Running a business could be quite stimulating and the most challenging part is to earn profits and value. It is not only about selling a product, but also about building customer relationship. Gaining loyalty from customers is very important for any business to survive. Designing eye-catchy products and marketing them is enough to attract customers, but what when they approach you for buying the product?
Online retail is quite simple as images and description do the work for you, but when you have to deal with the customers face to face and to convince them to buy the product is the actual task I feel; you have to be able to answer or solve all their questions and issues. As we learned in designing thinking – we have to empathise with them. It is essential to identify their needs and quickly analyse how your product can fulfill those needs.
As we were taught – talk less and listen more is the key to increase in sales. You as a retailer need to understand your customers for them to understand your product. The two main tools of successful sales are empathising with your customers and describing the benefits of your product related to their needs. Talking about the benefits is the best way to convince customers into buying, but then again, you also have to provide with reasonable justification of the pricing (especially, if the price is quite high) of the product in relation to its benefits.
All this sounded quite scary and difficult at first, but turned out to be fun and interesting. Another interesting segment is to build strong customer relationship. Along with empathising with the customers, it is also important to provide good services during and after their visit/purchase. There are many things to be taken into consideration when handling a retail counter, and we experienced this during the two trade fairs we had to participate in.
Trade fairs are simpler version of an offline store. While we were getting ready for the trade fair we had to also look into product manufacturing, pricing strategy, marketing ideas and display of the stand. The first trade fair in business school, was on a small scale, where we learn and experience the whole process of trade fair to get ready for the bigger one in Eden walk, Kingston Town Centre. During both these fairs the most important factor we learned was customer psychology. It is fascinating to know how one solution can so many problems or how customers do not realise about their hidden needs.
These fairs not just increased my knowledge in business, but also helped me recognise myself and realise my strengths and weaknesses; strengths being in the initial section where we were just getting ready for the trade fair whereas interacting with the customers being my weakness. Apart from learning, our team also received the best display stand award for the first trade fair, and we were successful in selling quite a few products during the second one. All in all it was a great experience from preparing for the fair to handling and understanding the customers, along with award and recognition.
Trade Fair at Kingston Business School
Trade Fair at Eden Walk