Welcome to my blog!  In these short videos you’ll learn simple, straightforward and tested strategies and tactics to help you run a better business, have more fun and make more money.

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Real Retail TV Episodes:

How To Handle Retail Customer Complaints

This Episode: How To Handle Retail Customer Complaints

 

If you’ve been in retail for more than 10 minutes you know that complaints are a fact of life. I’m going to suggest that complaints and complainers are really opportunities. Opportunities to do, as Disney says, turn tragic into magic.

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Hi I’m Bob Negen and welcome to this episode of Real Retail TV. Today you’re going to learn the right way to handle a customer complaint.

So if you’ve been in retail for more than 10 minutes you know that complaints are a fact of life. It may not be anything that you did wrong, but the color is not right, they didn’t like the gift, the widget didn’t work as expected. There’s all sorts of things that go wrong and customers come in to complain about it. So you can treat these complaints as a problem, and you can treat these complainers as a problem, but I’m going to suggest that complaints and complainers are really opportunities. Opportunities to do, as Disney says, turn tragic into magic.

The first thing I want to share with you is the recognition that a complaint is a gift. So most people, when they have a problem don’t complain, they just go away. Next time they go online they go to your competition, they spend their money someplace else. So by coming in and complaining to you, they are giving you a gift in that they’re giving you a chance to make it right. They’re giving you another shot at their business. They’re not going online, or to the mall, or to your competition. They’re giving you a gift. So act like it.

So when I say act like it, what I’m suggesting is the very first thing that you should say when you hear that someone has a complaint is not I’m sorry, you should say, thank you. It’s a gift, thank you. You see when you say I’m sorry, which is how most people handle complaints, you’re being put on the defensive. You are now on other sides of the fence. You are playing against each other. When you say thank you, you are now putting yourself on the same team. You are now teammates working together to get that customer to a place where they’re happy to solve their problems. So once you’ve said thank you, the next step is to L.E.A.P. to your customer side. And L.E.A.P. is a fairly famous acronym for listen, empathize, acknowledge, and problem-solving.

So when you L.E.A.P, when you say thank you, your body language, your tone of voice, everything about you should say we are on the same team. Non-verbal communication is 90% of communication. So if you’re looking like this, if your arms are open, if you’re looking them in the eye, if your tone is non-judgmental you’re halfway home. Thank you, I’m so glad you brought that up to me. So let’s go through. The L in L.E.A.P. is for listen. Stop, shut up, ask questions, and listen. But really listen let them tell you what the problem is. Ask more questions if need be. But the listening is really about calming them down and giving you information that you can use to solve their problem.

E is for empathize. And empathy is the process of feeling what they feel, and that’s what you want to do. You want to listen and you want to feel what they feel, because if you are truly empathizing you are bringing that relationship closer, and you are bringing the solution closer. The A in L.E.A.P. stands for Acknowledge their feelings acknowledge that you are hearing them. You don’t have to acknowledge that they are right. You know when people complain are often wrong but that’s OK. Their feelings are their feelings and you want to acknowledge that they’re feeling that way. By you acknowledging their feelings again, what are you doing? Your teammates, you’re working together, you’re getting to the P, which is problem-solving.

Now, this is important. This is contrary to what just about everybody teaches, but I can tell you that from 19 years being on the floor, and for 17 years working with independent retailers like you, this is the best way to handle customer complaints. It goes like this. What would you like me to do? You see, you’ve listened, you empathize, you acknowledge, what would you like me to do? Here’s what you’re going to find, is that when you openly ask someone for a solution to their problem they’re going to give you a totally reasonable solution. And when they give you a totally reasonable solution, the answer is yes, of course, we can do that, good. We’re teammates, we’ve worked together, this problem is solved. Now every once in a while, I know some of you are going oh somebody is going to take advantage of you. Every once in a while someone will take advantage of you. In 19 years I’ve only had this happen twice where someone was unreasonable.

I’ll tell you a funny story or at least I think it’s funny. One of the two times was when we were selling yo-yo’s, and that happened in Jackson, Michigan. In the mall, we had a Yo-Yo Universe kiosk and things were crazy. You know there were dozens of kids mulling around this kiosk buying yo-yo’s, playing with their yo-yo’s. Everybody’s waiting in line. A father and a son get to the front of the line and he had a $25. He had a $25 Raider yo-yo and it was broken. Clearly user error, I knew exactly what the kid had done do it, it happened all the time.

