By Steve Spence
After years of â€œjust kind of coasting alongâ€ in the sublimation part of my own business, I realized it was time to ratchet things up again. I was missing too many opportunities and it was no oneâ€™s fault but my own.
So the work began. Building a showroom, or rebuilding one, as the case might be, is a big job. It takes a lot of time and attention to detail and it turns the old showroom into an absolute disaster in the process. But the time had come and heck or high water, we were going to get it done before the Christmas rush.
In the process, I learned, or relearned some things that I thought were worth sharing:
Get rid of old samples. When I really looked closely, I had samples that had been on the shelves for years. Some were faded, others werenâ€™t even available anymore, and only a few had price tags on them â€“ old ones. Come on guys and gals, is this the example you see in fine retail stores. Even Wal-Mart does a better job! Polish up, throw out, update, replace and add new products on a regular basis.
Make attractive displays. So many people had been through my old showroom that things were scattered all over the place. There was no order to anything. Business card holders were next to the teddy bears and clocks were just everywhere. Even I know it is better to build displays around themes but any trace of a theme had long since vanished and given over to something akin to a junk shop.
Once you have some nice displays, keep them clean. Oh, how I hate to dust. So many nooks and crannies. But if you arenâ€™t proud of your products, why would a customer be impressed with them? I made short work of that problem â€“ I hired someone to clean the displays every week. Why not do it myself or give it to an employee? Simple, we can make a lot more money producing product than cleaning it.
Keep your showroom fresh. No, Iâ€™m not referring to air freshener, I mean to keep your displays changing. I use to hear this comment all the time: â€œI love coming into your shop because you always have so many new thingsâ€. I didnâ€™t have new things, I just kept moving things around so much that each time someone came in, they saw something they thought was new.
Even if your showroom is very small, price everything. Give the customer has much information as possible without your being there. Many people like to browse and be left alone. But how can they browse if they donâ€™t know any of the prices. For instance: In my shop, I have two heart shaped necklaces that I sell. One is a UNISUB product that sells for $15.95. The other is solid silver and sells for 49.95. To the uninformed, they may look the same. One needs to say, â€œAluminumâ€ while the other shouts out, â€œsterling silverâ€.
While Iâ€™m at it, we need to talk about packaging things like jewelry but I donâ€™t have space in this blog so check out my blog on â€œHow to Sell a $10 charm for $50â€.
Iâ€™m sure there is much more we could say about showrooms but this is all the space we have for this time â€˜round.
Take a look at your showroom. Honestly, would you look forward to shopping there? What can you do to create a better experience for your customers? And finally, why are you reading this blog and not doing something about it?