With the increased national presence of many brands, it is even more important now than ever to use your local resources to reach out to and grab local sales. This is even true if you have an online presence because unless you’re Amazon or eBay, you’ll likely make the majority of your sales through your retail location. And what better of a way to reach local customers than by networking and using your neighbors to help you do so?
1. Who are the local businesses that are the busiest? They don’t have to be big retail chains. They can be franchised businesses and smaller mom and pop shops around you.
- Reach out to these local businesses and give their employees a great offer
- Create an enticing flyer to put into the businesses’ break room for their employees to see (and pick up)
- Create a secondary flyer and ask to put it in the front of their store for customers to pick up
- Find out if there is a way you can cross-promote with the business to create marketing and advertising that benefits both of your companies (at half the price…or less!)
2. Build relationships with these businesses. Don’t just drop in and hand them some flyers.
- Take the owner of the other businesses out to lunch to discuss marketing and advertising opportunities
- Find out what they are doing right to bring customers into the store
- Share best-practices with each other
- Visit with them on a regular basis – make it a normal part of your business day
3. Setup a table within their business occasionally (and allow them to do so in your business, if appropriate).
- Hand out flyer, coupons, or small novelties to your potential customers
- Reach a customer base you wouldn’t normally reach
- If appropriate, bring your product or service to sell to customers on the spot
4. Reach out to local community colleges, apartment complexes, community centers, and HOA’s to promote your business.
- Create a coupon, discount, or promotion specifically for that group or community
- Set up a table in their place of business to promote your business and the promotion to that group of customers
- Hand out flyers, coupons, or small novelties to your potential customers
5. Dress and act appropriately – I know that most of you will do this, but it’s just a reminder for those who may have forgotten.
- Dress for success – slacks, shirts with your company logo, dress shoes, dress shirt and tie when appropriate – let them know you mean business
- Be organized with your documents and who you are meeting with
- Take notes so you can remember what you spoke about with the owner in future conversations
- Always have business cards with you to hand out
Build relationships that will benefit you and the other businesses, always be ready to network your business, and always look for ways to increase your sales.