What would you like me to do? And the father said, I’d like you to give me $35 back plus $20 for my time to come down here. Well you’re a retailer you know that’s totally unreasonable, right? But, this is important, you know there are all these people behind watching the whole thing happen. There are lots of people in line waiting to be served. And rather than becoming an adversary to this person, I said, well I know I didn’t just say it, I took a deep breath and then I said to him, no problem. I took $35 and an extra 20 out of the till. I gave it to him along with a little professional stink eye, you know the whole, really dude? You know what you’re doing is jive, I know what you’re doing is jive, but that’s OK I’m a better man than you.

Here it is now, here’s what was interesting. There was like I said all these people waiting in line to get to the front and you know to make their transactions, to buy their yo-yo’s. And they were all watching to see how I would handle it, and because I handled it so skillfully they were all so impressed. And you could just see the way that they felt about me, about us, about Yo-Yo Universe. And I would say that the feelings that this transaction generated were worth way more than the $20 that I gave back because some guy was being a knucklehead. So just recognize that when you are generous there is going to be occasions where someone is unreasonable, that someone will take advantage of you, that you’re going to feel a deep sense of injustice.

But that’s OK. Generosity is the right strategy almost every single time. Now some of you watching this may go, well you know, I can’t do that, my boss won’t let me, our policies won’t let that, allow that, and I get that. And although what would you like me to do I think is the ultimate way of dealing with complaints, if you can’t just make it right what I’m encouraging you to do is to recognize that it’s still your job to do what you can to make them as happy as possible.

I’d suggest that you suggest solutions to them. Watch them. See how they’re reacting to your solutions. If they start to react positively, go down that road. But what I don’t want you to do is say, sorry our policy is this. Tell them what you can do, not what you can’t do. Do everything you can to make it right. Now if you like this, if thinking about customer service and giving your customers an amazing experience is something that interests you, that makes your retailer spidey sense tingle I would encourage you to, A, if you have the retail mastery system, go into your customer service module, go back and review, go back and schedule a meeting in that video where I do frontline customer service training, make sure that your team watches that. If you don’t have the retail mastery system and you are interested in better customer service, I would encourage you to consider making that investment. It might be the best investment you ever make in your business.

So your action items, should you choose to accept them, is to review your customer complaint policies. Ask yourself, ask your team what are we doing, and ask yourself more importantly, how can you be more generous? How can you put yourself more firmly on your customers side? So if you like thinking about customer service, if you want your customers to get a better experience in your store, if you want your team more tuned in and turned on to service I would encourage you to either go into the customer service module of your retail mastery system. Or if you don’t have the retail mastery system, invest in a retail mastery system and then go into the customer service module.

So that’s today’s episode, how to handle customer complaints. If you have not subscribed to our free email tip of the week yet, I would encourage you to go to whizbangtraining.com. Every Wednesday you’re going to get great information on how to build a better business, how to make more money, and how to have more fun. Go there, sign up, and as always I appreciate your likes, I appreciate your comments, and I appreciate your shares. So I’m Bob Negen, this is Real Retail TV, and I’ll see you next time.

12 Traits Of Successful Retailers

This Episode: 12 Traits Of Successful Retailers

After observing thousands of independent retailers, what I’ve found is that the most successful share 12 common traits. In this episode you’ll learn all twelve, and, for good measure, you’ll get a bonus trait I think you’ll like.

Rather Read The Episode? Click Here.

In almost 36 years– it’s hard for me to even say that. But in almost 36 years of retail, I have observed thousands of independent retailers and what I’ve found is that there are 12 traits of super successful independent retailers and if you want to know what they are so that you can benefit from this information this episode is for you.

So for 19 years, I owned the Mackinaw Kite company. My own retail business for almost 17 years. I’ve been here at WhizBang! Retail Training and I’ve worked with and talked to and spoken in front of literally tens of thousands of independent retailers. And the best of the best are this– the 1st trait is that they are brave.

To open a store, or to buy an existing retail business, or to take over an existing family retail business takes courage. And you have to bring courage every single day when you’re an independent retailer don’t you? There’s payroll to meet. There’s cash flow issues. There’s staff problems that you don’t want to deal with, but you have to be brave. You have to have courage and the best independent retailers are brave. They have courage. And because they are brave, they have confidence.

Confidence is the 2nd trait. You see courage is like a muscle and the more you use it, the stronger it is. And the more you fight through the fear and do what you need to do the more confident you become in your abilities, in your mentalities, in your mindset. So the best independent retailers are brave and confident. They’re also proactive.

