The Bed Expert: Catering for all customers

Vic Smith, owner of independent beds retailer Vic Smith Beds, talks about catering for all customer demographics that fall in your target audience, highlighting that communication is more than just verbal.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that finds the current climate forever changing. As an example, the demographics of your customer may be changing and evolving from lower budget buyers to potentially wealthier shoppers from all parts of Europe. For the customers that speak English as their native tongue, some shoppers will not have English as their first language, which could create a potential barrier to sales and cause the ‘lost in translation’ effect.

Stereotyping is perhaps something you have to do to a degree as it helps break down your target audience and customer demographics. You will see that you still must remain flexible at the same time, catering for all customer audience needs. As best you can, of course.

We see that very often a lady will come into the shop doing the first recce seeing if you have what they want, but as this is not their first language they can often buy with their eyes. Do you really want to lose out? Remember a smile goes a long way and communication isn’t just verbal.

If you look like you’re miffed or can’t be bothered to talk to a customer, they will know and will buy elsewhere. It’s the same as you do when you go abroad and can’t speak their language, so don’t be silly and don’t be naïve. The basic rule of sales is to find common ground to communicate, and if it is non-verbal, point to springs or point to the foam or other upholstery or product that the customer seems interested in.

Show them a colour swatch. Show them what’s in one bed that’s different to another. After all, unless I’ve got this wrong you still want their money. And then when the wife comes back with the husband or partner, they will be more open to doing business.

So, if you have to work a little bit harder and think outside the box do it, maybe have a few phrases on Google translate too. Maybe you need to think what your customers need from you – after all you’re the one selling the goods and they are the buyers.

Customers come in many shapes and forms as you know, but the environment is changing and you need to change and move with the times. Do you have an influx of a certain demographic in your area? What are they used to at home? Have you done your research? If not, you’re losing out.

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