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  • Pinwheel Principle Mastery Course: Sneak Peek

    Here’s a sneak peek of part of the upcoming Pinwheel Principle Mastery Course.

    One of the bonus sections of the course will be a ‘How-To‘ forum. The How-To forum will give specific instructions on how to display or merchandise fixtures, or sections of a store. Each How-To article will include an illustration to guide you.

    A wee sample…

    Here’s an in-progress sketch, to give you just a taste of what’s to come. Imagine it with details, colour and a full rack of dresses. :)

    Sketch of dress on a two way fixture

    What if you’re not selling fashion merchandise?

    Don’t let the dress scare you off. The course covers general merchandising concepts that can be applied to most, if not all, products. And, you’ll have the chance to ask questions about how to apply the concepts to your products.

    The How-To forum will cover merchandising techniques for a variety of different products and fixtures.

    How do you know that your product will be covered in the course?

    That’s easy. Just ask.

    The course will be based on the people who sign up. Whether you sell framed artwork, candles, paperclips, or some kind of weird widget for building time-machines; you’ll come away with at least one great idea to create great displays. At the very least. :)

    So, what product or fixture do you need help with? Post in the comments below, or send me an email to tell me what type of product or fixture you have.


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    Pinwheel Principle Mastery Online Course

    Do you ever wish you had someone on call to answer merchandising questions?

    If you read a book, or attend a workshop, it can be hard to implement what you’ve learned. How do you know you’re making mistakes? Are you heading in the right direction, or veering off-track?

    That’s why I’m developing a Pinwheel Principle Mastery online course. It will be a bit like having a merchandising consultant on retainer.

    And what’s this course all about?

    The Pinwheel Principle Mastery course will go through the Pinwheel Principle Workbook step-by-step. But it’s not the same as going through it on your own.

    I’ll be there every step of the way. Answering questions. Giving extra tips. And extra display and merchandising goodies that you don’t get in the book.

    Warning: This course isn’t for the faint of heart
    The Pinwheel Principle Mastery course is for those who are truly committed to learning. And taking action. And getting results.

    The course will have daily assignments. 6 days a week, with one day off per week. It is a 6 week course, with one week holiday, and one bonus week to wrap up. So, it’s an 8 week commitment through the summer.

    It’s hard work, but it’s worth it
    You’ll be working hard, and so will I. I will respond to each of your assignments.
    You’ll get daily feedback and suggestions.

    By the end of the course, you’ll know your business better.
    You’ll learn to apply merchandising principles in your unique situation.
    You’ll be confident that you know how to use merchandising to improve in-store sales.

    I’ll be sending out preview goodies to anyone who’s interested in finding out more about the course. And there’s no catch on the goodies. If you want to find out if the course is right for you, you get the goodies. No strings attached. (What are goodies? They’re free samples from the course to help you know what to expect from the course.)

    So, stay tuned. I’ll update here to tell you how to get your preview goodies in a few days.

    Warm regards,

    P.S. Course space is limited. Once the announcement comes out you’ll have to act fast. In the meantime, if you have questions or suggestions for the course, you can leave them in the comments below.

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    How Sales Information Can Increase Profits

    You know you need to increase sales.
    You need money to buy new inventory.
    To pay your staff. Or invest in new equipment.

    How much more money do you want to make?
    Let’s pull a number out of a hat.
    Let’s say you want to increase your sales by $50,000.

    How are you going to do that?

    Imagine you’ve decided to run a marathon
    You know you need to train and practice running before you can run an entire marathon. You go get some new running shoes. And go for a run. You run until you’re tired, then head home. The next day you do it again.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    You aren’t measuring how you’re doing. You haven’t set any real goals. How far are you going to run each day? How long are you going to run? When will you run the marathon? There’s no plan, and no way to keep track of progress.

    Saying you want to increase sales is a lot like saying you’ll run a marathon someday. You won’t achieve that goal unless you use some specific methods of measuring your progress.

    A runner tracks progress by measuring the time spent running, or the distance covered. He sets small incremental goals to gradually increase how far and how fast he can run.

    How do you measure your progress?

    You can measure sales with three basic types of information. You might already use some of this information. But maybe you don’t use it in your planning and tracking as often as you could. The more you use this information to set goals and track progress carefully, the more successful you’ll be.

    What are the three basic types of sales information?
    1) Sales Dollars
    2) Average Sale
    3) Units Per Transaction

    Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

    1) Sales Dollars

    You probably already know how much you sell in a year. Or a month. Or a week. Probably even each day.

    But are you setting goals to increase this number steadily? What would happen to your sales if you set a goal to sell $50, $100 or $150 more each day? Just $140 each day would increase your sales by $50,000 this year.

