On occasion I am called into duty. I know little about fabric and make no pretenses either. Were I to even try, my basic ignorance of the subject would 'out' me in a heartbeat. Fortunately the store has a tendency to sell itself as her keen eye for fabric and the extent of selection is drawing clients from a wide radius. This, combined with sound business practices, is creating a viable enterprise.
That said, the most powerful tool that we have employed is one that should be fundamental to all businesses, but sadly is frequently ignored.
It is simple gratitude.
We ensure that every person entering the store is greeted personally and with thanks for taking time to visit us. Whether they are a buyer or a looker, 'thank you' is expressed sincerely. It really is a sad commentary when so many of them are pleasantly surprised that their mere presence is appreciated. They feel valued...and feeling valued prompts a desire to reciprocate.
Our shop is small; so I am not losing my voice thanking people. In your larger companies there are many more opportunities. And not simply clients that you sometimes speak to...