Clandestine Retailing is "under the radar" marketing that offers powerful opportunities for your store.
Cat Beatty, owner of Cats Creations Scrapbooks & More in Mineral Wells, Texas is a Clandestine Retailer. Cat watches the DFW metroplex Yahoo Group. She noticed that they had been complaining about not having a good place to crop, so Cat personally e-mailed each member of the group and invited them to her store to shop and crop. She sweetened the pot with a free crop voucher. It worked! Some of these new customers drove two hours to get to Cat’s store.
Signing up for Google Alerts can also help you uncover new customers. And keep an eye on your competition at the same time. Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to monitor anything on the Internet. Each time your chosen area of interest appears on-line, Google sends an alert right to your e-mail box. Sign-up here: http://www.google.com/alerts
More ideas to attract new customers
* Become a local celebrity. Dene Van Winkle owns Imagine That Scrapbooks & Gifts in Roswell, New Mexico. Last year Dene created the “Pebbles” fund raiser. Pebbles is a rock that customers bid on to adopt, all proceeds going to a local charity. The lucky bidder gets to keep Pebbles for an entire month. She’s experienced daily life in Roswell and has been all over the country, staying at the finest properties. Pebbles also attends all of the creative industry trade shows – she’s a very well rounded rock. And Dene is a local celebrity: Pebbles is news-worthy.
* Host home parties. Pack up your wares and hit the road. Home parties work for all kinds of companies and they can work for you, too. Get guests involved with easy product demos and makit & takits. Bring product for sale – instant gratification! – and take orders as well. Most at home parties make you wait at least 10 days for delivery; you deliver the next day.
* Speak locally about the importance of your product. Local organizations are always looking for interesting guest speakers. Your talk should be about the role your product plays in our culture. It cannot be a blatant sales pitch – but wearing a shirt with your store name and logo on it will take care of that.
* Host a Chamber of Commerce Mixer. Our Chamber hosts four mixers per month; and any member can host one. Mixers provide an opportunity to meet and mingle with other Chamber members; and an opportunity to introduce members to your store. (Hint: many Chambers all members to send e-mail blast to the membership. Contact your local Chamber for details.)
* Offer your class/crop room/conference room for meetings. You get to welcome participants and maybe even give a short talk about your store before the meeting begins.
Never let a customer leave empty-handed!
And when customers fall in love with your store, make sure they return to shop again! You need to create a weekly Bag Stuffer detailing something cool that’s going on in your store that week. (Hint: Don’t let the name fool you: Bag Stuffers should never be pre-stuffed into your bags. Instead, have associates place the Bag Stuffer in the customer’s hand.) You should also build a Brag Sheet that lists all the services and conveniences you offer customers. Brag Sheets make great Bag Stuffers.
Bounce Back Coupons will also bring customers back to shop again. Make your Bounce Back Coupon offer good for a little something-something next week. Drop us an e-mail and we'll send you a template you can customize for your store.
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