Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Is this an advertisement?

I’ve been writing daily for a few weeks now.  In the email campaign, I’ve never overtly promoted the product I represent.  On Facebook, I published a diamond list from Steve’s recent buying trip (since removed from Facebook when Ann Marie pointed out that one of her clients was able to see the keystone price list – never intended for your clients eyes.  Sorry).

Apart from the short-lived diamond list, is this dialogue advertising?  No.  This is part of my marketing plan, but it is not advertising.  An advertisement contains a direct offer or a “call to action.”  An advertisement is a very specific device, used one placement or insertion or 30-second spot at a time.  An advertisement can and should be part of a marketing campaign.

Okay, now that I’ve explained that, wake-up and start paying attention – here’s the important part.  Your marketing campaign involves everything that you intentionally do to create long-term sales and client loyalty.  An advertisement for a specific design, promotion or product line should be aimed at making a sale.  Making a sale should be a tool to earning a client.  A healthy client list is what your future is based upon.  There are however other factors that go into turning a buyer into a client.

This week, take a look at your store from the perspective of a new visitor.  Pay attention to how you greet clients.  What do they see, hear, and smell?  Do you ask the question, “Have you been into our store before?”  Do you have a 30 second introductory “elevator pitch” or positioning statement or basic orientation for those who haven’t?

If you are the only independent retailer in your mall or your town, each new visitor should be told that along with the benefits of being so.  If you’re part of a buying group, maybe that affiliation is part of your introduction.  If you carry exclusive brands, include that.  Don’t use platitudes or clich├ęs, like “we give the best customer service”.

If you are successful in intentionally crafting this experience for new visitors, this now becomes a free and effective part of your marketing campaign.  Once you’ve planted your positioning statement into the mind of the client, you become accountable for proving this in your sales presentation.

An example of an opening introduction is as follows:

Oh, this is your first time into our store?  Welcome.  We’ve been serving (your town or region) for 16 years.  The owners are a local couple who love jewellery so much they’ve hand-selected exclusive Canadian designers to give you unique, durable designs that appeal to us.  Because we belong to a national buying group, we can offer these great designs at the lowest possible price.  While chain-stores have let their average diamond quality drop by up to 5 grades over the past couple of decades, we choose to offer higher quality, more beautiful diamonds.  Our clients receive a stellar warranty, which we almost never have to use anyway, and we have a few special invitation-only events for them every year.  We’d like you to be one of them.  What can I show you…

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