Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount

WASHINGTON — After two days and more than 10 hours of questioning of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, there was widespread consensus among lawmakers that social media technology — and its potential for abuse — had far outpaced Washington and that Congress should step in to close the gap.But the agreement largely ended there. For lawmakers, the calculus is tricky: They do not want to infringe on First Amendment rights or hurt Silicon Valley innovation but are also unsure how to regulate this new breed of company, which wields enormous power by collecting vast amounts of private data from billions of consumers.“While Facebook has certainly grown, I worry it has not matured,” said Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon and the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I think it is time to ask whether Facebook may have moved too fast and broken too many things.”Mr. Zuckerberg, composed but noncommittal about making any sweeping privacy changes, conceded that it was “inevitable that there will need to be some regulation.”I found this article fascinating.  How will all this impact retailers?

Buying Signals

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...

They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...

Customer Signals:

When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.

The Signals That They Send Will Include:

  • I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.

  • I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.

  • I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.

  • I want to buy this, now!

When They Are Not Ready To Buy:

When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.

Avoiding Eye Contact With You:

When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.

Making 'Not Now' Excuses:

If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual Handling Of The Product:

customers-buying

customers-buying

If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking At Many Different Products:

If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.

Moving Around Quickly:

When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.

When They Are Ready To Buy:

 When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.

Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:

When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:

If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.

the way you buy

the way you buy

Asking Questions About The Detail:

If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.

Asking About Price:

This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using Possession Language:

When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking Another Person’s Opinion:

When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body State Changes:

Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching The Money:

If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To  Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!

Best Barbara

Day #117 - How To Create a Killer e-Mail Database

Loved this article; had to share it with you:

An accurate and expanding email contact list is vital to the success of your e-newsletter (and an e-newsletter is vital to your success). The following tips on building your database were gathered from professional e-marketers and savvy retailers.

  1. Tell customers about the exclusive information and sales in your e-newsletter. They're your customers – they'll be interested.
  2. Encourage your employees to invite customers to sign up.
  3. Have a guestbook at the entrance or cash? Use it to invite subscriptions.
  4. If you don't already have a loyalty club, consider starting one – even if the only thing members receive is an e-newsletter to begin with. Then, hold a members-only event and invite each member to bring a guest.
  5. Offer customers the chance to win discounts or a gift card if they sign up.
  6. Put your web address on all your ads, flyers, and even postcards at the front desk. Busy customers can visit your site and sign up for your e-newsletter when they're not as rushed.
  7. Every page of your website should have a “sign up for our e-newsletter” button.
  8. Include a “forward to a friend” button on every e-newsletter. (Most emailing lists are built this way.)
  9. Let subscribers know you'll never share their contact information. And never purchase an email list – it will be at best irrelevant and, at worst, illegally collected.

Info Adapted from the Crafting Compelling E-newsletters article published in the January/February 2011 edition of Retail News.BestBarbara

Day #110 - Creating a Promotional Calendar

Creating a Promotional Calendar

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” ….. anonymous quoteHave you ever shopped in a store that was dull and boring? You may not even recall the name of the shop because it was simply that uninteresting. As a retailer, you don't want your store to become one of those lackluster shopping experiences. A great way to avoid becoming mundane is by strategically planning promotional events for your retail store.This isn't the twice-a-year markdown sale your store has when you place all the season's leftover items on a table and smack a "Reduced" sign on the front. No, what I am referring to is a specially orchestrated promotion that can have a significant impact on product demand and sales. By planning exciting events over the  year, you're giving customers a reason to return to the store on a regular basis.What events did you have as part of your February Promotional Calendar?

Here are some ideas:

  • Valentines' Day
  • Ground Hog Day
  • Family Day
  • Was it's your store's  Anniversary
  • Your Birthday
  • Are you still clearing winter product
  • Is there something going on locally that you tagged into
  • Did you launch a new product
  • Was there a special interest event, like evening yoga classes

You should have 1 to 3 events happening each month.  Start with putting  a promotional calendar  together then send  the message out thru Constant Contact. This process  will Increase Awareness =  which Increases Traffic  = which Increases Sales.

 

12 Days of Christmas Promo - Part 4

We are going to leave Debbie on the 5th day of Christmas ..... but you get the idea.  Many of you have written me about what a great idea this is, so make sure you put this into next years promo calendar.Here are the lyric to the 12 days of Christmas if you have forgotten them:On the first day of Christmas,my true love sent to meA partridge in a pear tree.On the second day of Christmas,my true love sent to meTwo turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the third day of Christmas,my true love sent to meThree French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the fourth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meFour calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the fifth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meFive golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the sixth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meSix geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the seventh day of Christmas,my true love sent to meSeven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the eighth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meEight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the ninth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meNine ladies dancing,Eight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the tenth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meTen lords a-leaping,Nine ladies dancing,Eight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the eleventh day of Christmas,my true love sent to meEleven pipers piping,Ten lords a-leaping,Nine ladies dancing,Eight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree.On the twelfth day of Christmas,my true love sent to meTwelve drummers drumming,Eleven pipers piping,Ten lords a-leaping,Nine ladies dancing,Eight maids a-milking,Seven swans a-swimming,Six geese a-laying,Five golden rings,Four calling birds,Three French hens,Two turtle doves,And a partridge in a pear tree!Best;Barbara

12 Days of Christmas Promo - Part 3

This  is a great version of the holiday classic 12 Days of Christmas. Many of the retailers I coach create there own product offering and use this theme. This gets customers coming back to your store more often just before Christmas.Let's follow one of my clients, Sunnyside Cottage in Santa Rose, over the next twelve days.Great idea for any retailer.  Have a look; click the image below to see the entire promo page.The 3rd Day of Christmas Deal :

12 Days of Christmas Promo - Part 2

This  is a great version of the holiday classic 12 Days of Christmas. Many of the retailers I coach create there own product offering and use this theme. This gets customers coming back to your store more often just before Christmas.Let's follow one of my clients, Sunnyside Cottage in Santa Rose, over the next twelve days.Great idea for any retailer.  Have a look; click the image below to see the entire promo page.The 2nd Day of Christmas Deal :

12 Days of Christmas Promo - Part 1

This  is a great version of the holiday classic 12 Days of Christmas. Many of the retailers I coach create there own product offering and use this theme. This gets customers coming back to your store more often just before Christmas.Let's follow one of my clients, Sunnyside Cottage in Santa Rose, over the next twelve days.Great idea for any retailer.  Have a look; click the image below to see the entire promo page.The 1st Day of Christmas Deal :

Day #97 - Your Customer Base

How does my customer base impact my business and how can I expand it?

Read what I shared with my Retail News readers early this year.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"Barbara Crowhurst"Barbara[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Day #64 - Preparing For The 4th Quarter - Part 4 of 14

Build Your Database:

It’s a very busy time of year but don’t forget to capture customer contact info to grow your database.Barbara"Building Customer Database"