How to handle products

How to handle products in a retail environment

If you treat any product in your store as if it were priceless, you will add value to it in the customer’s eyes.

Whenever you are cleaning, moving or demonstrating any product your hand movements and the general way you treat it tells the customer a story about its value. Even the lowest priced products should be handled as if they are fragile… with respect, with feeling and with the utmost care.

It is not just what you say about the product that counts, it is how you handle it. If you treat any product in your store as if it were priceless, you will add value to it in the customer’s eyes.

Handle with care

Have you ever been in a jewellery store and noticed how the staff presents a precious diamond necklace or ring to a customer? Without even seeing the price you know it’s expensive because of the reverence they show as they handle it.

They should also present a diamond necklace or ring in exactly the same way, yet very few sales people do this. It’s about being customer focused rather than product focused. You are handling this person’s potential possession so it should be treated as if it is precious. Treat your merchandise with respect. Remember, you may be showing the product to its future owner.

I remember trying on a pair of squash shoes in a small sports store. It was busy and there seemed to be lots of pairs of sport shoes spread across the floor. After trying on a pair that didn’t seem quite right, the owner brought me another pair. He made room for me by sweeping aside the first pair and a couple of others with his foot as if they were rubbish to be put in the bin.

He probably thought he was just moving HIS ‘stock’ out of the customer’s way, but to customers he is not only devaluing the product, he is treating THEIR potential product disrespectfully.

By the way, it is a good tactic to immediately remove from sight any product that the customer has rejected – though not ones they are just a bit doubtful about – so, the sports store owner was doing something right. It’s just how he did it that was wrong.

Get your customers involved

If it’s an item of clothing let the customer touch it and then encourage them to try it on.

If its furniture, perhaps you’re showing them a sofa, invite them to sit on it.

If you’re in a pharmacy and you’re reading information from the label on the back of the box pick up the second item and put it in their hand so that your customer has it as well.

Wherever possible, encourage your customers to hold the item, try it on or use it in some way.

By letting them experience the product, it becomes more real to them. Also it is no longer your product, when it is in their hands or as they are trying it out it is potentially their product. They’ve moved a little closer to ownership of the item.

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