As a retailer, I want to live in a world where my existence contributes not only to the lives of my customers but to the greater good. I don’t want to live in a world where I am perceived as pushing “stuff” on customers who don’t need it. This most certainly should not be the case, but instead, inspire customers to create sales in the future.
Decor that is more than skin deep
In a world with so much stuff, and magazines and TV shows telling us how to change the décor every season, decorating has developed a throw-away attitude. Help inspire customers to develop a style that can accommodate future purchases and grow with them so they don’t feel overwhelmed at their buying choices and do nothing. You don’t need to be a decorator or a stylist to help customers assess their own world – they often know what they want and just need guidance to get there. If they need more than that, and you or your staff are not experienced or knowledgeable in styling or decorating, then hook your customers up with a local stylist that can help them. The stylist will also be grateful and recommend your business to others.
Discussion with your customers
“Your home should not only LOOK good – it should work hard and help you adapt for the future! As well as the aesthetic look and feel of your home, it is vitally important in our busy lives that your home functions in such way that it enhances your daily life without impeding it. No-one wants to live in a magazine picture that they can’t mess up. You need to set up your customers’ homes so that their lives fit with their décor.
It may seem a strange notion for a retailer – but if you can encourage your customers to buy less and buy better then you develop trust and you will discover that your own little world is far more meaningful. You have helped your customers develop a home that is personal and uniquely representative of them and their families.
Plant the seed for them to re-access. Remind your customers that it is important to take a good look from time to time at what their home has become – things often do have a way of just evolving and if you don’t keep stock, you could look around one day and realize that your place is incoherent and does not feel like you at all… or at least not the YOU that you wish to show the world! Never fear – your own personality is there – beneath the clutter.
A project for your customers:
Discuss this idea with your customers to build a road map for future purchasing. Be mindful that this stage is not specifically about selling. To inspire customers is to build a relationship that, when managed well, will result in future sales.
Time to de-clutter
Inspire customers to access their home, room by room, and cleanse the items that are NOT meaningful and have simply found their way into their living room or onto their home desk. We have all read multitudes of ways to go through our closets and remove items we have not worn for six months – your home is really no different. Remove incidental items and piles of clutter. Put it all in one area if you can and consider the remaining pieces.
After they have gone through and worked out what stays and what goes, then is the time to chat with them about a few new key pieces… The fun stuff begins! Perhaps replacing the old coffee table, adding some accent vases and creating vignettes at the entry or some “shelfies” in the living room to really highlight their personality and interests.
We have all done it – decided we are going to “get organized” and set up filing systems and made rules about where we will have “work-stuff” at home and where everything must go. This is not a bad thing to do in itself. But when doing this, think about the way you live your life – the daily patterns when you walk in the door from the office, or get the kids out the door for school and back home. Don’t try to retrain everyone in the house – find ways to simplify the natural patterns of your daily schedule.
Here are some patterns to consider in your home,
…. and some solutions without reading the riot act!
The school bag door-drop: If the kids get home and dump school bags and shoes in the doorway, consider your entry area. Can you incorporate hooks for the school bags (one each to create ownership) and add a storage box for shoes and sports bags? Therefore, you are organizing the existing pattern, not asking them to change. This is important in sales and knowing how to inspire customers to build on what they already have.
The key-dump: If your husband (or wife) gets home from work and dumps keys, wallet and mail on the kitchen bench or dining table, consider a hall console with drawers for paperwork and storage boxes for coins and keys.
The evening homework dinner battle: If homework needs to be done while you are cooking dinner, it often turns the dining table or kitchen bench into a disaster zone. Rather than trying to delegate a desk in another room where no one wants to be alone doing homework, organize your dining table or kitchen bench to accommodate. Add some storage containers at the end of the bench to house pencils, erasers and paperwork so you are not carrying it back and forth from room to room. If your dining table allows for it, establish one end with a series of storage containers that hide these “work” essentials as part of the decor – but know you have them on hand for a quick start to the homework routine.
If possible, add a side console table to the room that can double as a desk, and storage shelves or wall pockets that can house both living room necessities such as books and dinnerware as well as a few carefully stored homework essentials. A few decor changes can mean you can spend some time with the kids helping them with homework AND get dinner underway. It is often one of my favorite times with the kids – homework is less of a chore and you can discuss the school day.
The clothes monster in the corner of the bedroom: If you are not naturally tidy with your clothes, and too tired at the end of the day to put everything away, you may end up with the very common problem of a monster pile of clothing on a chair or in a corner of the room. It grows larger and larger until you HAVE to get it put away (it never takes that long and each time you wonder why you let it get so out of hand!). Consider your bedroom space – if you are lucky enough to have a dressing room, then consider how it is set up too. Make it EASY to put things away as you get undressed. Make it enjoyable to put your belts together and your jewelry in a designated place. Enjoy the ritual. Get groups of containers to store jewelry – and if you are short of space in the closet, add storage boxes you can stack for belts, scarves, stockings and even underwear to free up space in your wardrobe.
To learn more about how to inspire customers at top3 by design, visit www.top3.com.au.