Promotional Tip#1 — How use your top seller to get a new product the attention it DESERVES

22 12 2007

I just was trying to help a small business owner market a brand new product so people would try it. Now this a product that once they try it once they can decide from there but we thought they would like it. So what I suggested was simple– launch the new product but to take away some of the risk tell the customer that you’ll discount the top seller if they try it. I am going to add here that over 50% of all the customers purchased the top product so the people would be purchasing the top product regardless. This way if they were willing to try something new they could have it at a lower price.

In this case it worked with great success because once people tried the new product they loved it almost as much as the old one. The idea was to generate interest to see if the customer would like it as much as we thought they would or not. The key here is that we were able to speed up the feedback by discounting the favorite product. Now they have two top sellers that don’t compete with each other directly but actually complement each other so now customers come in an ask for BOTH products.

It’s like getting 2 sales for the price of 1.


Yet another reason why Steve Jobs and Apple are the best ever

20 12 2007

I love the Apple stores I always have. However I was walking through the mall today and I saw one of the greatest ways of show potential customers that we have plenty of staff here to serve you , they are easy to find(even from clear across the mall), and even with a completely packed store potential customers saw there was plenty of staff on hand that are HAPPILY serving their current customers in the Store. So the million dollar question is how did I get all that information will just a GLANCE at the Apple Store on my way to the Food Court at Christiana Mall. I’ll give you a hint it has to do with topic that I wrote about four weeks ago on this blog about Macy’s Department Store and their utter stupidity of how they present their employees. Do a quick read I’ll wait here if you haven’t yet you’ll understand what I’m about to share. So as I was saying before what colors your eyes use to make decisions on what to pay attention too.

Now NOT only did I pay attention but it ALMOST drew me into the store just because all the employees looked like they where having so much fun helping customers I wanted to feel like those customers felt– positive and relaxed (did I mention the store was PACKED– It’s less than 4 weeks till Christmas on a rainy Sunday at the mall ). SO I have 4 questions for you about my experience that I help to see why this was so amazing. First how was I able to see ALL the employees from across the mall? Second How could I tell that they had enough staff help a packed store? Third what the employees attitude was before I entered the store? and Fourth How could I have gotten all that info with just a quick glance? The answer was the color that all the employees where wearing got me to do that in like two seconds flat. I one of those colors that gets you to stop what you are doing and say whats that. With the backdrop of the apple store being clear it easy to see through.

The color is RED yes Stop light RED. We all do what we are taught as consumers or people. The rules that we have been taught when it comes to that color are plentiful. Our mind makes INSTANT associations when we see fire engine RED. It SCREAMS pay attention to me –your life my depend on it. So they used the color to send the same message but for a different reason. Who ever in Apple designs these little strategies is an absolute genius. Your eyes also reflect off of RED when you see it to determine its meaning. in other words you look for whats around it to determine its meaning. That’s how I was able to see the smiles because my eyes pulled off the shirts. It also allowed me to see how many employees where there compared to customers. Now that’s a Message that display ultimate shopping confidence– the one thing we are all looking for this holiday season–a reason to believe and trust in ANY retail business.

Giving meaningful gifts to your employees to show your appreciation of their hard work

14 12 2007

I’m sure that you would agree the the two most important things in your business are your employees and customers. You know the great ones are rare and hard to find and only after you lost one do you see the impact they created to overall well being of your company. So finding ways to show them how much you value what they contribute to your success as a small business owner is of extremely high importance. If your one of my regular readers you probably have read my other post on customer value so here is the other part of the equation. If you haven’t read my primer on understanding my view points it is here.

I wanted to save this post because this is the time of year most SBO’s are looking for gift giving ideas for the most important people in their business or professional life. Finding unique and powerful way to show employee how much you value them can truly create less employee turnover and a more positive work environment than you may realize until it happens. This is truly something that giving once in the right ways can last you for the rest of the year … and next year. The power to make a difference in someones life with just a small but well thought out token is something that may last for their lifetime you never know. However it has to be WELL THOUGHT OUT _-not expensive to gain full effect. Most employers give bonuses and I say when they see the benefit to this way they wouldn’t never give a bonus again as a way to show employees you care. Why? it’s only money and it will be forgotten about two minutes after its spent so shelf life is a week max. I show you reasons/thoughts, others examples and a simple way to create your own way of starting to give thought–fully. Don’t get me wrong employees should definitely get bonuses but not a way to say thank you but rather as pay for the work they accomplished. The two should NEVER be confused with each other.

So getting back to the gifts– the personal the better shows how much you are really paying attention to them. Try your best to give memories not things. What I mean by that is anybody can get you something off a list so your goal is to be powerful and unique. You want the memory of the experience to last for the next 180 days at least. However if you do have to pick a present get them something that nobody else would think to get them. For example you notice that once every two weeks your co worker goes to the same place for lunch because they like it get them a gift certificate for two lunches at least. You save them money and they be thinking while eating those lunches.

