With many retailers fearing the economic impact of the “Big Box” stores, some small business owners have leveraged the advertising dollars of their competitors to create a consistent flow of traffic to their “Small Box” stores. This incredible, simple and effective customer service and marketing strategy provides increased customer satisfaction and saves thousands of dollars in advertising costs.
- The first thing is that your location needs to be near the Big Box stores and on a well traveled route with noticeable signage. HINT: Location, location and location is everything and still remains true today.
- Next, you need to purchase, read and study the local newspapers especially when the “advertising inserts” are included. HINT: If your Big Box stores doesn’t do local advertising, then you need to shop the store to read of their special offerings.
- Then you need to look at your inventory and make sure that you have at least one of the products so that your potential customer can compare apples with apples.
- Finally, when your soon to be customers come in with your Competitors’ Flyers in hand, you can show them the exact same thing and then offer them a possible upgrade along with the additional value that you bring as a small business owner.
For example, a local appliance retailer who is less than a tenth of a mile from two Big Box home improvement stores and one Big Box electronic store scans the competitor’s fliers. He then checks his inventory to ensure that he has at least one of the stoves, refrigerators or washer/dryers currently being advertised. As the potential customer enters the store, he can steer them to the sale item, but then can ask about their needs and suggest a better appliance. The retailer then shares the value of buying from him such as his product knowledge, installation and free delivery, removal of the old appliance at no charge and same day to next to day delivery.
Not only has he used the competitors’ marketing dollars to generate traffic, he has literally saved thousands of his own dollars. By being proactive and customer service focused even before the customer walks through the door, this small business owner (and you, too) can now look at the competitors with “new eyes” that are not full of fear and take advantage of their marketing strategies while YOUR cash register continues to ring up one sale after another.
2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S.
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