By Andy Rousonelos,
Andy's Vacuum Center
We've all stayed in that flea-bag motel at least once in our lives. When you first walk in, you can tell that something seems shady. The same would apply with any business. If you want to run a successful Vac-and-Sew business, presentation plays a big role in maintaining a strong business. Whether you chose to do Sales, Service, or Repairs – or even all three – you need to make sure you are presenting yourself in the right way.
A flashy showroom isn't everything. If nothing else, it may create questions as to where the store's money goes. In some instances, the simplest shops are the most successful.
One of the best practices I've ever seen is not to hide your workbench. I've seen some shops that hide their workbenches from the customers. I've seen others that have it right behind the sales counter.
The best setup I've seen to date is one I would like to re-create for myself:
On one side of the sales counter was a wall. The counter was in line with the front of the wall, and behind the counter was a display of bags and belts. The back wall's rack had all sorts of parts: hoses, brushrolls, filters, bearings, anything. You name a part and odds are, it was on the wall
On the other side of the wall was the repair
lineup and workbench. The workbench had a window about a foot above it running to the
ceiling, with a sign in the corner. The sign read:
Most Shops hide their workspace behind
closed doors. It really makes you wonder…
You could plainly see the repair tech working on a machine. There was no place in this shop to hide any questionable business habits.
In front of the counter was the showroom. A shelf in the front window held the "Featured Vacuum," meaning whatever vacuum of the month the owner had chosen as the best of the best. Against one wall were used machines. New machines were displayed in the center of the store on pedestals. Along the final wall were vintage machines to show the progression of the vacuum through the years.
Next to the displays were possibly the greatest feature of the store: high-, medium-, and low-pile carpet on one side and different bare floors on the other. A small staircase was also constructed with carpeted and floored step.
The whole area was called "The Vacuum Playground," and no customer left with their new or used machine until the owner was satisfied with its performance on all settings.
You don't need to go out and find a new location to meet this store presentation, but think about it. If you nail down all your machines on a shelf above the customer's head and hide the rest behind closed doors, the customer is bound to be the slightest bit skeptical.
Make your store welcome. Show the customer you aren't a salesman, but a friend. Show them you will offer service for years to come, and will give them the honest opinion they deserve. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at their reception. They will definitely be coming back!
Reprinted from Floor Care & Central Vac Professional, July 2017