10 ways a Brisbane Spruiker Santa help you make more money in your retail business
The Christmas before last I had a gig as Santa at a big suburban supermarket opening. When I looked in to the eyes of the children and adults I realised they were looking at me in a special way. There was a special something in that role I was playing. If you can plug in to that something, as as a business owner the results could be quite be magical. There are 10 things you can learn from what Santa represents and they are:-
1) Better to Give than to receive
It is also smarter. If people think that you are genuinely concerned with giving to the community they will trust you and this will lead to wanting to spend more time around you and your business. It just makes sense. Henry Ford said “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. “ There is more to building a business than just making money. Become generous! It pays great dividends. (Yes! In money as well)
2) Genuinely Love People
This does not mean all the people all the time but, as a general rule, if people feel that you actually value them, personally, they will be attracted to your business. Your staff are key in this. Select staff you are perceived as genuinely caring and budget for some great customer relations training. A great example would be Tasmania Retail Development Programme. (Full disclosure, my sister runs this programme). The kids (and adults) who sat on my knee trusted me because of the red suit. They wanted to be around me. This is the response that people need to have around your business. They need to feel as if they are in a safe place, surrounded by kind and loving people.
3) Become an Institution
It wasn’t putting on the red suit that was magical, it was the way that kids and adults reacted to me when I had it on. (Since then I have lost 16 kilos so I might need a pillow underneath to pull it off now). The Santa thing was a type of unwritten contract and you knew that you needed to be jolly, happy, accepting. You needed to move in to the role. When we open up for business we need to understand that as the shutters roll up we need to roll up our personal shutters and come to work dressed for business and ready to go. People need to know what to expect when they walk through our doors. They need to encounter someone who is consistently nice, courteous, happy and personal, without being overly familiar.
4) Build Trust.
As kids lined up to sit on my knee I realised that the parents were trusting me in a way that they would not trust any other stranger. It felt like they knew me. This is a good feeling that is worth developing but also it puts a responsibility on us to protect people in their vulnerability. You can do this by acting with integrity, being careful to only recommend quality products, being careful to check with them that they understand the details of a transaction before it is confirmed. If you do this people will trust you more. However, I would draw the line before they actually say on your knee.
5) Keep A List
This leads to the list and it does not include details about who is naughty and nice. Run competitions or have give aways that will motivate people to give you their contact details so you can compile an email list to contact your valued clients for when you have promotions. Add to this list every day! It is one of the most valuable assets of your business. Protect the details of people with a high level of security.
6) Surround Yourself with Great Helpers
Santa has an army of elves to help him complete his enormous task. Having the right staff is key to success in retail as well as providing them with great training. Desley Cowley touches on this in this video interview I did with her recently.
7) Plan Ahead
The fantastic imaginary task of delivering a present to every child in the world on one night would be an absolutely huge planning task. It was Benjamin Franklin who said ““By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you have a big dream you need to dream big and don’t give up. If you have ever put on a Santa Suit and looked in to the eyes of a little child you will know it is all about the dream. Allow yourself to dream again! Dream big!
8) Be Present
There are a whole lot of issues and worries that can drag us away from the present but that is where the fire is, where the real money is, where the tyre meets the road in the here and now. When you are Santa you have to be right in the moment feeling empathy for the one you are dealing with, understanding. Do you know what it is like being with someone who is truly listening? As a business owner you need to be that person as Ghandi said “Be the change.”
9) Recognise and Use the Seasons
Santa’s job is seasonal. There is something wonderful about planning ahead at least for 18 months, trying to sync your promotions to what’s going on in peoples’ lives. Ideas like a summer sale, a winter sale, spring sale and autumn. What about Christmas and Easter. Why not theme up your shop and organise something appropriate for your staff to wear. Email everyone on your contact list and let them know about it. Hire a Spruiker and plan ahead with the sprier what you would like them to promote and have adequate stock in to meet the extra sales.
10) Listen to your customers
This might be repeating but it is worth repeating. Become a great listener because it pays very well and it feels great knowing that you are actually playing a special role in the life of the community. However, I would draw the line at having them site on your knees unless you are wearing a certain red suit.
Book me as a Spuiker for your next promotion. (Also available as a Santa at Christmas time)