How do you spot a timewaster? What sets your store apart form local competition?

Comment: Timewasters, the ‘petrol cost comparison’ and brand image

MORE THAN likely I’m about to state the bloomin’ obvious here, but has everybody tried the line: “This bike costs you around four to six tanks of fuel, depending what you drive” line yet? It’s a real eye opener to the customer who thinks that £200 is ‘expensive’ for a bike.

Further to that, once that line is well rehearsed and the price justified, how often can the customer be convinced that spending a little more in order to ensure the longevity of a purchase is really worth thinking about? Perhaps the bike vs car comparison is tired by now, nonetheless, on the forecourts car salesmen get away with charging silly money for extras. Cup holders and tinted windows? That’ll be £400…

The typical consumer, rightly so, has money on the mind and if they can save a penny, they’ll take your kind advice, up and leave with a view to further looking around for the best deal. There’s a few things that can be done to prevent such experiences occuring.

The challenge, or opportunity (depending how you view it) this presents is keeping the customer interested exclusively in your offer. Do you give up sizing information on the customer’s first store visit? Bad move, if so. The next time you’ll see them they’ll be dragging a bike box through your door with the expectation that you’ll set it up for cheaper than the difference it cost them to order online, rather than buy in store.

If you have an inkling that a customer may be extracting your knowledge with no intention to buy, what methods have you in place to prevent your business being used as a stepping stone?

Spotting genuine customers among the timewasters is a trick of the trade. Try “are you looking to buy today” and with a bit of luck it’ll be clear whether or not to size ‘em up. It’s not foolproof, but it won’t hurt to ask.

What exactly about ‘brand you’ adds value to each sale? Be it service, back up support, or something more material, do you have a game plan to tip that ‘umming and erring’ customer over the edge and to ultimately secure a deposit, or make a sale?
Impulse purchases are something a lot of firms are attempting to spur with clever point of sale material. Branding does sell product. Take that company with a fruity logo. It so much as mentions a product and there’s a queue forming on Oxford Street. For stores with plenty of local competition, such a reputation can assist in weathering the storms in which competition will come and go.

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