For many women, shopping alone is a luxury.

Because of the role women play in their households (typically “chief purchasing officer” and for many, primary caregiver, too), they are often shopping with kids or companions. As any woman with a plus one (or more) will tell you, a bored or impatient shopping companion can stop a sale in its tracks .

Whether the companions include an adult partner, children or friends, it’s difficult for your customer to focus on what you’re selling when she’s with people who would rather be anywhere else. You’ll be more successful at closing sales if you’re skillful at accommodating these companions. After all, they’re your guests, too. And just because they’re not actively shopping today doesn’t mean they won’t be your customers at some point in the future. But most importantly, helping them helps your shopper.

In the third installment of my “selling sins” series, Sin #3: ignoring her companions, here are some practical ideas on how to create a great experience for your customers and the people walking through the door with them.

Tip #1: Provide comfortable seating. Sometimes the best ideas are the most low tech. Since smartphones have eradicated boredom as we know it, all your customer needs now is a chair in which her companion(s) can sit comfortably and read or entertain themselves while she shops. Even though this is a simple solution to help your customers, chairs at retail can seem rarer than seared tuna, even outside the places they’re needed most — dressing rooms. Bonus points for supplying wifi and charging stations.

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Photo credit: iStock

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