This is the fourth entry in our ongoing series, “How to Improve Your Sales”. In Part 1 we discussed “Winning More Business.” In Part 2, we were all about “Managing the Sale”. Part 3 discussed “Doing The Job Right.” In this article we give you tips on how to make attract customers to your shop.
Making Your Glass Shop More Attractive To Customers
Like we discussed in our previous article in the series, Doing The Job Right, it takes more than just being good at what you do to make a customer feel like you’ve done a great job. The same is true when it comes to attracting new business, being good is not enough to win the attention of potential customers.
Making your glass shop more attractive to customers means becoming much more familiar with your customers and potential market (the people who could be your customers but aren’t) for your shop. From this information, you can make a plan to how to better match your business to the needs of your market and increase the amount business coming into your glass shop.
Knowing your Customers and Your Potential Market
Becoming more familiar with your customers and your market means taking a step back and doing a bit of research to discover patterns or trends. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be extremely time-consuming or exhaustive, here is what to research:
Who Are My Current Customers and What Are Their Needs?
Take a look through your past jobs and see if you can find some trends. Do you do a lot auto glass work on classic cars for middle-aged guys? Maybe you are installing a lot of custom shower doors for wealthy middle-aged homeowners, or possibly tinting a lot of vehicle windows for young, single men.
What is the Potential Market in My Area?
Do you see a lot of “Soccer Mom” minivans rolling around with windshield chips but have never seen one in your shop? Do you see a lot of homes owned by young families putting in sliding glass doors but you have never been contracted to install one?
From just this little bit of research you can find out who you are doing the most business with and where there is potential for you to expand your customer base. Now you know the people to which you need to make your shop more attractive. You need to match their needs to how you present your business.
Matching Your Business to the Needs of Your Market
What if everyone in your area only drive small sedans but the only thing you have pictures of on your website and in your shop are muscle cars, or most of your customers are middle-class homeowners looking for a modest shower door remodels/installations and the only advertising for your business features luxurious and incredibly expensive remodels? Then you are doing a poor job matching how you present your business with the needs of your market. When this kind of mismatching occurs, you will lose out on business.
To avoid this mismatching, you have to examine your shop and your entire business through your customer’s and potential market’s eyes This is not an easy thing, it means being objective about something to which you have a strong emotional attachment. Here are some tips and tricks for making this process easier.
- Ask people. Talk with your customers and ask them about your shop. What do they like about it? What would they like to see in your shop (magazines, tea, etc.)?
- If asking people directly isn’t your style, ask people to fill out a survey to give their opinions anonymously.
- Go to a shop that is getting the kind of customers you are missing out on. Examine how their shop is set up and how they present themselves. You don’t have to copy someone, but borrowing a good idea never hurts.
- Go online and find reviews for your shop. Read what the negative reviews are saying about your business and take it as constructive criticism.
Making the Necessary Changes To Your Business
Now that you understand your customer and any mismatches, you can be smart about making the appropriate changes to your business. Change does not have to be especially difficult or expensive. It can be simple things such as subscribing to mom friendly magazines to have out in the lobby or changing the posters in your shop from muscle cars to pictures that more closely match the types of cars for which you actually repair/replace glass.
Make Sure Your Employees Are On Board
Don’t forget to share your new findings and plans for change with your employees. Your team will be instrumental in helping enact change within your business. When your team is unaware of your ideas for change, then your plan is likely to fail.
Meet with your employees and go over your plan. Discuss the kinds of customers you want to attract and your ideas for doing so. Give everyone a chance to hear you out and make sure they are on board with your new plan. Your team could even be a source of awesome ideas that you may not have considered.
Let People Know You Have Changed
Now that you have done all this work to ensure that your shop will be more attractive to potential customers, you need to let them know. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Use word-of-mouth by asking your current customers to tell other about the changes you have made.
- Use your social media accounts to announce your changes (check out part 1 of this series for more)
- Go big with a “Grand Reopening” banner or announcement flyers.
It is important to remember that your business relies on customers and making them feel comfortable and appreciated. If you have a shop that doesn’t seem to be attracting enough customers, it is likely because these people don’t think your shop can meet their needs. Change that perception. Know your customers and potential market, know their needs, and make sure your business is the right match.