We talk often in class about developing selling skills and how the Customer Buying Process works. I think sometimes we pay too little attention to what the selling environment is like however. I recently did a VILT program where this was discussed in more detail, but it was poorly attended, most likely because we discount how important the sales environment is. I understand that many shops don’t have the space they’d like to have, may not have the budget necessary to make facility improvements, or are challenged for time when it comes to making improvements. There are other reasons that the selling environment doesn’t get much attention, and these are reasons that can be addressed. The most common reason is that we just are not paying attention to what’s really going on. Attention is paid to everything but what the customer is experiencing during the sale. For instance, in a shop I was working with just yesterday, the service counter was so jam packed with marketing material and computer terminals you couldn’t see the service advisors when you came through the door. This immediately puts the customer in a position where they are bombarded with input. Where is the advisor? Who do I talk to? What stuff should I look? In an environment where they already feel anxiety, the visual stimulus only serves to increase anxiety. The person(s) who put the monitors and marketing material on, in and around the counter was intending to improve things. They just didn’t view it from the customer’s perspective. Pay attention to how relaxed the sales environment is. Pay attention to what can be done to reduce the customer’s anxiety. What can be done to increase ease of communication? Interior designers use all kinds of tricks to create relaxation, call attention to certain things, and to otherwise ease anxiety. Colors, sounds, smells, layout are just some of the things that can be modified to affect the customer environment. Look at your selling environment from the customer’s perspective. What can you improve?