People Want To Spend Money

A client of ours came to us recently seeking help with their patio furniture division.  Patio furniture is a big-ticket item and a hard sale because it usually is something that people come back to shop more than one or two times.  At least this was the current mindset of the stores upper management.  This particular store had been down in their numbers over the past few years and with a new shift in ownership they were ready to put our program into place.
What was interesting after conducting the training the traffic count was actually down.  The staff was given tools to create a different engagement on the sales floor.  Part of the current practice was the assumption that people don’t come in to buy patio furniture the first time they walk in.  When this mind set was changed in the training and a different approach was taken the top line sales numbers began to increase.  The first month after the training this store is up 300% from this time last year and their peak season has not even started.
Reality.  People want to spend money.  People have the money to spend and people want to buy from people.   It’s up to us to give them a reason to buy.
People want to spend money.  I am fortunate to have many places in my outside home that need furniture.  The average patio seating area (depending where you buy) can be anywhere from $500-$2500.  Not a small chunk of change.  But in order to enjoy the outdoors I need furniture.  I want to spend my money and most often when I come in to “just look” I might just need a gentle nudge in the right direction.
People have money to spend.  I was doing some secret shopping for an upcoming presentation and went into a bike store to browse.  I was greeted with a question that wasn’t your standard “Can I help you”.  The rest was history.  The guy did such a great job engaging with me I ended up buying something without really even knowing what happened until I got out of the store.  And guess what. It actually solved a problem that I didn’t even realized I had until we started talking.  Sometimes people don’t know what they want to buy. That is our job to find out and then offer solutions.
The Internet is a great tool.  It’s become an incredible place to get information.  Even researching for this blog, within two clicks I got 10 places I could look for average cost on patio furniture.  There’s been article after article that “Brick & Mortar” will be a thing of the past and the Internet will take over.  I don’t agree.  As humans we need interaction.  We want connection, we want to engage with the product we are buying.  Patio furniture is a great example.  If you’re Internet shopping you can only see images and read text.  When you go into a store, sit on the furniture, take measurements, speak to a knowledgeable staff member, imagine it in your home, entertaining friends and family, it becomes a reality.
People want to buy from people and they have the money.  300% proves the economy isn’t down but the approach in your store could need refreshing.  If we are under the impression that people are coming in our stores to “Just look” it might be that a shift in perception is what is needed. 

In retail, if your staff believes that all you have to do to make money is open the door, you’ll quickly be out of business.  People have the option to spend money in your store or go elsewhere.  They need a reason to spend and the approach you and your staff take directly impacts the purchase.  What would a 300% increase look like for your store?  Go to our RetailHealth App and plug in your numbers to get your totals.

If you’d like to learn how The Mann Group can improve the customer experience and top line sales in your store, please give us a call at 1-800-936-3049 or drop Leslie an email at lcunningham@manngroup.net .

About the author – Leslie Cunningham is a mom, active cyclist, runner and the Chief Connection Officer at The Mann Group. Leslie is a master of maintaining relationships. From her photography work with celebrities including John Mellencamp, Mikhail Gorbachev and Michael Andretti, to publishing a book that is empowering new mothers everywhere. Leslie knows people. 

For the past 20+ years she has perfected the art of connecting with people. Leslie has been a Human Resources Director for over 150 small business owners developing training, workers compensation and employee benefit programs. Leslie worked as a HR Executive during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2001. She also managed fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House raising over a quarter of a million dollars in one evening.  Leslie connects with people and walks along side of the them until they are living their life with ease and passion. “I sense where people are unhappy and connect them to solutions.”

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