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How to Deal with Online Price Match Requests and More of Your Questions Answered

Also, the secret to a good thank-you note is revealed.





Do you have any advice to help me get my files in order?

Here’s our three-stage, easy-as-vanilla (folder) plan to conquer your files:

  1. For paper files, a simple A-Z system is best. Keep a list of filenames on the computer for easy searching.
  2. If you’re still filing emails according to who sent them, stop it! Trust the search function on your computer to find whatever you need. Be sure to have your hard disk backed up somewhere.
  3. For old documents that might theoretically prove crucial but probably won’t ever be needed, throw them in a box marked with the year. Don’t bother imposing order on the mess until they’re required.
What’s the secret to a good thank-you note?

Make it about the occasion, not the sale. Thank the customer for allowing you to share in their special moment and for trusting you to help them find the perfect symbol for the occasion. Don’t thank them for their purchase or their money. And if you really want to wow your customer, order some proper correspondence cards, personalized with your store name and address.

I’d like to propose a collaborative marketing activity with another small business in our town. How do I go about it?

Begin by introducing yourself and your business in an email and explain what you have in common and how you believe you could complement each other. Then, articulate your vision for the collaboration. What is the purpose of this partnership? Who is the target audience? What kind of event did you have in mind, and perhaps most importantly, how will each business benefit? There’s no need to be too specific in your initial contact — you are selling a vision of mutual success. When you get into the details of the event and the division of labor and who will contribute what, then it’s wise to get very detailed and have everything written down. Remember, the goal should be for an arrangement that allows each party to play to its strengths and to be open to thinking outside the box. The best collabs bring something surprising to the marketplace.

I appreciate it’s 2022, but what’s the best way to respond to customers who ask, “Will you match this online price?” I still haven’t worked this out.

Welcome to 2022! Business coach Bob Negen, founder of Whizbang Training, suggests this five-pronged approach:

  1. Start with an appreciation that if a customer is in your store, they want to buy from you. “They could have simply scoured the Internet to find the lowest price. They didn’t — you are halfway home,” he says. But to get all the way home, you will likely need to have these other elements in place.
  2. Be price-competitive. Not the lowest price, but what will be perceived as fair. “If you give the casual bargain hunter a fair price with an amazing experience, you’re going to win the sale almost every time,” Negen says, adding the easiest way to do this is to not carry brands easily price-shopped.
  3. Have great salespeople, which Negen calls “hands-down the best way” to eliminate online price pressure. “Someone who knows your products, engages your customers and creates a great experience goes a long way toward eliminating any price objection.”
  4. Implement a loyalty program. If you have a strong loyalty program and someone talks about price, you can quickly explain how your prices are about the same, or even lower, if they join your program.
  5. Offer a “Price-Match Guarantee” (including consideration of other costs such as shipping and annual membership fee). “You’ll get very few takers on your offer, but you will have eliminated all price objections,” Negen says.

Any of these strategies will help you make online price shopping less of a problem, Negen says. Use them all and you may find 2022 is the year you embark on a long and beautiful relationship with these price-conscious customers.

What’s the best way to address someone (a customer, job applicant, sales rep) with a name you don’t know how to pronounce?

It’s good that you’re asking. While it might seem like a relatively minor issue, a recent viral post on LinkedIn revealed how people with non-Western names often feel excluded and devalued when people mispronounce their name. The author of that piece, Damneet Kaur, says his preference is that you just ask for the correct pronunciation before you attempt to say it. Note that it’s a good idea to try to do your homework beforehand. LinkedIn offers a feature that enables users to click on a person’s name and hear them pronouncing it. There are also sites like PronounceNames, which allow users to type in a name and access a database of recordings.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered

Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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