Now for the great gifts the memories. Find favorite activities of hobbies that your employees have. Or sometimes if you find other things they are passionate about. Then give them the experience as a gift. So let me give you an example –I found out that one of my employees favorite baseball player was Tony Gwynn how ironic the same as mine. So I found out when the Padres where in Philadelphia playing the Phillies then I got us field seats. Now for the great part the surprise. When I scheduled I overstaffed he thought it was because of a big shipment coming in. When he showed up I handed him a Padres cap and said lets go needless to say he was blown away. One afternoon that YEARS later we still reminisce about.

Now he was a good employee before but afterwards if their was anything I needed he volunteered –I didn’t even have to ask. I can honestly tell you that $100 gift made and saved me a couple thousand. Now that’s not what I had in mind but after it happened I realize the magnitude of my gratitude combined with my thoughtful gift giving. When ever I do it the benefits FAR outweigh the cost. Whenever I need something my employees want to help me out because they know how much I care, how much of an impact they have and that I’m willing to sacrifice to show them that.

So the lesson is this give with your values and heart instead of just with your money and your company will grow in ways you can never imagine.

AS always if you need any ideas for your employees PLEASE email me — Tom Titlow Jr @

Do this one thing and your customers will become “Raving Fans”

9 12 2007

Take personal responsibility for giving your customers the best experience possible.  Simple sounding but hard to transfer to Real Life you say? Yes and no. Yes because it will have you make fundamental changes in every aspect of your business to get started. No because once you go from ‘delivering customer service to creating an positive experience for your customer no matter what the circumstances are the mindset the work takes care of itself. Most people don’t stop and notice that changing your perspective about any aspect of your life is completely free and all you have to do decide to. Just remember this –there is nothing a customer appreciates more than somebody that understands THEM and seeing the world from their perspective. People love to talk about experience that they were expecting a negative and you create something positive for them where there wasn’t something previously. So step out and take RESPONSIBILITY for them and then watch all you gain from it.

Why you need to look at Apple retail stores if you want to run a great(and hugely profitable)business

8 12 2007

Here are a list of just some things that you need to incorporate into your business Right NOW. I have picked them all up from Steve Jobs design of Apple retail business but they run a better business then anybody on the planet and it’s not because they make great products(wait that’s another post). Instead they understand what all customers want more than anything. An experience that literally transcends any other business (or human) interaction you have had before. Just look at this ever growing list of things they have given society.

1. The close when the last customer(s) leave not when a clock tells them to<shows customers they are #1>

2. The don’t sell they educate <people are mature enough to know when they are ready to buy>

3. They have instore classes all the time <even though you own their product that are not satisfied until you are in using it>

4. The use the clearest and lightest colors in their store <to make it some place you want to come in for the atmosphere and show you they HAVE nothing to hide>

5. You can stay as long or as little as you want with or without an employees help<please make yourself at home and I’m ONLY here if YOU would like me to be–to make your visit more ENJOYABLE >

6. All employees are armed(literally) with a credit card device that is ready where ever you are WITHOUT HAVING TO STAND IN ANY LINE(that’s a 1st–no waiting in line imagine that one)

7. They make ALL APPLE Store grand openings the EXPERIENCE of a life time. <Just like Disney World once in your life you have to attend an Apple store grand opening —you WILL feel the same emotion that YOU are KING>

8. If you Ipod breaks under warranty they replace it <they Don’t make you suffer because their product is defective or breaks–others try and find a way to put the blame on your actions and not honor the warranty–They feel it’s more important doing whatever it takes to keep the customer happy>

9. All employees are HAPPY to be there <makes the fact that you might need help less threatening because they WANT to give you anything you desire, instead of making you feel that they are only there because it’s their job requirement(ahem WALMART excuse me).

I’ll continue this list as I think of more great ideas

How can you make your customers lives easier this time of year?

7 12 2007

we all how extremely stressful this time of year can be. However for small business owners it can create several opportunities that the benefits of can last the whole next year though. People remember the intangible things you did to create VALUE in their lives. what did you do out of the ordinary for them? What did you give they they couldn’t find anywhere else?( ex muscle relaxation through having a massage therapist on site as a free service on busy days, holding your customers gifts until they find a way to hide them or having a gift wrapping party –you supply the wrapping paper free of charge they get to wrap their presents in a fun environment where they are away from home and getting to network with other customers) I have tons of other ideas for you just email me. The overall idea is this–

In what completely UNIQUE ways can I make my customers lives more fun, less stressful and /or more productive during the holiday season?

Five guys Burgers–Audacity to increase desire

2 12 2007

One of the greatest things about 5 Guys burgers is how in your face upfront they are. First the burgers are made literally right in front of you (imagine if your auto mechanic did that–let you watch what he was doing). Then as your waiting for your order they have at perfect eye level every review of their burgers for all over the US. What that says to me is our burgers are great PERIOD.  Remember I haven’t taken a bite yet but I saying how confident is that–how do they know if I’LL like it? I was ALMOST waiting to prove them wrong because of how OVER the top they are saying they are. I just love the concept –we are so sure you’ll like it that we are willing to show you what others are saying. By the way it’s not one magazine this display covers the whole eating area. The nice part is after you bite into one and you look along those walls  and then you realize how ABSOLUTELY right they all were.