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Recently a friend invited me to visit his cell phone store in the Bronx of New York and give some suggestions to improve business.   Here are a few things I observed and recommended:

Product Placement:  Right near the door, behind the counter, the first items displayed on the wall were cell phone chargers while the many beautiful phones cases for the latest IiPhone 6 and Galaxy 6 were deep inside the store some 20 feet from the door.  Of all the people who enter your location any given day, how many make it 5 feet down? How many make it 10 feet into your store?  How about 20 feet?  As you have realized, fewer and fewer people walk further into your store.  Therefore, the space towards the front of your store is “prime real-estate”.  Devote this space to luxury goods – things people want, not necessarily need.  Items of need, such as chargers, will sell themselves when someone needs a charger.  Luxury items such as phone cases should be displayed where most of your foot-traffic is so more people see them and impulsively want to buy.

Don’t say No!  An old man asked “Do you do have a case for my Blu phone?”  He didn’t and he suggested to the man he search online for the case.  I pointed out to my friend that not everyone is net-savvy or feel comfortable buying online.  Even if they are, why send your business to someone else?   Offer the customer to leave a deposit and let them know you’ll call them once you have it in stock.  Order it online yourself.  Order a few.  The first sale will cover the cost of the rest and now you’ll have the item in stock for many more customers.  CellSmart POS has a Layaway module to help you take a deposit, name and phone number, give a Layaway receipt to the customer and call them once the item is in stock.  “No” should be the last word in your vocabulary.  Has this ever happened to you:  A customer peeks through the open door and asks “If you do Metro PCS” for example.   Let’s say you don’t do Metro PCS or whatever the customer is asking for.  Instead of saying “No”, invite them in and ask exactly what they need help with.  It might turn out, they need a charger for their phone.  Even though you don’t do Metro PCS, you certainly have a charger for their phone.  Leave the No for last.  Even, if you don’t have the item they are looking for, instead of a No, try a positive answer:  “Yes, I do carry the battery for your phone, but I’m currently sold-out. If you like, you can leave a deposit and we’ll call you once it is in stock.”   Don’t say No!

Put your space to work for you:  You are paying rent for your store.  Every square inch of it.  Make every inch work for you.  Is every corner of your store being fully utilized? Do you have a big location with counters in the front and unused space in the back?   Put your space to work for you by sub-leasing it a complimentary business that can help you with rental income, additional foot-traffic and more security.  If you currently don’t do cell phone repairs, how about renting the extra space to someone who does?  Can you imagine all the broken screen customers wanting to prevent future damage by purchasing phone cases and tempered glass screen protectors?  The repair shop will give a boost to your phone and accessory business in addition to the rental income.  Already do repairs or can’t find a repair guy to rent the space?  How about a barber or two or a nail salon lady?  The captive audience from these businesses will give you a terrific opportunity to sell your product. If nothing else works, think of making your space available free of charge to neighborhood artists to display their art and do art shows on a regular basis.  Think outside the box and take advantage of every square inch of your space.

Credit card machine is down:   If your credit card machine is down or you don’t have one and are asking customers to “go get cash”, chances are there are three more cell phones stores between your store and the bank.   How likely is it that the customer will just go to one of those stores, find what they were looking for and pay them with a card?  Most people these days carry little cash and prefer to buy with card.   Don’t lose out on your customers because your systems are not up and running or you don’t take cards.   Furthermore, when you allow customers to pay by card, they are more likely to buy higher end items and get additional accessories.   Get your credit card machine working today or sign up for one if you don’t have it.  CellSmart POS offers integrated card processing for a fast, one-step card checkout.

After reading this blog, take a look around your store to see if you are getting the maximum benefit out of the space, your products are placed to boost sales, and that your customers are not being turned away because you don’t have a particular item in stock or because you don’t accept payment methods that are convenient for your customers.  These are easy fixes that can have a big impact on the performance of your business.

What other ideas and methods do you use to improve business at your store? Do share with us in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy selling!

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