Awards & Engraving

January '20

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APPRECIATE THE VALUE Expanding on the idea that awards shops already have the equipment to personalize home décor products, industry sources agree that the simplicity of it all makes this choice a no-brainer. Privateer encourages shop owners to think of it this way: "Take a home décor item and customize it with a soccer ball and name, or a football with a quote, and you've got a home décor item that doesn't feel out of place in an awards shop." The two can blend together seamlessly. Of course, it does depend what your customer is looking for. "Don't try and force the design into something that you think might look nice on the piece but looks out of place in your shop," he counsels. Letting customers know your awards shop now offers personalized home décor items follows a similar path as marketing your recognition products. "Start by asking ques- tions," Messerschmidt advises. "(Does the customer) live in an apartment or a house? Is it more formal or more casual? Do they have pets? Kids in sports? Grandkids? These are all opportunities to help them decorate their living space with things that are important to them and close to their heart." But don't just stop with the evaluation. The next step is bringing these items front and center. "The more samples and lifestyle photos (you) can show to (your) customers, the better," believes Barrett. Blank items on a shelf are ok, but paint a picture for your The ability to add color to home décor items is important because it further allows customers to match the items to an overall interior design plan, such as paint colors or other accent pieces. IMAGE COURTESY JOHNSON PLASTICS PLUS Decorative drinkware falls within the home décor category. These are great items to add monograms and names to using a laser machine. IMAGE COURTESY SALISBURY INC. 5 Sales Tactics to Stand Out from Online Retail Competition By Stephanie Barrett, Salisbury Inc. 1. Impeccable customer service is the key to standing out from the competition in any retail situation. 2. Learn as much as you can about the products you carry so you are able to help the customer manage their expectations and get what they truly desire out of their selection. 3. Offer to provide the customer with proofs or mock-ups of the home décor items you carry. 4. A hands-on customer service approach is also something the big stores can never offer. 5. Keep the human element involved in a big way and customers will keep coming back. 12 • A&E JANUARY 2020

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