Boosting Sales on Impulse

Impulse [im-puhls] – noun
1. the influence of a particular feeling, mental state, etc.
2. the sudden involuntary inclination prompting one to action.
3. a psychic drive or instinctual urge.

When you go to the supermarket to buy milk, why do they put it way in the back of the store? When you are standing in the checkout line, why do they surround you with candy, gum, tabloids and other not so inexpensive items like razors and smoker stoppers.

The placement of these items is not by accident. Many thousands of dollars have been spent by markets to determine the best items to be placed in the check out aisles to increase sales. Most people will act on impulse if given the chance. With the milk in the back of the store, customers have to walk all the way to the rear, passing thousands of items and all the way back to the front, passing even more.

Waiting in line puts even more ideas in front of your customer. With inexpensive items in reach, ideas begin to form. Thoughts like “I’d really like a Hershey bar!” or “Could I use a lighted key ring?” begin to talk the customer into buying on impulse.

Impulse sales happen if the thought process is triggered. If the checkout lane had empty shelves, most people wouldn’t think of buying those items. Impulse sales work!

Many locksmiths have already learned this lesson. The ability to use the available space to increase your sales is a natural. Why should you have a front customer area clogged with broken safes, UPS shipments and empty, dusty shelves?

Take advantage of your showroom to make more money. Look at some of the products different companies offer to make this happen.

Keep in mind that what some lock shops consider certain products impulse items, others may not consider those same items in the same way. A small rack of lock de-icer tubes will sell better in Sheboygan than it does in San Diego. The surfboard key rings may do better in San Diego. Are there any surfers in Sheboygan?

Let’s take a look at some common items that will prompt your customer to add to the sales total they walked in to make.

The first part of this article deals with the smaller less expensive items, but we’ll also explore bigger ticket items that may fall under the impulse umbrella as well.

DECORATIVE KEYS

In addition to plain keys, a number of companies are now offering specialty or decorative keys. Choices include the images or logos of hundreds of cartoon characters, college and professional sports teams, racecar drivers, flags, floral patterns, etc. Here are some of your choices.

KABA ILCO CORPORATION – Ilco offers hundreds of choices with their eight painted key groups including; Personali-Keys, Team Keys, Collegiate Personali-Keys, Automotive Personali-Keys, U.S. Armed Forces Keys, Cool Colors Keys, Magnet Keys and NASCAR Keys.

Individual flat panel and three-sided counter top display racks are available to promote the items to your customers. A rotating display is also available for individually carded keys. The painted finish is durable, detailed and commands notice. All of the designs are available in the common Schlage/Baldwin, Kwikset and Titan keyways, with some patterns offering additional choices in Master and Weiser key sections. Cool Colors adds Yale, Arrow, Dexter and Weslock key sections and Automotive Personali-Keys offer eight of the most popular vehicle keyways that cover over 775 makes and models.

Ilco keys are sold through distribution. For more information on Ilco keys, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.kaba-ilco.com

JET HARDWARE MANUFACTURING - Jet offers a large creative selection of Groovy Keys® in eight different categories: Fun Groovy Keys, Military Patterns, Patriotic Patterns, Sports Patterns, Religious Patterns, The “Simpsons”, Animal Kingdom and Zodiac Patterns. New releases include Playboy Patterns and Spoo-Key Patterns.

Different display racks are available for each selection to promote the items to your customers. The durable baked finish is colorful and eye-catching. All of the designs are available in the common Schlage and Kwikset keyways, with some patterns offering additional choices in Master and Weiser key sections.

Jet keys are sold through distribution. For more information on Jet keys, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.jetkeys.com

KLASSY KEYS – Klassy Keys offers a wide selection of painted keys in Schlage, Kwikset, Titan and Weiser key sections. These high quality brass keys are adorned with a variety of popular designs including various national flags, rainbows, sunsets, animal designs and more.

Two display rack selections are available including the American Classic selection and the Keys of Freedom group.

Klassy Keys are sold direct and through distribution. For more information on Klassy Keys, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.klassykeys.com.

KLINKY KEYS – Klinky Keys offers a different approach to the specialty key market that doesn’t rely on a painted finish. The wide selection of key designs is available in the common SC1-Schlage and KW1-Kwikset key sections. According to the company website, the KW1 also fits: WK2, AR1, WR3, WR5 & DE6 keyways. These high quality nickel-plated brass keys are adorned with a variety of popular images set into the head of the key.

The plastic-coated insert contains one of hundreds of full color pictures, logos, designs, drawings and messages. In addition to the manufactured selection, personalized versions are also available. Customized to meet your needs, company logos, personal photos and messages can be had through special order.

Klinky Keys are sold through distribution. For more information on Klinky Keys, contact locksmith distributor LV Sales Inc. at (800) 894-KEYS or go to www.klinkykeys.com or www.lvsales.com

KEY ACCESSORIES

Key accessories include key rings, key fobs, key tags, etc. Whenever a customer gets a key cut, there is the opportunity to add to that sale with related products.

LUCKY LINE PRODUCTS – Lucky Line offers hundreds of key-related accessories that qualify as impulse sales items.

