November 6, 2009

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

By Paul Bieber

You know her, the one with the waggily tail. If one of the world’s most sung songs is about looking into a store front and hoping to be able to spend money, does that tell you something? You can make money helping people to make their storefronts more attractive to customers.

Joe’s Baseball Card Shop calls you and wants information about putting in a new storefront that will give his business a more modern look, and get rid of all the water dripping on his cards displayed in the window. So you visit Joe and see a wooden framed front, with single glazed, clear, 1/4″ annealed glass. He is on a busy street, with lots of foot traffic, being near a popular coffee shop. Joe is concerned with his energy costs, and of course, with the payback to your project. What are you going to tell him?

You think for a few minutes and maybe come up with the following: The frame should be thermally broken aluminum. Your choice of manufacturers and detail. Help Joe with this one…what color? Clear, bronze, or what? Well, baseball is most associated with green, for the grass it is played on. I would recommend a green front, which, would increase your sale too! Explain that the thermally broken front will save him energy dollars and help reduce condensation in the winter. Maybe, if the sizing is right, you make the opening shaped like home plate. This makes his front a direct ad for his business. Sounds corny, but so what…if you suggest it, the customer can always so “no”. If you don’t suggest it, you have no chance of the possible ‘YES’.

Now for the glass–baseball cards are very sensitive to fading, so you definitely want a light of lami as the inboard lite on an IG Unit. Explain this to Joe and he will respect your knowledge of the technical side of glass, and help him solve a problem that he has, but didn’t think to ask you about. Don’t be afraid to up sell a little bit. Next, show Joe Starphire ™ and clear float, and let Joe decide. Show Joe how much better his cards will look in low-iron glass. Either one can come with high-performance low-e.

You have solved Joe’s moisture problem, his fading problem, which he didn’t know could be fixed, and gave him a whole new look to draw in customers. It is a larger sale, but well worth the customer’s interests…and Joe will thank you for suggesting ways to help his business.

Walk down the main shopping streets in your business area. You will find many retailers who need upgraded storefronts. Explain to them that this investment is needed now for them to improve their business. I know most businesses are not going to be spending money now, but what the heck; you’re not busy anyway and all you need is one or two to say they are interested. You have to go out and drum up the business for your company. Don’t wait for it to come to you.

P.S. If Joe says he will pay you in baseball cards instead of cash, take it.