What Could You Learn From the Best Retailers?

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Retail can be a tough business. Competition is fierce, location is everything, and the buyer is fickle and expensive to reach.

That’s why successful small retailers perfect the art of loyalty, referrals, word or mouth, promotion, and community building.

You know, as I read that list I wonder why service businesses don’t take a page from this book. Is there anything on the list above that would hurt your marketing efforts. Of course not.

All it takes is looking at your marketing from some new perspectives.

  • What if you offered gift certificates for your services?
  • What if you mailed those gift certificates to your loyal clients and encouraged them hand them out?
  • What if you offered bridal or baby registry? (C’mon, get your neighbor’s kid a tax return for their wedding – way better than a toaster)
  • What if you held over the top events for your clients? (I know a remodeling firm that buys out a Christmas tree farm for that year’s clients)
  • What if you had a holiday, client only, sale or new service introduction?
  • What if you held education forums aimed at very specific niches of your clientele? (single women, parents with kids going to college, sports minded families, people learning to be more green.)

Another benefit of some of this kind of out of the box thinking is that it presents great opportunities for some PR. Are there any other service businesses in your town offering bridal registry? Be the first – the media loves a first.

A little creative thinking and this list could really get interesting. Pay attention to folks like Apple, Urban Outfitters, Target, Ikea and those local main street superstars that seem to thrive in the shadow of Wal-Mart in every town across America.

What other ways could service businesses use these tactics?


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