What a great idea I came across reading a mag this morning, from a car dealership in an American town called Union; Planet Honda.
There’s a reception area where each new potential customer wanders in, and get asked what they’re looking for. If they answer as the majority tend, with “just looking, thanks”, they get given a sticker to put on their chest with the initials “JL”. This makes sure no sales person will bother them as they walk around the showroom.
And what they’ve found, is that the “JLs” become some of their best customers, as after 15 mins or so, they peel off the sticker and begin to seek out a sales person. The approach is proved so successful, that the dealer sold 3 times as many cars as the average dealership, totalling 3,300 last year.
This is indeed a terrific approach, and I bet applying it to most other big ticket retail operations would be a winner.