Operation: Engagingly Engage EVERY Single Customer Every Time

Operation: Engagingly Engage EVERY Single Customer Every Time

by Sid Raisch


To zero in on increasing sales, average transaction, and average items per transaction look closely at the individual building blocks that make up each sale. There are three basic building blocks to this empire.

The FIRST building block is EVERY item the customer buys. Does the cost of goods included in the price tag of each item pay for the quality that provides realized true value because the product performs over time the way the customer expected it to? Is the gross margin in each item enough to pay for all your profit, wages & wage benefits, operating expense?

The SECOND building block is the NUMBER of items in the average customer transaction. Will there be enough items in the average of all transactions to generate enough volume to add up to pay for all your profit, wages & wage benefits, operating expenses, and cost of goods?

How can we LEVERAGE this second block into place?

1. Engage EVERY Single Customer – The only way to assure we’ve done all we can to get items in the customers transaction is to individually engage with every single one of them about what they’re doing. I know you didn’t have enough people with the time to do that during the peak hours of your peak days. But did you engage all of them you could? Are you engaging every single customer now?  If we allow prospects to slip through our customer nets without engaging each one of them we cannot know what they would have bought had they been given the chance to decide. Catch customers in your net by engaging them if you can help them. I know this goes against the nonsense you’ve been told – “don’t ask a closed ended question”, and that’s exactly why you should do it. Your customer is going to answer a closed ended question whether you ask one or not. If you ask if you can help them they’ll say, “NO, I’m just looking.” If you ask an open ended question, they’ll often answer with exactly the same statement

-    “NO, I’m just looking (and I see past your sneaky greasy salesman tricks and resent you AND your company.)”

Somewhere nearing 50% of your customers know what they came for and they are ready to buy it NOW. If you’ll just offer to help, they’ll help you figure that out so you can get it in their hands, and cart, and then will have broken the ice of a conversation so you can find out what they’re trying to accomplish, and how you can help them even better, as you’ll soon learn.

2. Provide the WHOLE PRODUCT SOLUTION. One of the main reasons people come to an IGC is to engage with people who are more knowledgeable and experienced with our products than the associates of our competitors. They also want to engage with people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than they themselves are. This means we have the right, and responsibility to make sure they don’t leave with plants, and without the necessary ingredients to be successful growing them.

Do they really believe they need those things to grow the plants? How do we know if we don’t ask? Do they have fertilizer? Is it dried up, or hard as a rock? Do they even know where it is? Do they want to take it now, or come back before they plant? This seems silly I know, but let them decide that, otherwise they’re leaving without the WHOLE Product Solution, and are doomed to be less than successful, if not to failure – and that’ll be squarely on you, and it’ll cost you on this sale as well as on your total sales, and on the next block.  

The THIRD building block is the TOTAL number of transactions. Will there be enough transactions to provide the total amount of money to pay the total costs of doing business (aka margin dollars)? Too often it is left completely up to a great location, advertising events, sales, and other tactics to generate customer traffic. What if you don’t have a great location? What if your advertising sucks? What if those sales suck the (potential) profit right out of your company? Why not stand up proud and plant seeds of future sales when you have a customer right there in front of you? Why not invite them back in the most intelligent manner possible?

Did you know, the Number One reason people come to a garden center?
This is not a trick question. They come to buy plants.

Did you know, the Number One reason people come BACK to a garden center? That’s right, it’s to buy more plants – actually it’s to buy plants they saw with their own eyes when they were there, and also to buy the plants that were seeded into their mind by the person who engaged them appropriately. Isn’t this interesting? The product itself is your best marketing tool to bring customers back, again and again, as long as you plant those seeds when they’re actually there to see why they would commit to come back.

Firmly PLANT the seeds of the next transaction event in the customers mind while they are there, as well as after they leave.

“Once you get these planted, you’ll want to come every couple of weeks to see what’s in bloom THEN. – THAT WAY, you’ll have plants that bloom throughout the year, and not just at the same time you bought them this year. Does that make sense?” That’s a question not for you – it’s for the customer, and it cements your seed at the proper depth in their mind. 

“When will we SEE you again?” It’s funny how when people put it in their mind that they’ll be back, and commit to when that will happen, it becomes part of THEIR PLAN. Now we need to get that on their calendar.

“How do we reach out to you? We will keep you informed by email or text if you’d like, with information our customers want to know about caring for plants.”

NOW, if your business does depend on repeat business from your customers, you’ll of course want to be sure that you do reach out with a follow-up note, email, text, or phone call to check that they’re satisfied, answer questions, and offer an appointment for their return, so you can personally help them again. Remember to ask, “Which friends would you like to bring with you, so we can have a refreshment for all of you?” That is another seed, that will grow with time, if you’ll just plant it now. When is the best time to plant these seeds? Yes again, right now. 

Seriously, if you want to grow your business – your perceived value, items per transaction, and transactions per customer as well as total transactions – this is the winning formula. I dare you to implement it. More than that, I am here for you and your team to help you plant the seeds of greater opportunities in your future. If you’d like to make sure this happens contact me now to join a 4-week Build Your Engagement Mastermind Group along with other like-minded garden centers, take the next step and follow the Get Help instruction below.

Raise Your Bar and Make it Happen!

Get Help!

Click HERE to Pick a Time to Talk With Sid, or Text or call 937-302-0423 now while you’re in the mood to Raise the Bar by becoming Engagingly Engaging, and Exceptionally Exceptional.Sid Raisch

Cell: 937-302-0423
[email protected]

Sid Raisch is a leading consultant for business growth, change, and results throughout the US for over 40 years.  He is a consultant to The Garden Center Group and has helped transform both national and local businesses in horticulture into valuable assets with programs that create change in culture, community and company.

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Sid Raisch, Steve Bailey, Robert Hendrickson, Jean Seawright, and John Kennedy are included in your retainer!

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