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Holy Extended Terms, Batman!

Furniture World Magazine



Ideas to pull the options you need today out of your utility belt

Create the options you need today, rehearse them with your sales team and keep your Gotham safe, secure and viable.

The superhero Batman has gone through several transformations from comic books to the 1940s movie serial to the Dark Night of this century. The most entertaining version for me was the 1966-69 ultra-kitschy brightly colored TV series featuring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.

Airing 30-minute programs on Wednesday and Thursday nights, the primetime show featured over 700 cast members including three actresses as Catwoman, two actors as The Riddler, and walk-on appearances by Rob Reiner, Allen Ludden, and Francis X. Bushman.

Batman had no real superpowers. He relied on superior wit and cunning, a well-toned body (by 1960s television standards), and a very cool and very yellow Bat Utility Belt. He and Robin would safeguard the city of Gotham, speedily identifying criminals like The Joker, Egghead, King Tut, along with the aforementioned Riddler and Catwoman. Looking back, I suppose they didn’t need that much cunning to spot criminals wearing jumpsuits painted with question marks or headgear with pointy ears and whiskers.

When confronted with the peril that comprised the cliffhanger ending of Wednesday night’s episode, Robin would summarize the situation with a “Batman” statement. Some weeks it was “Holy Knit One, Purl Two, Batman” and other times it was “Holy Hole in a Doughnut, Batman.” They all led to us having to tune in (same Bat-time, same Bat-Channel) to witness Batman pull the proverbial rabbit out of his utility belt.

Like Batman, you probably have some colorful characters in your working world, so be sure that you prepare your sales team with a full utility belt ready to turn the most harrowing situation into a profitable sale.

Batman’s belt had about 50 pockets and also contained the Bat-rope and Batarang. Here are three pockets that you may want to fully equip right away.

Extended Terms

Consumer financing is one of the strongest marketing and sales tools on your utility belt and continues to be underutilized on retail floors.

Using financing builds average sale in big-ticket retail by about $400, increases customer loyalty and helps shoppers to more easily make purchase decisions.

Quoting prices in dollars-per-month can put all your merchandise on equal footing. Using varying terms from 12 to 60 months means almost every mattress on your floor will cost purchasers only $49 a month. When it’s time to upgrade, they are already used to paying monthly. It’s easier to make a decision to upgrade when the monthly payment stays the same!

Finance companies provide retail intelligence on current financed customers such as open to buy, current balance, and final payment date. These figures present myriad other ways to market to previous shoppers, letting them know that the chances are good that they likely can get credit on additional purchases that will make their homes more comfortable and beautiful.

Holy Amazon, Batman!

One of the prime reasons people like to buy online is free shipping. And that can bring a tidal wave of misery when you try to collect a delivery charge.

Sure, you have trucks, drivers, insurance and fuel to pay for. But, it’s easy to compete when you pull a ‘white glove’ out of your utility belt. Keep in mind that the free shipping is essentially the same kind that the newspaper delivery boy used to provide by slowing down his bicycle and flinging the paper into the bushes. When online companies offer free shipping, it means doorstep delivery without packaging, assembly, or haul-away.

Use your Batman-like cunning to offer free shipping just like those dot-com guys. Offer doorstep delivery at no charge with the opportunity to upgrade to White Glove full service for a reasonable upgrade cost. Depending on your market, it could be $49-$99 or more. Reach into your belt with documentation of what that White Glove fee includes. by the way, when you pay your sales team a $10 spiff every time they add on the additional service, they’ll quit hounding you to allow a free delivery.

Holy Bundle of Joy, Batman!

As Robin would say, Holy Average Ticket, Batman! when you add the white glove charge into the package price.

People who shop at your store might not think of getting a new dress without accessorizing it with shoes and a belt. Nor would they purchase a new suit without adding a fresh dress shirt and tie. The fact is that new clothing makes your old clothing look older.

Similarly, necessary items like pillows, sheets and protectors add comfort and enjoyment to a shopper’s new bed. In fact, many comfort returns are the result of old ill-fitting pillows, or washed-out shrunken sheet sets that squeeze the comfort layers of a new mattress. But selecting and pricing these items can be confusing for shoppers.

Luckily, you can outfit your utility belt with Accessory Bundles. Simply create your own package of sheets, protectors, and pillows, all at one low price. Inside the Batcave, Batman and Robin might formulate them as good, better, best, but you might present them as silver, gold and platinum packages. At the lower end, you should be able to create a four-pack at $149 and top out at $399-$499. And, as Robin would say “Holy Average Ticket, Batman!” when you add the white glove charge into the package price.

Batman and Robin didn’t just have a variety of tools in their utility belt, they practiced using them before they were needed and made sure they were well-maintained. Some people might call that Bat Training.

Create the options you need, rehearse them with your sales team, and keep your Gotham safe, secure, and viable.

P.S. My favorite Riddler was Frank Gorshin and favorite Catwoman was Eartha Kitt, but I am willing to hear your opinion.


About Gordon Hecht: Gordon Hecht is a business growth and development consultant to the retail home furnishings industry. You can reach him at Gordon.hecht@aol.com