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Weekly Furniture Message From Margo - A Perfect Pair: The Affluent and Your Offer!

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by Margrett DeGange

According to Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy, What Women Want, and Call of the Mall, and contributing writer to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, there is a lot of data out there concerning the economy. He says data is not that hard to come by, but making sense of the data is a harder task.
Paco believes the data for the American economy can be generally and loosely summed up like this: There are basically three segments of the population in light of today’s economy. The first 1/3 are the people who have been hit hard by the economy and really struggle every day. The second 1/3 are those who are making it with some adjustments and seem to be doing o.k., but personally know someone who is in that first 1/3. The final segment is the 1/3 who are doing well. These individuals have real assets like paid off mortgages and some form of nest egg. They do spend, and they may very well spend on extravagances, but now they are much more conscientious about what they buy and the degree to which they splurge. They may buy the high-end car, but hold back on one or two of the showy bells and whistles. They still travel to exotic places, but voluntarily give up a few of the many perks they once freely indulged in, mainly because they know others are struggling and they seek to at least have some form of “manners” as they spend.
My point here for business owners is that there is that 1/3 out there who are in a position to buy your products and services even if those products and services are considered luxuries. As we recover from a limping economy, how can furniture retailers tap into that 1/3 who still spend and who still wish to indulge, although with a bit more modesty?

Since we are speaking in threes (thirds), here are just 3 things you can do to make your offer appealing to the 1/3 of us who have money to spend (but by choice, not money to flaunt or burn).
1. Don’t tie your product or service directly to price. Create meaning and a sense of intrinsic value in your overall offer. Bundle your products and services with other niche services, with information, and with a very high level of service and quality that is not only about the product. Do more. Think outside of the box in terms of what you are offering for the price, and make the offer unique and totally “worth” it.
2. This is somewhat tied to #1. Become a type of concierge for your customer. Be right there with information, reports, guidance, relationships, in-the-know-ness, tips related to their interests, availability, and concern for their best lifestyle possible. Let it be evident in everything you do, say, and communicate. Don’t remind them EVER of how much you do for them. Just be a giver.
3. Create a sense of experience and exclusivity. This is especially important for the affluent client. Even the mass affluent can appreciate an experience that is a bit above average—that feels very special, that feels like “I am being catered to with special treatment” (that’s why Starbucks grew to such popularity). The affluent want a sense of a unique experience much more than the mass affluent do. It is not hard to understand why resort spa’s do so well with the affluent population.
Affluent shoppers also want something that is exclusive, that not everyone can afford or attain to. The more that “regular” people can afford the high-end experience or product and the exclusive offer, the more the affluent move away from that experience to another that is even more exclusive (have you noticed a different market and a different demographic frequenting Starbucks over the last few years, and have you noticed how commonplace some of yesterdays top designer brands have become? That is why there has been room for many new and exorbitantly priced, exclusive designer lines—to cater to the affluent while leaving out the mass-affluent). They may not want to readily admit it, but the affluent want the product, the offer, the membership, the service that not everyone can access and afford. Exclusivity is the reward for all of their hard word, self-control, and wisdom around accumulating wealth. Exclusivity is important to them and their sense of self-esteem.
Factor experience and exclusivity into your offer.
So there it is, the 1, 2, 3 to a better offer that directly appeals to the 1/3 of the American population that can buy without blinking an eye! What you do with the info will help determine your success.
Have a Wildly Affluent Week,

Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

Visit Margo DeGange’s website at www.DecoratingForProfits.com  for more information. Send email and questions to her at Margarett@furninfo.com.



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