How To Start and Operate Your Own

By Dusty and Bonnie Henson, Owners "World Famous" El Paso Saddleblanket Co., El Paso, TX

Free Catalog
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Chapter XII


Selling is easy!! People buy from people they like. So be nice to the customers and make them like you.

The Greeting

Always smile and keep a positive attitude. Always acknowledge the customer and welcome him or her to your business establishment. Be perceptive--look for something to complement them, and/or ask them a question, anything to engage in conversation. At the same time, give them some space. Don't crowd in too fast.

The Pitch

Remember, this is the "Me" generation and people care about themselves first. You've got to convince the customer how much money they will save or how much this product will impress their friends. For example, rather than explain how a rug is made or the history of weaving, ask, "What colors do you like? What colors are in your home?"

Say, "I bet you have a nicely decorated home." Or "Where did you learn about all these Southwest things?"

Keep conversation under control. Don't get off on their grand kids, politics or other conversations. Change the subject, by asking them questions. With couples, figure out which one is dominant and try to soften up any opposition to buying.

Don't haggle on prices. Say, "I wish I could discount that but we try to price things the best we can." If they like it, they will buy without a discount. Don't leave money on the table by cutting the price.

After you make a sale, don't stop too quickly. Always keep a lot of small things near the register that customers might impulsively add on.

Ask them to buy. "Be Backers" seldom come back. Work for the close. Now! Encourage layaway. Encourage them to buy the rug, take it home and see how it looks. If it's not right, they can exchange it or get a refund.

Selling is done also through good displays and making it easy to see product and prices. We like to have markdowns-that is a higher price is marked and then marked out and a lower price put in its place. On many items you can improve your sales by having 2 for x or 3 for x. Just suggesting it increases sales.

Bullshitting is not selling. Although I said earlier to be nice to the customer and engage in conversation, this is not to be confused with "just shooting the breeze" or letting your clerks do it. As a trader/merchant, you must realize that every potential customer who walks in your store cost you x amount of money. Your whole purpose in life should be to get as much money from that customer as possible and you must do (almost) anything it takes to accomplish this. This is the big difference in moderate success and huge success.

Be attentive and service-oriented to your customer. Rush over to help him look through a pile of rugs. Be quick to grab something off the wall and put it in their hands. Are they looking for a special color or size? Be energetic to help them find it.

Be helpful, offer to pack and ship (for a price) their purchases home. After the sale, take great effort in packing their purchase, all the while trying to figure if any last minute add-ons are possible.

Get hungry and mercenary. The trick is not to be obvious, as this is a real turn-off to a lot of people. Go the extra mile, open early, close late. Keep the store neat, clean and smelling good. Hard work will pay off and, as the rewards start to come in, you'll be happy with yourself.


Updated 2001
© 2001. El Paso Saddleblanket. All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced without the written permission of
El Paso Saddleblanket Co.

Online? Click here to request our Free Full Color Printed Catalog