By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
With everything we see today — a teetering economy, stocks on a virtual rollercoaster and retail indicators bouncing around like a warped super-ball — we need to stop and think about what we are doing to help ourselves in our current state, as well as how we are going to prepare for what is yet to come. I’m not a soothsayer, but I do see no matter where we are in our economic cycle that change will always happen. How we handle that change today will be what takes us into the future.
How many of you stick to one product? Are you a white goods only dealer or consumer electronics house? Do you sell only furniture? With the various buying groups we cover, I have been afforded the opportunity to speak with many dealers, and the ones who weather the storms the best seem to have a diverse line list or marketing strategy. They sell many, not just in one category or two, or they sell the optional added value products with their main lines.
If you are a white goods dealer, why not sell pots and pans, small appliances, vacuums and even laundry detergent? The customer who is doing a full kitchen remodel is likely to end up buying pots and pans and would jump at the option of buying them new from someone they trust. If you are doing in-house cooking demos, why not offer the specialty products and food items that you use? Gourmet food products might also be a nice addition. A spatula bearing your company logo actually goes a long way towards developing loyal customers.
If you are selling consumer electronics, why not sell the cables, installation, and furniture for a home theater including popcorn machines and hot dog cookers? Why not put a video rental kiosk in your store to generate passive income? What about throwing Monday night football parties in your store, with specials on products? Furniture stores also have a great opportunity to sell all the accessories to create a complete package: lamps, pictures, vases and bedding products are all high margin items and will all help with your bottom line.
But why stop there? Don’t forget a salesman’s best friend, the warranty, which is the most forgotten high-profit piece that we miss in the excitement of the sale. I’m not suggesting you go out tomorrow and open your own Sears-style store, but why not look at what you sell, ask your customer what they would buy and act on it? Many vendors today would jump on the opportunity to open these new markets and help you get going.
By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Is there a difference between giving thanks and gratitude? Well, I believe there actually is. There is real power in a thankful heart. You really can’t be thankful without feeling grateful. Genuine gratitude changes you and how you look at life — it changes your attitude.
Every day we are exposed to a barrage of negativity. We deal with resentments, ingratitude, entitlement, health issues, loss, etc. Gratitude is an awesome tool, an ally to battle these internal/external threats that rob us of our joy. People who choose to be haters rob themselves of a most powerful experience of heartfelt praise and appreciation in their life. Amazing, how gratitude eliminates the negativity.
Giving value to others fosters appreciation, which in turn becomes the transformative energy of gratitude that changes us on a deep level. Practicing gratitude can be a positive way to find inner peace and contentment. By choosing to be thankful for the wonderful things and people in our daily lives we become healthier and happier. It is a mindful act so simple, yet it brings a lasting happiness and an inner joy to those committed to living the good life.
Think about the people in your life who are loving and kind to you. Who has your back by looking out for you? Who has sacrificed in order to make your life better? Do the people closest to you have your best interest at heart? At the end of the day, we all have those people in our lives that add to our happiness. Don’t ever take for granted what another does, gives and sacrifices in order for you to flourish, to be the best version of yourself you can be. It takes a team in life to come out a winner in the end.
Living gratefully has its rewards! Give the gift of joy that comes from loving and helping others. That’s the power of gratitude. So take thanks beyond your Thanksgiving table this year, and show your gratitude by doing something selfless today.