Are you building a passionate following of loyal return customers?
We’ve all been exposed to manipulative selling tactics.
Most of us probably thought we were getting an awesome deal!
“Buy now & save BIG when you mail in the packaging UPC, with the original receipt, and a copy of your driver’s license.”
That’s a ton of steps to follow in order to receive that awesome savings! But as consumers, we pride ourselves on scouring the planet looking for the best deals in town. If you are a person of action, and complete the tasks listed above as soon as you get home, you are well on your way to saving some serious cash!
Unfortunately, most of us, me included, are not disciplined enough to complete all that’s required in order to receive our promised rebate.
We wait, and wait, and wait, and then the deadline has passed, the box as been tossed, and the offer is no longer valid!
Manufacturers actually have terms for our lack of action. They refer to it as “breakage” and “slippage.”
Our neglect is factored in when they determine what the deal will actually be.
When you see a savings opportunity that’s almost too good to be true, it has been designed that way with customers like me in mind. The customer that will fail to pursue the rebate, and inevitably pay full price for the product sold. While I’m flying high thinking I just stole that new phone, and got an awesome deal, the company that sold it to me is shaking their heads, and saying..,
“That’s our guy, he’s definitely not going to fulfill our demands for that rebate!”
They laugh all the way to the bank, and I sit their pounding my head when I find that receipt twelve months later!
This type of advertising is known as “manipulative.”
While it works almost too good for businesses that want to make that one hot sale, and leave dodge before the jig is up, it often fails at retaining life long customer loyalty.
For small businesses like ours, we have to work extra hard at creating a customer following that will last through both the good times, and the bad 🙁
When the economy tanked, and the housing prices plummeted, how do you think most small businesses stayed afloat?
Their loyal customers that continued spending money, recommended them to their friends, and supported them even when they were unable to offer the same deals as they did in the past.
These VALUED customers, are the exact reason you should be doing everything you can to maintain the type of experience that keeps them coming back!
I’m a big fan of the preferred customer discount card. You see this approach used a lot in the coffee shop business. A punch card is usually issued for an annual fee, or even free. When a customer returns and makes a purchase so many times, they receive some kind of sizable offer for their efforts.
A FREE coffee, or a t-shirt, and maybe even a special “members only” milestone mug.
Not only does this make customers feel like they accomplished greatness, it also allows them entry into some kind of exclusive club. People love being a part of a club or organization. That’s why places like the Elk’s Lodge or VFW do so well at retaining members.
When you build a following of return customers, you are essentially investing in an insurance policy. You’re insuring your business, so when the “once and done” customers fade away, those loyal customers will continue to show up every morning, asking for their usual, and allow you to pay the bills!
The economy has been bad for so long, it is often hard to remember when attracting new business was easy.
It’s not getting any easier folks.
That’s why you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
You need to establish yourself as a business that’s doing something different.
You need to create a WOW factor!
And I believe you can.
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photo credit: The Rocketeer via photo pin cc