The World Is Going Out Of Business

Filed Under Business Tips 

It seems as if the world is going out of business (OOB). Investment firms, banks, automobile manufacturers, athletic associations, national retail chains, restaurants, airlines, car dealerships, jewelry stores, department stores, furniture stores, toy stores. Even governments, for crying out loud! Gone. Forever and ever.

The good news is that there are lots of us who are still open for business.  Maybe we were smarter. Maybe we were luckier. That’s a topic for someone else to analyze and report on. My concern is to find ways for you to continue to be open for business.

When the “going out of business sale” sign is hung on a competitor’s front door or that of a related business in your neighborhood, think of ways to capture their customers. Here are some ideas:

  • Does the business that’s closing have a client list that you can purchase? If so, buy it and contact everyone on it immediately. Don’t stop at one contact. Treat this list like the pure gold that it is.
  • Offer to honor the other store’s discount or frequent-buyer cards.
  • Offer a hefty discount on a purchase when a customer shows the credit card of the OOB store and allows you to cut it in half. This way it’s a one time discount. Or give them a discount on their next visit when they present the second half of the credit card.
  • Have a “Welcome Home” event for displaced customers of the OOB store. Make it an event. Have  refreshments, prizes (have people enter by giving their name, address, phone and email address), invite a local celebrity. Contact the newspaper to be sure your event is announced in the paper the day before and ask that a reporter cover the story. Be sure you current clients are notified as well. This is a good opportunity to update information and to see people who may have wandered from your flock.
  • Give everyone who comes in a discount card to be used on their next visit. Have a welcoming message printed on it, something like “We love everyone who loves ice cream! Present this card for a free ice cream cone when one or more are purchased”; or “As an expression of appreciation to our clients, old and new, present this card for a free beverage the next time you dine with us.” Give out LOTS of cards!
  • If your business is automotive services, market to the people who used to go to the dealerships in the area that are now out of business. Use the name of the defunct dealerships in your ads (“All clients of Snow Brothers Ford, we’d like to be your new home for oil changes and tire rotation”, or “Attention: former clients of Integrity Saturn, we provide service on your vehicle using only authentic factory parts.”) This will work with any kind of business… beauty salon, book store, dry cleaner.

Give these displaced clients a reason for doing business with you. Let them know what you can do for them, where you are, when you’re available. Let them know you want their business.

What other ways can you think of to gather clients from the out of business stores in your area? What are you doing to attract clients that were doing business elsewhere? Please leave your thoughts and ideas below in the comment section. Let’s help each other shoulder this economy.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann@catchphrasemarketing.com, or 888-494-8445, to discuss how you can get more clients, increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you CAN have it all!

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