It’s Not What’s Happening… It’s What’s Not Happening That’s Costing You.

Posted by on August 21, 2013

A Monday Morning Memo from The Wizard of Ads

A good friend of mine caused me to recently develop an interest in fountain pens. My goal was to learn all I could about them and then accumulate a small collection. What astounding luck! I opened the paper and what did I find but a two day, Fountain Pen Show and Sale.

The store had exactly ten customers being served by exactly ten salespeople when I walked in. I was “odd man out” for quite a while, so I spent my time looking in case after case, anxiously waiting for someone to volunteer their assistance. (I originally intended to spend no more than a thousand dollars, but after seeing so many great pens, felt sure I was going to blow my budget sky high.) Finally, the factory rep from Parker Pens began to help me determine the right “nib” for my hand and soon the only thing left for me to do was to choose barrel colors and styles.

Uh, Oh. The cases from every factory except Parker were full of pens I would like to own. As much as I liked the lady from Parker who helped me, I just couldn’t get excited about any of her colors. Ouch. (I very nearly bought a Parker pen just to let her know she had done a good job, but considering it was three hundred and twenty dollars, I decided she would just have to settle for the consolation prize…my warmest handshake and brightest smile.)

Now I was forced to work at looking “conspicuous”. My plan was to stand in front of a case, staring intently at a pen I wanted to buy, and then look around hoping to catch someone’s eye. No luck. I walked to another case, picked another pen, and tried the same thing. No luck. As I left the store, I said “Maybe I’ll come back another day when they’re not so busy.” Yet in my heart I knew I would never return. Lots of places make me feel good when I visit. Why should I go back to one that doesn’t? While I can’t say I had a “bad” experience, I definitely left disappointed. Not satisfied. Feeling a little blue, I decided to go look at leather office chairs.

I have no idea if the owner of that store even knew I was there. I was greeted by no one except the factory rep from Parker. But if the owner saw me as I walked out, he probably assumed I wasn’t ready to buy or “didn’t see anything I liked”. Here’s my question: If this had happened in your store, would you have known it?

Is my story unusual in any way? Unfortunately, no. A recent survey reported that 67% of all shoppers intend to return home with the item for which they are shopping. Yet only 24% actually go home with the item.

How many people leave your store disappointed each day? This survey tells us that for every sale you make, another 1.8 customers who wanted to buy today will leave your store disappointed. Every fifth sale means nine people who wanted to buy today left empty handed. Your existing store traffic can give you 2.8 times your current $$$ volume, if you sell only those customers ready to buy! Any investment in sales training is an investment in your own gross profits. Think about it.

Roy H. Williams

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