Being proactive is the 3rd trait. The best independent retailers don’t wait for things to come to them. They bring it. If something needs to be done, they do it. They find a way to make things happen. And not only do they find a way to make things happen, they take responsibility.

Responsibility is the 4th trait. They understand that what happens good and bad is a result of the decisions they make, the actions they take, and the way that they think. They don’t blame the economy. They don’t blame the government. They don’t blame their vendors. They understand that it’s on them. Which leads to the 5th trait.

They’re problem solvers because the best independent retailers are taking responsibility, they know that if things aren’t working the way they are supposed to they have to go out and find a way to make it better. When things aren’t right, they make them right. They find a way to solve the problems. Which leads to the 6th trait.

They’re learners. You see almost anybody can figure something out with brute force, with effort, with time. But the best retailers recognize that someone has done it before them. They recognize if there’s ideas out there that can bring them to the next level. They recognize that they don’t know everything, so they go to the best conferences, they read all the best books, they invest in the right programs and products and services. They’re always learning and because they’re always learning they are constantly improving.

And constantly improving is the 7th trait of great independent retailers. They’re always getting better. Getting better is part of their retailer’s DNA. They’re never satisfied. They always want better. They want a better team. They want better displays. They want better profits. They want to have more fun. They want to give their customers a better experience. So that challenge of improving is what drives them. It makes them great.

It also leads them to the 8th trait which is they embrace change. You know retail is changing at the speed of light right now, and the best independent retailers do not fight it. They don’t live in the past. They recognize that the future is theirs to own if they just go out and grab it. So change is part of their entrepreneurial DNA. They recognize that change represents opportunity, and they are willing to grasp that golden ring.

The 9th trait is that they keep score. They’re very, very clear about what they’re trying to do and they’re making sure that they are making definite steps towards it. They look at their numbers. They manage their inventory. They pay attention to the ROI from their marketing. They pay attention to what their team is doing. They keep score. They understand that if you measure it you can manage it. And if you manage it, you can improve it.

The 10th trait is my favorite. I love independent retailers. I especially love successful independent retailers, and the most successful independent retailers are generous. They understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves and they are anxious and willing and enthusiastic about giving back. They give back to their community. They’re generous with their associates and their team members. They’re generous with their customers. Generosity and reciprocity are part of the way that they think and act and they understand it intuitively.

The 11th trait is they take the long view. They recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. A training program isn’t built in an afternoon. That a customer is more than a transaction. A customer represents lifetime value. They understand that if you do a promotion once and it’s not as good as it could be that if they stay with it that in a couple of years that promotion is going to be awesome. So they’re past thinking in the moment and they’re looking at the future.

The 12th is that they work hard. The best independent retailers work hard and I might add work smart. But they’re willing to do the work. They’re willing to put in the long hours. They understand that hard work pays off.

And then here’s the bonus trait. The best independent retailers not only work hard but they play hard. They understand that their business serves them. They understand that they’re putting in all this work. They’re putting all this energy. That they’re devoting so much time and passion into this thing and that it should serve them. That they deserve vacations. Nice vacations, long vacations that they deserve the best that life has to offer. And because they’ve made the investment up front, they have no problem having a good time at the end.

So there it is. 12 traits of the most successful independent retail business owners with the bonus. The bonus of play hard. So here’s your action plan should you choose to accept it. I’d like you to take out a piece of paper and go through this video again and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of the 13 traits. How do you stack up? What is your score? Because let’s remember again that if you can measure it you can manage it. If you can manage it, you can improve it. And if you start to be better, to work harder, to do more, you’re going to have a more successful business and a better life.

So I hope you found it helpful. If you haven’t signed up for our WhizBang! tip of the week yet, I’d encourage you to go to whizbangtraining.com and sign up. Every Wednesday, you’re going to get great information in your inbox. Information that will help you grow a better business. So as always, I appreciate your likes, your comments, your shares. And I’m Bob Negen and I’ll see you next time.

Hiring Great Retail Employees

This Episode: The Most Overlooked Strategy To Find Great People

Here’s the secret to hiring great retail associates: I want you to recognize that there are great people everywhere. You just need to put on your recruiting hat, keep on your recruiting hat, and always look.

Rather Read The Episode? Click Here.

Hey, it’s Bob Negen, and welcome to another episode of Real Retail TV. And here’s a fact– the best retail stores have the best team members. But finding the right people can be incredibly challenging. And in this episode, you’re going to learn an important but often overlooked strategy to find great people.

