Do you own or manage a retail store? If so, consider trying this experiment:

Find an out-of-the-way location in your store that doesn't interfere with activity, but allows you access to all that's going on. Then close your eyes and tune in with your ears.

- The phone just rang nine times. Why hasn't someone picked it up?

- Jennifer is discussing last night's episode of "Survivor" -- again -- while Lauren cleans the glass display cases.

- The sound of metal on metal means the entrance door frame is out of alignment -- no wonder customers have to shove so hard on the door in order to come in.

- Who tuned the in-store music system to the hip-hop channel?

- Boy, the hum from those fluorescent overhead lights is irritating.

You've just discovered five ways to improve your marketing. Each and every thing you do, both inside and outside your door, is a marketing touch point.

We often overlook these things because, as human beings, we rely so heavily on our strongly developed sense of sight. And while other humans do, too, they're still taking in and subconsciously processing other sensory touch points. Their final analysis is the decision whether or not to do business with you.

You can try this experiment with your other senses as well. What does your store smell like (including highly-perfumed employees)? You may be serving coffee in china cups, but have you tasted it lately? The coffee machine may be in need of a good cleaning. Who last used the pen you're about to hand to a customer? Someone who had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch?

You'll be amazed how much you'll learn about your business by simply closing your eyes.