Lessons from the Garage
Some people love them; some hate them – I’m referring to garage sales.
We held one recently and I was surprised at how many business principles apply to having a successful garage sale.
- Open when your customers want to come and buy, not when you want to sell. We had dealers on our doorstep at 5:00am. I was prepared for this and welcomed them. They bought most of the stock.
- Present your stock well. Make it easy for your customers to buy. Open boxes and have items on display.
- Direct the flow of traffic. This is essential. You don’t want to cause traffic jams. Customers become frustrated if they can’t see the merchandise and often give up and go (without buying).
- Be prepared to negotiate. If you see a customer moving towards and away and towards and away and towards an item, the price is probably too high. Make them an offer, “If you like it, you can have it for $x”. This is often enough for them to say “Yes”. After all, how much will it cost you to dump it?
- Engage with your customers. Find out what they are interested in and what they are looking for. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn and the longer they are in your shop, the more likely they are to buy.
- Thank them for coming. They didn’t have to come to your sale.
- And finally, be pleasant, bubbly and happy. The more fun you have the more the customers are likely to buy. No-one enjoys buying from a grouch!
Your turn. How would you rate your business, product or service according to the above?
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