeople a fighting chance to "one on one" with a prospective customer.
Don't blame the advertising if you can not convert visitors into customers. Or worse, if you run them off before anyone has a chance to convert them.
Everyone in the store should know the items being advertised and be able to explain or demonstrate them.
Question your advertising if there are no (or few) visitors. Question your sales efforts if there are visitors but no (or few) conversions into customers.
Advertising will pay handsome dividends when the service within the store is directed intelligently. Advertised goods should be displayed prominently and demonstrated easily by willing workers. Unless you can render such service, on a consistent basis, don't advertise. Sell out.
For more about advertising, get my article "Do Your Radio Ads Work?"
©2005 BIG Mike McDaniel All Rights Reserved BIG Mike is a Professional Speaker and Small Business Consultant with over 30 years experience,
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