By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
I was recently at a convention and had the opportunity to sit down with an independent dealer that owned a Waterbed and Mattress Gallery. Yes, you read that right, waterbed. He kept waterbed in the company’s name because he felt it’s part of his brand recognition and he still sells a good deal of replacement parts to people hanging onto their ‘70s waterbeds (you know who you are!).
I asked him what he sold besides waterbed parts and mattresses. He told me pillows and bedding played a big part in increasing ticket sales. My next question was, “What does your showroom look like?” He told me they had vignettes setup to look like bedrooms with side tables, lamps, pictures, etcetera. I asked if he sold any of those items. The answer was “No, why?”. My reply was, “If you show it - you should sell it.”
Why, as an appliance, electronic, or furniture dealer would you show something you can’t or won’t sell? I’m not saying don’t show it, I’m saying if you do, then sell it too. If you sell appliances, why not pots and pans and decorative hardware along with sinks and plumbing products and lighting? Furniture dealers show dining sets, bedrooms and living rooms, why not sell TV’s, plates, carpets, pictures and lamps? Electronics dealers with home theater rooms can sell furniture and specialty appliances for these rooms. Think outside the box for the stuff inside the boxes you are selling.
Many of you are part of a buying group, attend the shows and have opportunities to pick up any kind of product you would like to sell. So, the next time a customer asks if you sell what you are showing, the answer should always be, “Yes.”
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Last month, I decided to ditch the resolutions, stop reading the “find out what’s wrong with my business” and “fix my life” articles and started to read ones that were more inspirational and self-applauding. What do I mean by self-applauding? Well, exactly that. Patting myself on the back for all of my accomplishments and lessons learned up to this point. And focusing in on what I want to happen today rather than what’s wrong with today. And I have to tell you, it’s a wonderful way to start the year and live out your day-to-day life.
Are you ready to kick-off that angel/devil dance we’ve all been doing for years and start looking in the mirror each morning proclaiming (and believing) that, “Everything is just fine the way it is right now.”
You may think that not focusing on your to-do lists and what’s wrong or missing in your life is just blind faith and not how things get done. When actually the opposite is true! You will get more done by turning off your Mr. Fix-It or what social scientists call the reactive brain. That’s because when we are in reactive mode, we are slowed down by anxiousness, stress and fear. When we are working from our creative brain, our ideas and solutions flow easily so we work more deliberately, making us more productive.
Of course, I still have a plan so that there is a clear picture of what direction I’m headed in. I’m just working on not being led by the stress of what’s not getting done or needs to get done. Instead I’m fueled by the motivation that if I stick to the plan and take just one step towards my goals each day, eventually it will all get done. And I won’t be dragging myself across the finish line either, I will be smiling and walking upright, waving to the crowd, and self-applauding.
Keep your eye on the goal!