First Impressions Are Vital

May 24, 2011

From the time I heard about the completion of the Myer Melbourne flagship store renovation I was eager to experience it for myself.

Arriving outside the Bourke Street store with my wife and two children the first thing I noticed was that the building’s façade appeared freshly painted in white. I noticed that because I’m very big on first impressions.

 The next thing I saw was an employee at the Myer entrance. I knew he was an employee from the Myer lanyard around his neck.  He looked away at no one in particular as we approached him.

The reason to have one of your employees at your store’s entrance is to greet your potential customers. 

On this occasion, what better greeting could there be than “Welcome to our new Myer store.  Thank you for coming“?

In my opinion, when it comes to a door person, no retail group does it better than the hotel industry.

 

Not only do they look incredible, but they seem to know everyone and can get you almost anything.

“Successful retailing is first and foremost about the seller making a positive connection with the buyer”.

 

Let’s go back to the greeter.

If your store can afford it, I encourage you to have one but….do it properly!

What’s the purpose of having a greeter?

To make potential customers feel welcome and to provide information about your store.

If you decide to have a greeter then keep in mind they are the most important representative of your business because first impressions are always crucial to your success.

 Understand this. The first impression your business makes will affect:

  • Whether a potential customer will enter your store.
  • How much time they will spend in your store.
  • How much money they will spend.

 Why? Because consciously or subconsciously you are sending a message to potential customers that either says:

  • I like you and I’m excited that you are here. Thank you for coming.
  • I’m not interested in you.

 There are several points to consider when choosing a greeter.

  • Their personality.
  • Their appearance.
  • What their greeting will be.
  • How knowledgeable the person is about your business.

Let’s look at each of these points in a little more detail.

Your greeter needs to like people and be enthusiastic about greeting them. You will only be damaging your business if the person at your front door has a sour face and avoids making eye contact.

They need to look well groomed. If you are selling clothes they need to be wearing one of your current outfits which should fit them perfectly. Alternatively, if your business has a uniform make sure your greeter is wearing one that looks new.

Decide how they will greet people. Keep it simple and friendly.

My suggestion is “Welcome to (the name of your store), thank you for coming”.

Frequently people will have questions so it’s important that your greeter can be of assistance. A good knowledge of where things are located or who further in the store can help them will enhance a positive first impression.

Let’s pause for a minute. Why am I telling you all this? What’s the name of my business?

Retail Fundamentals.  The critical word here is “Fundamental”.

Here’s the definition of fundamental:  Something that is an essential or necessary part of a system or object.

I named my business Retail Fundamentals because after over thirty years in the retail industry I know what works and what doesn’t and I want YOU to have a great business.

 

For more information on how to get the fundamental things right in your business go to:

www.retailfundamentals.com.au

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