Thrive in 2009

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Thrive in 2009

That may not be the thought going through your mind after the last few weeks. Wexe2x80x99ve already talked to people in the retail industry who have informed us that next year they will only invite speakers to their conferences that are xe2x80x9cfreexe2x80x9d.xc2xa0 Do you think customers are going to attend a conference expecting ideas on how to improve their business from xe2x80x9cfreexe2x80x9d speakers? Businesses will take one of two directions in the next few months.xc2xa0 Some will do all they can do to reduce COSTS whilst others will do all they can to add VALUE. To become a winner in the next twelve months you must become focused on how you can add value to the customerxe2x80x99s experience. A colleague of mine, Gihan Perera has challenged me and I will pass the same challenge on to you: x9What Three things should you keep doing? x9What Three things should you stop doing? x9What Three things should you start doing? In retailing I would argue that you must keep improving customer service as building customer loyalty is critical to your survival. Stop investing in getting new customers as this will get a lot more expensive and difficult.xc2xa0 Start a proactive customer referral system, you need existing customers to refer new customers and you want existing customers to be advocates for your business. I hope these thoughts will ensure you grow your business in tough economic times. John Stanley is an internationally recognised conference speaker and retail consultant. He has authored several successful marketing and retail books including the best seller Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know. Johnxe2x80x99s retail experience covers hands-on retailing in supermarkets, hardware stores, garden centres, farmers markets and drug stores.xc2xa0 For more information on John Stanley and how he can help your business prosper and grow, visit his website www.johnstanley.cc