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What can we learn from Robert Burns?

To keep your outlet in the finest of selling order it is worthwhile to always remember one thing, “You are not the customer”, so to use the famous quote from Robert Burns, “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as others see us”.

So rather than always looking at your business from your perspective, it pays to swap roles regularly and to see your shop through the eyes of your prospects and your customers.

The reason for this is that we become familiar with the familiar, so things we see every day tend to go unnoticed and unfortunately go unchanged and un-improved, so you may be losing a lot of selling opportunities because you cannot see the wood for the trees.

How I used to get around this trap was to now and again wander out of my store and go around the town for five or ten minutes and get in the role of a shopper or tourist and look at things as if for the first time.

I would notice other shops window displays, would a shop or café catch my eye, would I be enticed to shop or to eat there? Was the glass bright and shiny or smudged with fingerprints? Was there dust on the display? Did it look inviting?

These are things real-life prospects do when they are out ‘window shopping’; they are seriously interrogating your business as they wander past. Will they accept you or reject you or the few seconds they glance at your display?

Once I had entered into the swing of this character I would go back to my establishment and view things in a brand new light. Was there litter outside, was my window enticing, did the interior look a mess and was the shop set up just for me or was it all pulled about by previous browsers, clothes askew or worse on the floor?

This simple method helped keep me on my toes and also solved a few problems with shop’s layout; I was able to see ways to transform a couple of dead areas into selling areas.

“So get out of your business and see it completely anew, you never know how much it could help your business too.”

(I know it’s not as good as Robert Burns but it does rhyme!)

(In modern parlance the famous line reads “Oh would some power the gift give us. To see ourselves as others see us”).