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  • Why Parties Are Key to Attracting Retail Customers

    Are you wondering why your store isn’t attracting as many customers as you would like? It’s because you aren’t having enough parties.

    No, I’m not crazy. And, no, don’t rush out and plan a big bash.

    Let’s just imagine a great party first.

    If you were throwing a party in your home, what would you do?

    You’d pick a date and send invitations. Plan food and drinks. Clean your house. Select music. Buy flowers. Light candles. Wear a great outfit.

    After all that work, what would you do when guests arrive? Would you let the caterer take care of the guests? Retreat to your office to plan the next party?

    That would be nuts. You’d enjoy the party!

    You would greet guests. Introduce them to each other. Show them around the house. Catch up with those you haven’t seen for a while. You would make sure your guests have a great time.

    Running a store is like throwing a party every day. Are you only giving it a half-hearted attempt?

    I’m sure you’re working hard. But is each day like a small party in your store? Are you having regular special events? Are you doing what it takes to throw parties your guests enjoy?

    Do you send out invitations? Go through your customer list. You have one, right? Go through it and invite people to your store. Use the phone, email or snail mail. Ask them to bring a friend.

    Tell them why you are having a party. Invite them to see new merchandise, to a bring-a-friend promotion, a customer appreciation, or maybe it’s your birthday party.

    Take a look at your store. Freshen the paint. Wipe fingerprints off the windows. Create new displays. Make sure it smells great. Get fresh flowers.

    Imagine how your customers respond when you greet them personally at the door. You ask if you can take their coats. You show them around and offer them Perrier. The Perrier is served in a glass, not a paper cup. You introduce them to staff by name. You ask their opinion on some new merchandise.

    When shoppers leave, you bring their coats, and give them an elegant, wrapped chocolate to take with them. You invite them back next week, for a lunch hour event of live music, hors d’oeuvres and product demonstration.

    Now you are sure I’m crazy. That sounds like too much work and expense.

    Sounds like your focus is on you. Not your customer.

    Instead, think of how that customer would feel. Think about what she would say to her friends. How many customers do you think would be in your store next week? And the week after that?

    Sounds like a party.

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