Retail selling benefits from aggressive publicity

Once upon a time, a man had no formal education and
without any academic qualification, he failed to obtain a job.
However, the man possessed a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
With little capital, he bought some new shirts from factory
discount sales and sold them on the pavement, shouting
“new shirts, new shirts.” Within few days, he was successful
in selling all the shirts. Then he added his profit to his initial
capital and reinvested the total amount, to buy another lot of
shirts. He was successful in selling them also. Again, he
reinvested and sold another lot.

This process continued for sometime and he employed a
person to help him out. As time rolled by, his business
boomed and he rented a shop. Thereafter, as he lived
economically within his means, his savings progressively
increased, and he bought the shop that he had rented. His
shop specialized in selling only shirts, of almost all available
brands. Due to his honesty and hard work, throughout the
day his shop was full of customers.

Since he could not attend university, he ensured that his
son attended university. His son graduated with a marketing
degree and the man retired, leaving the shop in the hands of
his son. In order to increase sales, the son negotiated for
dealerships of few popular brands, and was successful in
obtaining them. He offered discounts and gave newspaper
advertisements. However, the sales improved only marginally
and not as desired.

He approached his father and asked him how to improve
the sales. The man said, “Stand in the street and yell, ‘new
shirts, new shirts’.” The son employed two persons who
stood on the street and shouted, “new shirts, new shirts” at
everyone who passed. The son also placed glowing neon
signs on the road, with blinking arrows that pointed to his
shop, and flashing letters showing “new shirts, new shirts.”
The sales shot up.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

In order to sell, salespersons have to correctly evaluate and cater to customer choices

Once upon a time, a very beautiful girl went to a store to
buy a dress. The salesgirl noticing the beauty of the girl,
showed her a lovely dress and said, “This dress is just right
for you.” The girl went into the trial room and found the
dress fitted perfectly. Then the salesgirl brought a pair of
shoes and said, “These are appropriate for this dress. Why
not try them?” The girl tried the shoes and looked at herself
in the mirror. She found the shoes went nicely with the
dress. Then the salesgirl said, “We have a purse and a watch
that would match very gracefully with this dress.” The
salesgirl brought a purse and a watch, which the girl tried.
Looking at herself in the mirror, the girl was pleased. Then
the salesgirl said, “A hair clip would nicely hold the hair. You
may also try a new shade of lipstick and an eyeliner.” The girl
tried them. Then the salesgirl said, “As a finishing touch, you
may try the latest perfume.” The girl tried the perfume also
and looked at herself in the mirror.

She was wearing a lovely new dress, new shoes and the
latest perfume. Her hair was done up nicely and held
together with a new clip. On her wrist was a new watch and
her hand was holding a new purse. Her face looked
attractive, with the new lipstick applied on her lips and black
outlined eyes from the new eyeliner. She looked extremely
beautiful. All the other customers were also looking at her, as
if she was a movie star. At the store, she seemed to the
center of attraction. The girl was very happy.

The salesgirl was also very happy, as she had successfully
sold the girl several products. Then, the salesgirl said, “You
look stunning. In case you need any beauty treatments, then
we have a beauty salon on the next floor.” Thereafter as the
girl was leaving, the salesgirl with a smile said, “Thank you
for your visit. Do come again.”

The girl availed the services of the beauty salon also.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

In sales, every prospect needs to be attended carefully, since every prospect is a potential customer

Once upon a time, a consumer goods manufacturing
company was holding an exhibition, and due to heavy
rainfall, no visitors turned up that day. The sales staff, with
nothing better to do, were joking among themselves.

Then a single visitor, partially wet and holding an
umbrella, entered the exhibition. The sales staff welcomed
him and offered a tour, of all the products displayed in the
exhibition. It took more than two hours for the visitor to see
all the various types of products. The visitor showed interest
in every product but did not buy any of them.

Finally, the sales staff asked the visitor about the kind of
product that he was actually looking for. The visitor replied
that he was not looking for anything in particular, in fact he
just wanted to spend some time, while the rain stopped.
Since by that time, the rain had stopped, so the visitor
thanked the sales staff and left.

The sales staff felt dejected, as the visitor did not buy
anything. However, they felt good that they had treated him
respectfully and had shown him all the products. They
hoped perhaps later, the visitor may buy their products.

The next day, the visitor came again to the exhibition,
and again he did not buy any products. Nevertheless, he
inquired in details and within few days, bought the
dealership of that company.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Good sales copy creates good sales

Once upon a time, a blind man was begging on the
corner of a busy street with a sign saying, “Blind Man — Please Help”.

His cup was lying in front of him and it was empty. People passed by without noticing the blind man, the sign or the cup.

A copywriter happened to pass and he read what was written on the sign. He stopped, overturned the sign, and wrote, “Such a beautiful day! Wish I could also see it.”

Then dropping a coin in the blind man’s cup, the copywriter left. By evening, the blind man’s cup was full.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

Highlighting strengths increases sales

Once upon a time, a company was manufacturing
custom-made bags of jute, for industrial consumption. They
always honored their delivery deadlines. The CEO wanted to
highlight this feature of his company. One obvious way was
to obtain testimonials of satisfied customers. But the CEO
wanted a more subtle and effective way.

He held several brain-storming sessions with his staff,
who came up with numerous methods, of stating the fact
that they never failed on their delivery commitments;
however, the CEO was not satisfied. So, he invited a
consultant.

After studying the requirements of the CEO, the
consultant suggested to print the following on all invoices:

Date of order taken:
Expected date of delivery:
Actual date of delivery:

The CEO agreed. By this simple change, the company
subtly informed its customers that honoring delivery
commitments were taken seriously. As it was printed on
invoices, it became a constant and recurring feature. This
raised the image of the company, which in turn increased
sales.

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Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani