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Monday, March 1, 2010

Opening Salvo: Great Marketing Begins with a Acknowledgement

This is my first post on Survive and Thrive for Retailers and I thought I'd start with wisdom from Seth Godin. You may or may not know him but recently he posted "Win the Fight, Lose The Customer" on  his blog and it so nicely fit with a professional marketing stance for retailers, I thought I'd begin with it. It is sort of an affirmation or a mantra to say yourself (or to your customer) whether you think the customer is right or wrong but it's especially good if you're convinced he or she is wrong.  It goes like this:

"I have no problem acknowledging that you're unhappy, upset, or even angy. Nex time, I'd prefer to organize our interaction so you don't end up feeling that way, and I probably could have done it this time, too. You have my attention and my empathy and I value you. Thanks for being here."

You can, of course, frame this in language you feel comfortable with, but the essentials are all there.

There are occasions when one doesn't want a customer back. I may discuss those rare instances in a future blog. But in my nearly 30 years as founder and operator of my own stores, I found only two of them. I admit I'm a patient person.

Whether one is patient or not, Seth's appoach is a valid one. Who is right is rarely the point. The point is, how customer or client and provider can get past the incident and move in a positive direction. In other words, reach for a win-win.  This same approach can be used by vendors when dealing with their retailers.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center. Because she is the author of the multi award-winning how-to books for writers,The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success, retailers will also find essentials of writing for blogs, Web sites, and newsletters on this blog. She is the author of an award-winning novel, This Is the Place; and other fiction and poetry. She blogs on better writing at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog. Find her tweeting for retailers at @frugalretailing . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use this little green widget to let them know about it:

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