A great business is one who knows where their customers are coming from.Â For example, are 30% of your customers walk-inâ€™s, return customers or online through targeted or organic marketing?
Is all of the above making you dizzy?Â Well, I suggest, if you are not already, ask your customers how and why they came in to your shop today.Â
Employ a loyalty card, this will not only track what your customers buy (so you can target campaigns to them), but also how often and how much they spend in your store.Â
VIP evenings are used as a major advantage over your competitors to retain customers, increase sales and grow your database.
By throwing a VIP evening, you will increase customer loyalty, make amazing customer relationships, increase awareness about what YOUR customers want and need, and increase your sales.Â
All a VIP night needs is great staff, amazing stock, and a little bit of know-how.Â One night (make it a Tuesday or a Wednesday), invite your database to a VIP evening.Â Supply a glass of wine or bubbles or two and some canapÃ©s and let them browse your stock.Â
Give them an incentive of 10-20% off anything they purchase on the night.Â Invite them to bring a friend who has never shopped in your store before.Â Their friend also gets 10-20% off.Â Have a specialist about your stock in-store to offer advice (a stylist if a fashion retail shop, a graphic designer if you are a graphic/sign writer store, a computer geek if you are an IT store).Â This way your customers can ask questions to your specialist over a glass of bubbles (champagne or beer), in a relaxed friendly manner.Â
Your customers will think you are amazing for offering FREE advice, FREE drinks, FREE food, and 10-20% off ALL stock.Â
Have a competition on the night â€“ enter to win $200 of free stock/supplies/voucher/shoes etc.Â This will mean that the friends of your clients will fill in their details, and bingo you have increased your database!Â
Make sure your staff are knowledgeable, show-off everything that you have to offer.Â Make the evening fun and light-hearted.Â Not only will you get amazing sales, you will now have new customers, happy repeat customers, and a larger database.Â
If you are worried about costs, rally the local shops around you to help you out.Â Can the local deli/coffee shop donate the canapÃ©s in return for advertising on your e-invite, and to be there on the evening with a banner and flyers (they can also be your waiters).Â Can the local florist donate a bunch of flowers, the local bottle shop or vineyard, some wine?
Or how about out-sourcing to an event planner? Â Using an outside event planner ensures that valuable work time is not lost to event planning. The event does not become a burden that detracts from business as usual, and does not override your staff from what they do best â€“ selling your stock!Â Â Event planners are experts at budgeting and planning and have an extensive network of connections that know where to locate the best services and how to negotiate the best pricing and package deals.Â
The best investment you can do for your customers is show them great customer service, amazing support, make them feel special and show them a bit of fun.Â VIP evenings should be held in every business at least 3 times a year!Â
Image courtesy ofÂ lazybone cafe’s.