Aug 21, 2017
Easy to EngageBy Abby Kleckler

“Your garden center experience is like an amusement park, and the products are just the souvenirs customers take back with them.”

The Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs made this statement in the first 10 minutes of his talk at the IGC Show in Chicago last week, and you heard a collective “Oooh” from the audience. Now that’s a different way to look at retail!

He had lots of great takeaways in his keynote presentation, but I want to share one easy one to implement: Stop, Look, Approach, Engage.

The Retail Doctor recommends these four stages (and training employees with actual physical actions) when a customer walks through the door. You stop anything that’s not customer facing (train by having employees put their hand out), look at them (hand on your forehead), approach by getting out from behind the counter (taking a step forward) and finally engage with shopper (open their arms).

It seems simple, but going through the motions with employees is meant to make them remember the process better when they’re actually interacting with customers.

One final piece of advice I want to share from The Retail Doctor is: “Never ask a question a customer can say no to.”

Instead of “Do you need help today?” try “How can I help your garden grow?”

Don’t Miss It

Have you taken a look at the August issue of Lawn & Garden Retailer yet? You won’t want to miss the six finalists in the Merchandiser of the Year competition! See them on page 10.

Also, we’re currently running a survey about garden center trends, and I would love your input! You could even win a $50 VISA gift card. It’s four short questions and you can find it here.


Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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