1. Clean your customer’s jewelry…for free! Nothing gets a conversation started with a customer faster and smarter than, “Ma’am, would you like to me clean that ring for you?” – especially a jewelry customer. It costs next to nothing, creates an avenue for discussion and virtually guarantees a satisfied customer – even if he/she doesn’t buy anything that trip. Get the customer’s name/email/cell # and, for PM customers, use the want list feature available, and watch the sales roll in. That’s a permanent customer.
2. What are your competitors doing? You should know how much your competitors are loaning, especially on jewelry. If you’re closest competitor is loaning $2/gram more on 14K, your customers are certainly aware. Do you match it? Do you stay at your current prices? What about on firearms? If your loan balance begins to stagnate and growth seems sluggish, there is always a reason. Stay knowledgeable of your competitors’ practices!
3. Be open to carrying new firearms. While the margins are not as good as other categories, it is a way to drive in new traffic and incremental income. The idea is to get customers into the “habit” of buying at your store. Even if you only make 20% instead of 40% on a sale, it’s still better than the ZERO because you didn’t carry competitive inventory. You then get an opportunity to determine additional needs. Also, don’t forget “add-ons” with firearm sales such as holsters, ammunition, cleaning kits – margins are typically terrific with those items and can offset the higher margin with the new firearms.
4. Learn your software. Whether you’re a PM customer or not, you should utilize your software for its full value. Learn your customer demographics, evaluate your employee performance in relation to each other, discover your redemption rate by category – the more you can learn about your business, the smarter your decision-making. For PM customers, if you can’t find the report you’re looking for, call tech support – it’s unlimited!
5. Want Lists! Every employee should constantly be adding names/numbers for items that customers want. Have each one keep a spreadsheet on a store computer for easy access. Also enter those names into the PawnMaster software want lists section so you can be alerted when there is a match. Owners and managers, make a game out of it – reward your staff with a free lunch if you achieve a certain total each day.