1. Strengthen Your Relationships
Every retailer needs blank note cards with their store's logo and address printed on the front. Use them to send handwritten thank-you notes to four customers everyday to simply to thank them for their business. When you hear that a friend or colleague has done something exciting, drop them a note of congratulations. Telephone someone that has helped you somewhere along the line. In other words, spend at least 10 minutes each day acknowledging the people that help make you a success.
2. Continue Your Education
Take a course at your local community college. Go to the business seminars -- like ours! -- offered in your area and at the trade shows you attend. Pick a topic that interests you and listen to CDs while in your car. Continuing your education is an investment in yourself and your business.
3. Form a Network
Look for the opportunity to work with other people in your industry. If such a network doesn't already exist, then form one yourself. Networking provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with people that face the same challenges as you do. Think of the disappointments you might have been able to avoid if you'd only been able to discuss your ideas and ambitions with someone who has already experienced those same growing pains.
4. Build Sweat Equity
Every time you sell something you're provided with the opportunity to become even more involved with your customers. We call that extra involvement "Sweat Equity." Sweat Equity might mean calling the customer after the sale to inquire about how the item purchased worked in their home, or it could mean traveling to a customer's house to provide custom work. Sweat Equity can be as simple as writing a folksy newsletter involving your customers and their love of your store. Sweat equity draws your customers closer to your store by nurturing and strengthening important customer relationships.
5. Study Your Competition
Identify your competition and learn everything that you can about them. Visit their stores as a retailer and as a customer. Get on their snail mail and e-mail lists and attend their special events. How does your competition rate when compared to your store? What happens when a customer enters their store or calls them on the telephone? Find out what their typical customer experience is and then you do it better.
6. Thank Your Customers
It's great to be a retailer and it's fun to be able to do the things that you love, but it's important to remember that customers are the reason you are in business. Take time everyday to do something for them. Send an e-mail blast announcing new product or your next event; create a newsletter that keeps them up-to-date on your latest in-store adventures. Do whatever it takes to keep your customers your customers. The most successful retailers that we know never lose sight of their customers or of what their customers expect from their stores.
COPYRIGHT KIZER & BENDER . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED