Home
Business-Wise
Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard


Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


A view of the industry through the eyes of independent and chain retailers.

Printer Version

20 Percent Disciples

Your best customers can help you attract new customers.

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender (February 1, 2010)

We're going to learn a new verb today, class: Airlined.

A retailer once asked, "How can you make a small fortune in the creative industry?" We said, "Start with a large fortune." Ba dump bump. Yeah, we know, it's an old joke, but it got your attention.

But there are truly two ways to grow a business: focusing on improving the bottom line through stringent control of all expenses, while keeping a close eye on margin; or focusing on growing the top line – sales. We think you have to do both. However, there is one imperative you must add to the equation that can make both goals attainable: you must develop an insatiable appetite for building relationships with your customers. This is especially true in today's business environment.

It's been said that 80% of your business is done on 20% of your inventory. Let's take that a bit further and extend it to customers; it very well could be said that 80% of your business is created by 20% of your customers. Let's call them your 20 Percent Disciples.

Ever wonder why those 20 Percent Disciples do not entice more "new" customers to come to your store? It's because they lead busy lives, and quite frankly, they just don't think about it. Your 20 Percent Disciples hold an incredible power when they talk your store up, but you have to give them a reason to do so. When you do, powerful word-of-mouth advertising is what happens.

We know a craft retailer who gave "BMG" (Be My Guest) invitations to every customer who registered for certain classes. These customers gave them to their friends so they too could join in the on the classroom fun. This got rapid fire word of mouth going, and the 20 Percent Disciples felt extra special because they got to invite their friends to "their" store.

Another retailer implemented a program she calls "SURPRISE!" simply by hanging a chalk board behind her check out area. A banner above read, "Someone bought someone a gift!" Written on the chalk board were messages similar to these:

Shelly bought Anna a sheet of alphabet rub-ons

Alison bought Nancy a packet of mini heart brads

Kate bought Bette a ticket to the Friday Night's Crop

This retailer is encouraging customers to buy their friend an inexpensive gift, and the only way the friend can get that gift is to come to the store. Gift-givers pay for the purchase upfront, then tell their friends to stop in an pick up their free surprise. What happened next was a classic case of "she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on and so on and…."

Another derivative of this is our "Introducing My Friend" card; a viral marketing tool that brings new customers to your store. Drop us an e-mail and we'll send you an easy-to-customize template and full how-to instructions.

One more tip to attract new customers: encourage gift card purchases. A wonderful gift from your store is, well, wonderful, but it won't automatically bring the person who receives it to your store. On the other hand, a person must come to your store to redeem a gift card, and while they're there, you know what to do: sell them something! Another plus: studies show that 80+% of gift cards are redeemed for more than the face value; and more than 40% are redeemed for twice the face value. You can't lose!

Right now is the perfect time to put your 20 Percent Disciples to work for you. Don't abuse them; reward them! Invite them to special events just for them. Feed them while they shop, crop, and craft (you know our motto: "Food is Good!"). Ask for their creative input, and above all, thank them, thank them, thank them, for choosing your store!

(Note: To read previous columns, click on the titles in the right-hand column. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors, and consultants whose client list reads like a "Who's Who" in international business. Retailers depend upon KIZER & BENDER for timely advice on consumers and the ever changing retail market place.

Named "Two of Retailing's Most Influential People," KIZER & BENDER are experts on consumer and generational diversity, marketing and promotion, and everything retail. They are widely referred to as retail anthropologists because they stalk and study that most elusive of mammals: today's consumer.

Any speaker can talk about customers, but Georganne and Rich actually become them. In addition to focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and intensive on-site studies, their research includes posing as every kind of customer you can imagine – and maybe even a few that you can't! The result of their research is literally straight from the customers' mouth: solid, ground-level intelligence that you can use today to better serve your own customers and build your business.)

KIZER & BENDER Speaking!

Keynotes | Seminars | Consulting | Store Design

103 North 11th Ave., Ste. 206, St. Charles, Illinois 60174

Phone: 630-513-8020 | 24/7
Mobile: 708-347-2682
Fax: 630-513-8098
Web: www.kizerandbender.com
Blog: www.kizerandbender.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/kizerandbender
COPYRIGHT KIZER & BENDER 2009. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

xxx

 

horizontal rule

horizontal rule



   
   

Kizer & Bender's Recent Columns...
VISUAL MERCHANDISING, PT. II; Add new life to your displays by knowing how people browse and shop.

VISUAL MERCHANDISING, PT. I; Taking the mystery out of a well designed store.

SHEER INTENSITY! THE RETAIL BOOT CAMP; How to make 2013 a great year.

42 GREAT IDEAS TO "WOW" YOUR CUSTOMERS; Suggestions for your store and staff.

NEW YEAR, NEW ATTITUDE; Change is inevitable, and improving your employees' attitude can be done.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS AT TRADE SHOWS; Make sure you optimize your return on your trade show investment.

10 IDEAS TO JUMP START YOUR BUSINESS! Strategies to make 2012 a success.

PRE-HOLIDAY HOMEWORK; WANT TO MAZIMIZE HOLIDAY SALES AND PROFITS? Get started now.

"LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS, THEY'RE SMARTER THAN YOU"; Savvy, inexpensive ways to improve your customer service.

GENERATIONS 101; Different strokes (and strategies) for different folks.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS AT TRADE SHOWS; Straightforward advice that can increase the return on your trade show investment.

5 SUREFIRE WAYS TO ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND; Create a good story, then tell it.

WHEN BIG IDEAS DON'T WORK, IT'S OK TO MOVE ON! Learn from the example of a Las Vegas mogul.

IS YOUR BUSINESS "ZOOMER" FRIENDLY? Nine ways to make your store more convenient for older customers.

CRAFTING THE ULTIMATE CHARITY EVENT; Participating in cause marketing helps a worthy cause and promotes your business. Here's how to do it right.

FAUX SHOPPING FOR REAL RESULTS; Imagine all consumers are mystery shoppers because, in a sense, they are.

RETAIL IS IN THE DETAILS: HOW TO PLAN EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS; Planning, planning, and more planning.

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE; Customer service is an election every day, and your customers are the voters.

HAUL OUT THE HOLLY: IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME ON THE SALES FLOOR! Nine way$ to make your Christmas Merry.

WORD OF MOUTH: SOCIAL MEDIA 101; And a preview of upcoming seminars.

ARE YOUR READY FOR RECORD HALLOWEEN SALES? Thirteen ways to make it happen.

WE'D SHAKE YOUR ANTENNAE BUT WE'RE TOO TIRED; Has your business ever bugged a customer? Here's what not to do.

510 TIPS TO SURVIVE IN A TOUGH ECONOMY; When the going gets tough, the tough...

50 IDEAS TO INCREASE STORE SALES! Basic, simple, and effective.

COLOR PSYCHOLOGY: THE USE OF COLOR IN STORE DESIGN; Your store's color scheme can boost sales, or kill them.

TAKING CUSTOMER SERVICE TO THE NEXT LEVEL; It's a constant struggle, but with big rewards.

THE 360 DEGREE PASS-BY; Take a close -- and closer -- look at your store.

SOAR ABOVE COPY CAT COMPETITION; And fly away with more traffic, sales, and profits.

"ALEX, WE'LL TAKE 'THINGS THAT CHEESE US OFF' FOR $500!"; Perhaps it was a customer, not you, who infuriated a customer, but you still must deal with the anger.

WHY YOU NEED AN EXECUTIVE OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES; Someone to study what your customers do, act, think, and where they shop.

HOIST YOUR SALES WITH RETAILER-TESTED, IN-STORE EVENTS AND PROMOTIONS; Two dozen proven strategies.

BOOST YOUR ECONOMY - CREATIVE A COUPONOMY! Profitable ways to use coupons.

THE SALES POTENTIAL IN PROMS AND SCHOOL DRESSES; Rich and Georganne interview themselves on a new retail sales opportunity.

MERCHANDISING SENSE; Strategies to help consumers see, hear, taste, touch, smell -- and then buy.

THE FINE ART OF ASKING QUESTIONS; The smart questions result in better sales.

20 PERCENT DISCIPLES; Your best customers can help you attract new customers.

DUDE, YOU'VE BEEN AIRLINED. AGAIN; These are "friendly skies"?

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS AT TRADE SHOWS; Straightforward advice that can make a big difference.

IT'S THE CUSTOMERS DEFINITION OF SERVICE THAT COUNTS, NOT YOURS; Apple needs some help - and K&B's CHA seminar schedule.

IS THE CUSTOMER ALWAYS RIGHT? Manufacturers have to handle irate consumers, too.

TURNING LIONS INTO LAMBS; How an angry customer can become a loyal fan.

12 EASY WAYS TO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS; Simple, straightforward, and effective.

LOVE ME, LOVE MY KIDS; How to keep children happy in your store.

HE SHOPS, SHE SHOPS ... DIFFERENTLY; And that can make a big difference in your sales.

BRAND AID; Building a brand is simple: consistency and attention to detail.

CLANDESTINE RETAILING; CREATING NEW CUSTOMERS! Clever, creative, and inexpensive ideas.

TELEPHONE ETIQUETTE; Simple tips to make a good impression.

WHAT TO DO ON YOUR CUSTOMERS' VACATIONS; How to entice them into your store for summer fun.

STAKE YOUR CLAIM ... DON'T PLAY THE RECESSION GAME! Attitude makes all the difference.

HEY THERE! HI THERE! OH THERE! How a day at Disney can make you a better retailer.

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT DIVERSITY AND DEMOGRAPHICS; What works for one group may hurt sales with another.

LAGNIAPPES: THE INDEPENDENT RETAILER'S SECRET WEAPON; Simple gestures can reap big rewards.

A MIRACLE IN RETAIL; What a hockey coach can teach you about building a great team.

THE CUSTOMER SERVICE CIRCLE; How your staff gets along with each other makes a big difference.

THE ART OF THE LAYOUT: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SCIENCE OF STORE DESIGN; It DOES make a difference in store sales.

YOU HAD US AT "HELLO"; Simple, common sense ways to improve customer service.

POSITIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS; Don't complain, act!

SIX TRAINING TIPS TO GROW YOUR GREATEST ASSETS; Basic ways to make your employees more effective.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SUCCESS AT TRADE SHOWS; Straightforward advice that can increase the return on your trade show investment.