COLUMN: Colin Wilson FCIM - ‘There’s plenty local businesses can do to boost trade’

Colin Wilson, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing ANL-150916-185236009
Colin Wilson, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing ANL-150916-185236009

In the current competitive climate, businesses in general and retailers in particular need to be especially efficient to win and retain as much business as possible. All suitable marketing and sales techniques need to be deployed to do this.

Here are just a few simple points to consider.

In Diss, there is a wide range of retail outlets all competing for a share of the trade, but how many miss the simple things that can boost their turnover?

The easiest one of all is smiling staff in counter serving stores – an old saying “Man without smiling face shouldn’t open shop” is so true and “If your face wants to smile, let it; if it doesn’t, make it” is also sound advice.

Smiling wins business and brings back repeats. Ask yourself if you really do present a smiling reception to a potential customer.

Related item suggestions often increases turnover.

For instance, a man buying razor blades will often favourably respond if asked “Are you alright for shaving cream, or after shave?” – with a smile, of course.

As much as 30 per cent of a positive response can come from good item-related suggestions.

In retail, “Show more, sell more” is true and “Well shown is half sold” is also good advice, but goods without a clear price ticket lose sales, as customers in many cases often won’t ask the price.

Research has shown that the use of ‘buzz’ words on a price ticket is the best and cheapest form of promotion.

Such ones as ‘new’, ‘promotion’, ‘special’, ‘value’ and so on give a direct boost to sales.

Of course, there is much more than can be done to build or expand a business and good professional advice should be taken where and when it is available.

Advertising and PR bring results, but this must be good, clear, specific and selective for the best results.

n Colin Wilson, of Palgrave, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM),