Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Smart Show Day 4
The third show-day and the final day of The Smart Show started off with some much needed energy. After the Sunday night beach-party Shane Decker was unsure of how many would show-up for a Monday morning keynote address, but the crowd was pretty decent and I didn’t see one person fall asleep. Some of you, like me, have seen Decker several times. I enjoy the experience every time, but the last few presentations his material has evolved and I appreciate the newness of his messages.
He began by talking about something that’s a bit unfair in our business. We must NEVER prejudge clients who walk-in because those who dress down might be disguising their wealth, and those who dress up might be pretending. The unfair part is that they will prejudge you – to the point that they will decide within 30 seconds if you’re worth spending money with. As he continued talking about meeting customer expectations, he struck a chord by stating that customers “pay us to listen.” Some people need to pay a councilor to air their secrets, but if you listen to them and sell them something then they get to walk away with something tangible for their money spent.
Why do shoppers buy on the internet? Shane answers that price is 4th on the list. The first reason is that they had a bad experience at the brick-and-mortar retailer, followed by convenience and expansive (virtual) inventories. His best suggestion to defend the awesome advantages you offer clients is by considering his punch-list of 28 things that can happen when a client walks in. Training staff to provide a consistently great customer experience is more important than advertising in his mind. You can win referrals and loyal clients by your service, while you can lose clients by attracting them with clever ads and letting them down once they get into the door.
Some of the 28 items on the punch-list included fairly common customer service items (prompt-greeting, body language, selling techniques), and others are less common. Always exchanging names, wowing repair customers with product, even after the sale (or sales) are made show one last knock-out piece to the client in the last 30 seconds, clean and polish everyone’s jewellery, etc. It’s hard to keep it brief, but the conclusion was; if you always do these things for every client, you’ll build a reputation for amazing service, and add value to what you do.
The final day on the show floor was a bit slower, but it seemed there were more buyers taking the time to explore new product. My final impressions of The Smart Show is that the educational forum and interactive features were indeed impressive. InStore Magazine has created a bit of a cult following, including their “cool stores”. We thus expected a large draw from the entire United States, but from the viewpoint of an exhibitor, it’s a regional show. Many of the exhibitors are in common with any major US show. We saw a couple of jewellers from Ontario, three from Manitoba, one from Saskatoon, one from Calgary and one from Victoria, but the great majority of US retailers were from the Mid-West.