Purchasing Power - Your Own Rewards Program

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Published on December 17, 2013

Author: DAWhite7

Source: slideshare.net

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A few basic tips to help empower you as a buyer, get more from vendors, and reduce the stress associated with purchasing.

Purchasing Power Yeah you deserve it! Creating Your Own Rewards Program Shopping has become the bane of even the most hardened Mall Warrior. Once upon a time children in the days of black and white television I think, people would spend hours or make a day/evening of shopping. With eateries and cinemas built into these retail palaces why leave. I remember as a child loading up the car for a day of shopping. It started with the dry cleaners, department stores, us children watching a matinee while Mother did the grocery shopping. Those days are gone due to ever rising prices and maybe as much or more crime. Both sides; retailers and shoppers now enter this world as adversaries set on nothing short of unconditional surrender. Minorities more than not face fiercer battle when entering this arena. I forget how many times I’ve been followed, spied on by store personnel peeking around corners, holding staged conversations or suddenly fronting nearby shelves. It’s something unfortunately you learn to live with no matter the vendor or how I’m dressed. I’ve represented billion dollar companies and successful individuals well appointed only to be shadowed or initially faced with indifference. It’s when the purpose of my presence is revealed attitudes change. I have identified a few major factors to help change this dynamic applicable to all whether you’re at your local mall or a company purchasing officer. Your buying experience will be enhanced while elevating your customer status with your vendors. 1. Know exactly what you want. No matter what you want to buy sit down first to identify what it is you’re looking for. Include all the bells and whistles: model; color; material; dimensions; etc. Now trim the “pie in the sky” features down to the “must haves”. Alternatives will surface at this point. Now you have what you need to shop. On-line that is. 2. Do your research before you leave the house or office, on-line. The days of spending hours lazily window shopping is more memory than reality. For most brick & mortar retailers shopping equates to theft or recon for theft. Do your shopping on-line in the comfort and security of your web browser. Locate the outlet carrying the item. If not included on their web page call to verify availability, does it have your must have features, price and tax rate. Remember mall retailers many times have an entertainment tax added above the sales tax. Calling also allows you to stamp yourself as a serious shopper by requesting your merchandise be held specifically for you. If it is placed on hold go by the retailer as soon as possible in the next twenty-four hours.

3. Communicate. Speak speak speak to vendor personnel. When welcomed make eye contact as you reply. Now is the opportunity to request information on your product. Don’t abuse the person or make a pest of yourself but reply when welcomed, inquire about your item, even better request someone show you to it. On the way review product information and price with the associate. Be mindful of the associate’s activity level and don’t hold them if the store is busy. If you received superior service from an associate note their name and let them know. That’s who you want the next time. Associates remember serious customers. Many times informing them of products, services, new arrivals or sales matching their interests. 4. Check out. Once you’ve made your final decision make a bee line for the cashier. No shopping on the way. If the clerk begins to up sale as most do take advantage of it to investigate something that caught your eye. Ask them to hold your sale at the counter while you are shown the featured item. If you have no interest, thank them politely before completing your transaction. This is where your homework pays off again. There’s nothing as embarrassing than spending everyone’s time to get to the cashier and get sticker shock. Doing your homework; knowing what you’re looking for; who has it; how many; price including taxes, avoids sticker shock. Have your payment ready. There is no excuse for anyone to fumble through their wallet or purse to pay the bill. You came in to spend money right? Not having an idea of cost is unacceptable. Inconveniencing others because of it is inexcusable. 5. Show Gratitude. If you received great service and had a pleasurable experience let the associate and store management know. Tell the associate immediately; inform management before you leave at the soonest or by telephone or email later. I prefer to use email copying the main office or website to create a paper trail verse verbal recognition which may be forgotten by management. 6. Immediately Leave. Don’t linger or “shop”, do that online. If your attention is distracted by an item on the way out; get an associate to present it. This allows the associate to market the product to you while getting product information, availability and price. Return to tip # 4 if you decide to purchase it. Do these tips work every time? No. Some vendors are just hard shells. Do they make a significant difference? Yes. Taking your shopping experience as serious as you dissect a menu removes a great degree of discomfort freeing time and energy for more important things. In addition it quickly lets you know whether you want to do business with them. The purchase of clothes, groceries, appliances, vehicles, equipment, etc is a function, not a leisure activity. I know many disagree with this but it is with a definite purpose, process and targeted result. From the vendor’s view you are someone they want to do business with. Please don’t get the wrong idea just because you had no problem the last time you purchased something. There is a difference between your retailer just taking your money and him doing business with you. Try these tips to discover which creating your own rewards program.

Drexel White has twenty years experience in the aerospace and defense industry as an Operations Manager; Lead Program Systems Safety Engineer; and Senior Environmental Test Engineer. Drexel is a consultant, life style coach and industry writer.

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