    For a small store with slow traffic, that might be a big challenge. You can break that $140 goal down even further. Can you sell an extra $20 per hour? Instead of assuming it’s too hard, imagine it might be possible. Brainstorm how you might be able to sell an extra $20 more each hour.

    The next two types of sales tracking information can help you reach that goal.

    2) Average Sale

    The average sale is the total sales for the day divided by the number of sales transactions that day. If you are using a computerized point-of-sale system, it probably calculates this for you. If not, you can calculate it by hand fairly quickly, or enter the information into a simple spreadsheet.

    Why is the size of the average sale important?

    The average sale tells you how much customers tend to buy at one time. One of the easiest ways to increase sales is to increase how much each customer buys. It is easier and less costly to increase the amount you sell to one customer, than to sell to more customers.

    The size of the average sale goes hand in hand with the number of items sold.

    3) Units per Transaction

    One of the easiest ways to increase the size of each sale is to increase the number of items in each sale. As a rule of thumb, set a goal to sell three items to every customer. All you have to do is suggest coordinating items to the customer. A top and belt to go with a pair of pants. An ottoman and a throw with a chair or sofa. Often these are items the customer would want, but doesn’t think of, or notice in your store.

    Another easy way to increase the number of items sold, is simply to display coordinating merchandise together. For example, if you sell laptops, put one on display with a laptop stand, a set of speakers and a mouse.

    Once you get in the habit of suggesting and displaying coordinating merchandise, it becomes easier to increase sales. When your sales increase, hopefully your profit will too.

    A runner whose sights are set on finishing a marathon, sets incremental goals and measures his progress. By measuring and tracking your sales dollars, average sales and the number units sold in each transaction, you move towards your goals in the same way. Before you know it, you’ll have achieved that sales increase, and are ready for a new goal.

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    How to Discover Customer Secrets That Help You Sell

    Nancy sells trendy printed graphic T-shirts. She offers the highest quality T-shirts available. She is certain her target market of 15-25 year olds would love these fashionable brands.

    But the T-shirts aren’t selling. They’re sitting on the shelves. Nancy is desperate to figure out how to sell all these T-shirts.

    What’s the secret to selling more?
    Customers have the secret. Customers have the information that Nancy, and you, need to uncover. Customers will help you figure out why products aren’t selling. They’ll help you figure out how to improve sales.

    Customers will help you discover problems, so that you can find solutions. It sounds crazy, but it’s not.

    The first problem is that you don’t know the problem.

    Say what?
    There could be one of many different problems. Or maybe there’s more than one problem.

    Maybe the people you believe are your target market aren’t shopping in your store. Perhaps you’re attracting other customers instead.
    Maybe customers think your products are too expensive.
    Maybe customers don’t like the new products.
    Or maybe the customers just walked right by the items and didn’t see them.

    Each of these problems has a different solution.
    Until you uncover the problem, any attempt to improve sales is a guessing game. There’s more chance of picking the wrong solution, than the right one.

    So, how do you get customers to reveal the problem?

    There are three things you can do to uncover your customers secrets.
    Well, at least the secrets that relate to your business.

    1. Watch
    2. Ask
    3. Listen

    1. Watch your customers.
    Pay attention to the customers who visit the store. Do you attract your target customers? Watch who shops with them. Watch where they walk, what they touch, what they walk past. You’ll discover what is working by noticing what customers pay attention to. And you’ll get clues to where the problems are, when you notice what customers ignore.

    2. Ask your customers questions.

    Find more about your customers, and about what they think. Find out if they live or work nearby. Ask about their personal style and tastes. Inquire about their opinions of some of your products.

    Questions help you get to know your customers better. You start to learn who they are and what they are looking for.

    3. Listen to what customers say.

    Of course you need to listen to the answers customers give to your questions. But listen for other things as well. Listen for objections. Pay attention to comments about price, fit, and style. Make note of questions customers ask. Write them down so you don’t forget.

    Customer objections and questions are a goldmine of information. These are clues to how you can improve your business. They are also opportunities to explain and demonstrate your product. They’re opportunities to sell.

    What should Nancy do to sell her T-shirts?

    Nancy needs to get out on the sales floor. She needs to start by watching her customers. In one day, how many customers visit that fit her target market? How many other customers visit?

    She needs to ask about the T-shirts. In a conversational way, she can say, “We got these T-shirts in recently. What do you think of them?”

    She needs to let customers know why these are the best quality T-shirts available. And listen carefully for questions and objections.

    At the end of the day, Nancy will have discovered some secrets about her customers. And maybe she’ll have sold some T’s in the process.

    You can do it too.

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