Product choices include; File-A-Key racks designed for the file cabinet, wall mount or portable file box, Key Cabinet Tags, Key Separator, Quick Clip, House Key Caps, Colored Split Rings, Key Saver, Rock Key Hider and C-Clips. Key Lights, House-Head Keys, Key Caps, Photo Key Holders, Secure-A-Key Clips and Wrist Coils are offered. The above are joined by Key Snaps, Magnetic Key Holders and Key Floats to give an idea of the scope of different products available.

Lucky merchandizing systems include wall-mounted displays, rotating floor rack displays, counter displays and jar displays, combined with individually carded items to give the customer an almost unlimited choice of affordable products.

Lucky Line has even prepared a special product reference guide for the Locksmith Industry. Lucky Line products are sold through distribution. For more information on Lucky Line, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.luckyline.com.

PADLOCKS & ACCESSORIES

Padlocks, hasps, chains, cables and other related items are available from a number of manufacturers.

MASTER / AMERICAN – Master Lock Company and its recent acquisition American Lock Company have redesigned and focused their list of products to offer a wide variety of padlocks for residential, commercial, institutional and specialty uses.

Safety lockouts, hasps, cables and chains are available boxed, visual-packed and individually carded to meet the needs of the locksmiths display area. A variety of colorful, informative display boards are also available to give the customer a hands-on experience of using the lock.

Master padlocks are sold through distribution. For more information on Master padlocks, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.masterlock.com. American padlocks are also sold through distribution. For more information on American padlocks, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.americanlock.com.

ABUS PADLOCKS – Abus has a wide range of padlocks and accessories that lend themselves to the impulse buying customer. Small, medium and large sized padlocks come in a variety of applications.

Rekeyable and door key compatible padlocks combine with hasps, lock down cables and other padlock-related products that can be displayed on wall-mounted boards, in clear visual packaging or individually carded.

Abus padlocks are sold through distribution. For more information on Abus padlocks, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.abuslock.com.

CCL SECURITY PRODUCTS – CCL offers a large selection of padlocks for the residential and light commercial market. Familiar products include the Sesamee, Prestolock and SearchAlert padlock lines.

The Sesamee is available in a number of small and medium padlock body sizes and works with three or four number wheels to activate the re-settable combination. A new Super Sesamee line is intended for heavy-duty commercial applications. The Prestolock is a line of smaller-bodied combination locks for use on storage boxes or luggage.

The SearchAlert is specifically designed for use on luggage when the TSA will be inspecting baggage. The lock has a special feature that allows the TSA to search the bag without destroying the lock. Once the lock has been opened by the TSA agent, a special window will change from green to red to notify the bags owner of the search procedure.

CCL padlocks are available on display boards and visually packed for display. The company also offers cam and cabinet locks that are available on display boards.

CCL padlocks are sold through distribution. For more information on CCL padlocks, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.cclsecurity.com.

PACLOCK – Pacific Lock sells private label PACLOKs. Anodized aluminum padlocks in seven finishes accept most standard key-in-knob/key-in-lever door lock six-pin lock cylinders. They can be custom-engraved through the Your Logo, Your Locks program. Because the padlocks do not have writing or images on the body, just blank surfaces, PACLOCK can laser engrave up to four sides of a padlock.

For more information, contact your local locksmith wholesaler or go to www.paclock.com.

DOOR LOCK ACCESSORIES

Many customers who come in the shop for a duplicate key, new lock or lock repair part have another problem: a broken door edge or frame that needs repair. A wide variety of door repair, modernization and upgrade items will sell if you put them in front of the customer. If your customer doesn’t know you have these items, you may lose the sale to a hardware store even though you have what the customer needs on your shelf in the storeroom. Advertise it, market it and display it.

DON-JO MANUFACTURING – Don-Jo offers door repair and re-enforcement items such as Wrap-Arounds, Remodeler Plates, Replacement Strikes, Latch Protectors, Security Strikes, Filler Plates, Scar Plates, Door Stops, Door Pulls, and Push, Pull and Kick Plates.

Don-Jo offers their products in boxed, bagged and visual packs. They also offer a mix of display boards to promote the products in the showroom area.

Don-Jo products are sold through distribution. For more information on Don-Jo products, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.don-jo.com.

MAG ENGINEERING & SECURITY – MAG manufacturers a range of security related items including commercial and residential door reinforcers, heavy duty strike plates and latch guards, hole covers, adaptors, filler plates, hinge shims, door bars, flip locks, slide bolts and door pulls.

MAG has a number of display boards available to the locksmith for use in selling to the end user customer. Products are available in different packaging for different applications.

MAG products are sold through distribution. For more information on MAG products, contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to www.magsecurity.com

OTHER ‘IMPULSE’ SALES

Other than the items mentioned, some lock shops will use unconventional items set up as ‘impulse’ displays.

Small personal safes, locking mailboxes, spray lubricant, key cabinets, key lockers and cam and cabinet lock display boards will help sell product.

Mounted lock hardware displays will fit on most counters or shelves to give the waiting customers something to look at, play with and think about.

Batteries for keyless remotes and the keyless remotes themselves are gaining ground in popularity as impulse sales items. Transponder keys are everywhere. If you’ve invested in the tools, equipment and inventory to service these items doesn’t it make sense to promote that to your customers with a counter display or signage?

One shop even has a small rack of ball chain and fasteners and they say it sells amazingly well. Who would have thought that ball chain key rings would even still be available (and sellable) in 2006?

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