Smart Bytes - Free Sample
Enjoy this free sample issue of Smart Bytes for the Retailer, the official enewsletter of The National NeedleArts Association Retail Members:
by Randi Nelson
April, 20132012-13 Council
Waste Knot Needlepoint
Cross My Heart, Ltd
Stitches N Things
The World In Stitches
yarns etc ...
TNNA offers many opportunities for fellowship within our retail peer group at the Columbus market. One of the premium opportunities occurs at the Retailers’ Luncheon.
Not only do you receive a delicious luncheon that is always a tasty, visual delight, but it is served with an economy of interruptions by the servers, allowing you to have uninterrupted visiting time with fellow shop owners. Lunch will be followed by a very talented and inspirational marketing guru, Bob Negen of Whiz Bang! Training (http://whizbangtraining.com) giving a presentation, so you may want to bring a notebook or an iPad for preserving some thoughts.
The grand finale is the drawing of numbers in the Chance Auction which seems to be a well kept secret. Not only do you get a great lunch, enlightening conversation, a great keynote speaker, but you receive five tickets with numbers printed on them and five matching tickets with the same numbers. Retail Council members have solicited gift donations from many of our wholesale members who are attending the show. These gifts are displayed on tabletops, each gift having a little paper bag in front of it. You split the 5 pair of conjoined tickets and place one set of five in your pocket. The other five get placed in the bags in front of the gifts you would like to win in the blind drawing. If your hankering is very great for an item, you can increase your odds of winning that item by putting more of your tickets in that bag. A Council member then blindly draws one numbered ticket from each bag and you consult your string of tickets and hopefully you emerge as a winner. We solicit lots of prizes, so there are items for every taste.
Council members are very proud of the results of last year’s drive for goodies. Here are the vendors and respective items we distributed at the Luncheon in Long Beach so that you have an appreciation for the value of the gifts:
Associated Talents – Needlepoint Canvas
T & C Imports – Kits for His and Her Hats
The Colonial Needle, Co./Lee’s Needle Arts – Collection of Rosewood Needles
Norden Crafts, Ltd. – Daylight Twist Portable Lamp
Leigh Designs – Needlepoint Canvas from the Old Crow Series
Westminster Fibers – Scarf model
The Artists Collection – Two Canvases (Heartstrings and Shear Creations)
Lantern Moon – Basket
Alice Peterson – Stitch & Zip Products
Maggie Company – Maggie Canvas
Classic Elite – Knitting Kit
Ewe & Eye – Red House Canvas
Berroco, Inc. – Loret Sweater Kit
Amanda Lawford Artworks – Needlepoint Canvas
Unicorn Books & Crafts, Inc. – Three separate knitting genre books
Fern Ridge Collection – Beading Kit
JP Needlepoint – Needlepoint CanvasAmy Bruecken Designs – Needlepoint Canvas
There will be a new set of contributions for the Columbus Market. WIN BIG by remembering to purchase your ticket(s) for the Retailers’ Luncheon on Friday’s class day. Make some new friends or renew old friendships, have a lovely lunch, learn lots of marketeering secrets and WIN BIG in the Chance Auction. I’ll see you at the door and present you with your winning tickets!
PASS IT ALONG!
Needle Arts Mentoring Program
By Penny Sitler, Executive Director
Retailers, did you know there’s a program that teaches your next generation of needle arts customers how to stitch? Let us help youth in your area learn the needle arts that will get them hooked! The next time someone asks you to help young people learn to _______ (crochet, cross-stitch, knit or needlepoint – you fill in the blank!), get their information to the Needle Arts Mentoring ProgramSM(NAMP). We will get startup supplies in the hands of the adults who volunteer to teach, and away they can go.
Kathleen, the Volunteer Coordinator for Galesburg Public Library's Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP) in Galesburg, Illinois, recently shared, "I like seeing the expressions on the students’ faces when they learn – especially the moment they understand how to put it all together and it clicks. I saw improvement in students’ patience, listening skills and hand-eye coordination as a result of NAMP. I love the sense of community a NAMP fosters. The students came to class with enthusiasm for skills learned in early sessions and enthusiasm for new skills to learn. The joy at mastered skills is amazing to see. The supplies were wonderful. Thanks, NAMP, for making all of this possible!"t clicks. I saw improvement in students’ patience, listening skills and hand-eye coordination as a result of NAMP. I love the sense of community NAMP fosters. The students came to class with enthusiasm for skills learned in early sessions and enthusiasm for new skills to be learned. The joy at mastered skills is amazing to see. The supplies were wonderful. Thanks, NAMP, for making all of this possible!”I saw improvement in students’ patience, listening skills and hand-eye coordination as a result of NAMP. t clicks. I saw improvement in students’ patience, listening skills and hand-eye coordination as a result of NAMP. I love the sense of community a NAMP fosters. The students came to class with enthusiasm for skills learned in early sessions and enthusiasm for new skills to learn. The joy at mastered skills is amazing to see. The supplies were wonderful. Thanks, NAMP, for making all of this possible!"
