Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Digital Signage Sales 101: Wow Your Customer

- Mike Prongue

As a regional sales manager in this LED sign industry I walk into a lot of LED sign shops in the Southern USA. I dislike the term “shop” to describe a storefront since I always thought of a “shop” as a low tech place where a cobbler beat a heel onto a shoe or someone strung beads onto a wire. 

Since the product we sell is electronic and “techie” to say the least, I’d expect the “shop” to really be a “store”, perhaps like a single cell version of a “Best Buy”.  Let’s pretend how your shop/store would differ if it were actually fined-tuned and perfect in execution of some simple ideas? 

I present the “top 10” things to do to wow your customer with a great first impression of your shop/store:

  • Walk the Talk   If you sell LED signs, have an LED display. If it does drive 15% more customers through the door and you aren’t using one, what’s the problem? Your LED sign is your best demo unit. Show customers the wireless RF, show them the computer and show them how easy it is to use! Oh, yours is tough to use? Shop around for another manufacturer. Not all LED signs are alike.
  • Shop Shirts    Baseball teams, army units, and Olympic squads all wear a common uniform. Where is your “Dale’s LED Signs” shirts for your team? Identity is important. How about magnetic signs for the cars and window tinted logos on the cars? Get everyone into the same boat and start “rowing in the same direction”.
  • Greet Customer  Quickly  Sour-faces need not apply. Someone needs to say “Hi, how are you? I’m Dave and I’ll be with you in one second!” Phones need to be answered by the 3rd ring saying-“Dale’s Signs, this is Judy, how may I help you?” at the very least!
  • Create a Nice Break Area  The single-most unprofessional thing a small business can do is have food scattered out across the counter area. That Italian sub with the stinky cheese may be your favorite treat of the week, so take it into the back room. Even better go out to lunch- you need the break. When you come back from lunch, grab the vacuum cleaner and vacuum that carpet. It’s been 6 years since anyone took that task on (in some cases).
  • Have “show and tell” product displays  Have a hands-on area that displays LED modules of different resolutions, a power supply, an IPC (industrial PC). Why not educate your customers while they wait for help? Some LED sign stores have actual functioning LED signs on display of different resolutions.
  • Watch your Language  Do not use any bad language. Reserve your political opinions to your evenings in front of FOX News or MSNBC on your TV at home. Regardless of what you say, ½ your customers may be offended. Watch your jokes. Take down objectionable posters. What’s funny to you is not so funny to Reverend Jones looking for an LED sign for his church. Do not create a hostile place of business. What about those angry “no soliciting” signs plastered all over your door? Does that apply to Girl Scouts and the local High School band selling doughnuts? What a Scrooge. I wouldn’t buy a sign from you.
  •  Create a Customer Service Area  Many LED sign stores are engaged in traditional sign businesses and have layout areas and drafting areas and other in the front of the store. Some of this is unavoidable but “hide the chaos” as much as you can and create a simple neat and clean area where customers can be greeted and talked to. Even the use of a couple free-standing, cubicle-used, room dividers can separate the customer area from the work area.
  • Clean up the Production Area  Have a mandatory 10 minute break, once in the morning and once in the afternoon and clean up the production area. Customers are judgmental and may think the mess you create in your own work area is what you may do at their facility. With a clean production area, you can show your handiwork and skills to customers on safe, guided walk-throughs.
  • Have a Website  Yes, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you’ve had that “under construction” message on your website for 2 years now. This is 2013 and a website is an electronic you- a presence that the world can access 24-7. I can’t tell you how much a good website improves business credibility. Conversely, a minimal website shouts a different message to the world, perhaps an unintentional message. Google Adwords used within a region is a very successful new customer strategy. But they have to visit a website that is interesting and professional.
  • Sundown Rule Time waits for no man, or woman. Your urgency is one of the variables that can win you customers. The old Zig Ziglar saying is “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”  The way to show people you care is to reply to their inquiry, finish their quote, or call them back. Don’t let issues extend into the next day- solve the problem now so you can sleep better tonight!

What I’m suggesting is turning up the heat and creating a friendly, neat, clean and impressive area to wow customers and to do business.

A lot of businesses are simply amazing with their execution of these 10 items and dozens more. Remember you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

You create your own reality so wouldn’t it be better if you had an store that people remembered in a good way?It doesn't take much work. Get your team involved and ask for suggestions on improving the customer experience.

These comments belong to me, Mike Prongue, and do not reflect the views, opinions, hopes or dreams of anyone else, anywhere else and this includes Vantage LED. I appreciate your constructive opinion which may be sent to me at michael@vantageled.com.  

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