Tuesday, 24 April 2012


When I was in retail and took my A.R.M.S. management training, one thing I learned (but never put into practice) was the use of “Spruikers.”  Or was it “Sprookahs”?  I couldn’t tell through the Aussie accents.  I’ve seen flower shops and Little Caesar’s Pizza use a highly visible person on the street with a sign to entice cars into their parking lots.  I once saw a bikini-clad babe jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline with a sign ushering traffic into a car-wash.  That’s what those Aussies were talking about.

A recent article in JCK reminded me of this great marketing technique (click headline to view aricle)

I’ve seen Michael Hill use this technique.  They have a staff member at the threshold or just outside their store with a tray reminiscent of banquet wait-staff with a tray of canap├ęs.  Why are they the only jewellery store I’ve ever seen do this? 

Most of you would claim to carry better quality jewellery than them.  Most of you believe yourselves to be brighter than their staff.  They’re growing for a reason.  If it’s not because of their product or staff, it must have something to do with marketing!

If you have better product and more knowledgeable staff, why don’t you try matching their marketing initiative?  If you have in-store specials, why not pay someone minimum wage to stand there and pass-out hand-bills for a few of the busiest hours?

It’s a numbers game, people!  Let’s say 500 people walk by your store in a day and 30 come-in.  If a sprooker lures 6% of the remaining 470 people to enter your store and 10% of them make a purchase, you’ve earned two or three new customers.  That may not seem like much, but if your average ticket is $140, you’ve more than paid for the extra staff time.  But that’s not the end of the story.  If you convert them into long-term clients, their lifetime value from personal spending and referrals is virtually immeasurable. 

If you’ve given this a try, please let me know.  I’d like to hear from those of you who’ve taken action on this front.

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