This is a story we are hearing from all over the country from over 230 active NAMPs, with volunteers who love the needle arts passing along that love to young people in their communities. Retailers, you are the perfect connection to talented needle arts enthusiasts in your area, many of whom would jump at the chance to teach youth how to stitch. All you have to do is put them in touch with NAMP – we’ll take it from there! Your next generation of customers is just waiting to be introduced to the needle arts and we’re just waiting to get them started.
Increase Sales With This Quick Customer Service Tip:
Adding On Adds Up To Bigger Sales & Better Service
A sure fire way to increase your sales without spending one red cent on advertising is to get bigger retail sales from the retail customers already buying something from your store. One of the most effective ways to do this is to add-on to every sale.
Done properly, adding-on is great customer service – not a pushy sales pitch. In fact, most of the time you haven’t given good customer service if you haven’t suggested add-on items.
Here’s a perfect example from my own life…
I recently got my first pair of glasses from my local optometrist (getting older is a bummer!) It is a beautiful store with friendly employees and I got great advice from the doctor – so I was very satisfied with the experience I had and I felt very good about our relationship.
I was pleased until, I had to go back two days later to get the special cleaning stuff for the fancy lenses they sold me. And then I had to go back a week and a half after that to get the repair kit with the tiny screwdriver and replacement screws (and they were closed on Saturday afternoon.) And finally, I needed to go back yet again to get some of those clip-on sunglasses.
By my third trip I was seriously annoyed and frustrated. Because they didn’t sell me everything I needed the first time. I wasted a lot of time. Time spent in better ways than driving to and from their store.
The bottom line is when your customer leaves your store with everything they need and WANT, you’ve got a win-win situation. They’re happy and your sales are bigger!
You’ve got two great opportunities to add-on with every customer.
Take advantage of them both and watch your sales and customer satisfaction soar.
First, you can, and should, add-on with the "main” sale. When I was in the kite business I would add on string and a tail whenever a customer bought a kite. If you are in the vacuum business you sell extra bags, in the shoe business you sell socks and extra laces, you get the idea. And although this technique for bigger retail sales seems obvious, you’d be amazed at how many of us small retail store owners miss this golden opportunity to increase sales.
Your next opportunity occurs after the "main” sale is made and you bring your customer to the register. The area surrounding your cash register should generate enormous amounts of money for you. This is where you put your impulse items, those crazy items that nobody needs but lots of people will buy. I recently read that in independent hardware stores the biggest selling item (units, not dollars) is no longer keys, but candy. Add-ons are fun to buy, easy to sell, and perhaps most importantly, have high profit margins.
The favorite register add-on in my toy store was a whistling balloon helicopter – blow up a balloon, attach it to the wings, and let it fly with a silly whistling sound. We sold them by the thousands at about a 70% margin!
Everyone can find great register add-ons. One of our clients has a high-end gallery and wasn’t sure this register add-on idea would work for her retail business, but she decided to give it a try. Their best add-on was a "Fizz Ball,” a large bath salts ball in beautiful colors and delicious scents that fizzes when you drop it in the tub. They were done up in sophisticated wrap and piled high in a huge glass bowl – gorgeous.
She estimates that adding on at the register increased her holiday sales by $10,000. Wow!
Here are two tips for making register add-ons bigger retail sales generators:
- Don’t put too many items at the register as add-ons. If there are too many choices, your customers will frequently be overwhelmed and choose none. Rotate different items until you’ve found your best bet add-ons and then keep ‘em on the counter and keep ‘em in stock!
- Make sure everyone on your staff shows every customer an add-on at the cash register before they give the total dollar amount for the sale. A quick demonstration and an enthusiastic endorsement will persuade even more people to buy. The trick is to add-on constantly and consistently until it becomes a habit.
It can’t be stated strongly enough that if you and everyone who works in your store attempt to add on to every single sale you will see significant retail sales increases. It’s the little things done well, and done all the time, by everyone in your organization that mean the difference between constant struggle and the type of success you deserve.
If you want help with teaching your employees the basics of the sales process, look no further than our Retail Mastery System. The Selling Kit from the System combines basic customer service training with a tried and true, six-step selling process. Give your customers what they really want – a great buying experience every time they visit your store.
Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,
Bob & Susan Negen
Editor's Note: Don't miss Bob Negen at the TNNA Summer Trade Show in Columbus Ohio. He will be the featured speaker at the Retail Luncheon on Friday, June 21 along with two additional sessions on Friday afternoon.
The Retail Council acts as the governing body for the Retail Section and includes seven members. These retailers act on one of three standing committees: communications, business services and education. Learn more at TNNA.org.
The National NeedleArts Association advances its community of professional businesses by encouraging the passion for needlearts through education, industry, knowledge exchange and a strong marketplace.
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