Most people, most retailers, go into the hire mode the minute they realize they need a new team member. Somebody quits on a Thursday, you need coverage on a Saturday– I need to go find somebody. And the technology has developed, and there’s lots of websites to post to. But at the end of the day, most retailers are still using what’s basically an electronic version of the good old-fashioned orange and black “Help Wanted” sign.

I’ve got a job. If you need a job, come on in. And if you breathe, you’re hired.

But the problem with this strategy, the “I need someone now” strategy, is that you’re starting from scratch every single time. But the secret strategy that I alluded to earlier is the strategy of constant recruiting. Just recognize that your next great employee is there someplace.

And you’re always wearing your recruiting hat. You’re always thinking about where that next great person is coming from. It could be a server at a restaurant that you go to often.

It could be somebody you go to church with. It could be somebody that you bowl with. It could be the friend of a friend, or a child of a friend.

But you know who you’re looking for. And you also know when that person has real potential. You meet somebody and go, hey, that person would be great here!

And I always did the orange and black thing until one day, I learned my lesson. And let me tell you a story. So in Mackinaw City, for years and years– Mackinaw City’s where I started my business, my retail business, the Mackinaw Kite Company.

And for several years, Mackinaw City had the world’s only seasonal McDonald’s. A dubious distinction at best, but it was right next door to my store. So every morning– I was a single guy at the time– every morning, I would go, and I would eat my breakfast at McDonald’s, and then I would go open the store.

And every morning, I would always get into Glenda’s line, because Glenda was unfailingly pleasant. And she was the kind of person that attracted me– I always wanted to say good morning to Glenda. And so one morning I was in line, and somebody quit on a Thursday, and I needed floor coverage on Saturday, and I was all stressed out about it. I get to the front, and somehow the words just came out of my mouth.

I said, Glenda, will you come work for me? And you know how they stand behind a counter, a register in McDonald’s? Glenda looked up at me, and she said, I thought you’d never ask.

Now, you have to understand that that is almost 25 years ago. And Glenda still works at the Mackinaw Kite Company in Mackinaw City, Michigan. She is still the best employee on that crew every single year. And Glenda was in front of me for at least three years before I realized that she should be my next great employee.

So I want you to recognize that there are great people everywhere. You just need to put on your recruiting hat, keep on your recruiting hat, and always look. If you meet somebody who you think should be your next great employee, give them a business card and say, hey, I hope you’re happy where you are. But if you’re ever thinking about changing, please come see me. I’d love to have a conversation.

You notice I’m not offering a job. I’m just offering an opportunity. But what you’re doing is you’re building up a hot prospects file. You’re recruiting before the fact so that when it’s time to hire, you’ve got several people to talk to, and you’re not stuck with another warm body on your floor.

I hope you found that helpful. Learning that was really kind of life-changing for me. So if you liked it, I appreciate your likes. I love your shares, I love your comments. I love to hear what you have to say.

And if you haven’t subscribed to our free email tip of the week yet, please go to WhizBangTraining.com and sign up. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did. So again, I’m Bob Negen. This is Real Retail TV, and we’ll see you next time.

3 Ways To Grow Your Retail Business

This Episode: 3 Ways To Grow Your Retail Business

 

There are only three ways to grow a retail business, and in this episode of Real Retail TV, I’ll share what they are, what they mean for your retail business, and how they work together for the future growth of your retail business.

Rather Read The Episode? Click Here.

There are only three ways to grow a retail business, and in this episode of Real Retail TV, I’ll share what they are, what they mean for your retail business, and how they work together for the future growth of your retail business.

The first way to grow your retail business is to get new customers. And getting new customers is important because new customers are the lifeblood of your business. You’re always going to lose customers, so you need to keep finding new ones. And actually, you need to find more new ones than you lose so that your customer base, that group of people who continue to buy from you, continues to grow.

Getting new customers requires a specific set of marketing activities. You can give away gift certificates to your best prospects. You can advertise on social media. You can engage in WhizBang! Cause Marketing to get local nonprofits to send their members and supporters to you. You can do and endorsed mailing to get other local businesses to recommend your business to their customers. You can also have promotions and special events that are designed specifically to get new customers in the door.

There’s lots of ways to do it, but let’s just recognize that there’s a specific set of strategies and activities and tactics that you need to use. But of the three ways to grow your business, getting new customers costs the most money and it’s the most work. It’s good work, but it’s work.

The second way to grow your business is to build your average sale. And you can compute your average sale by taking your total sales and dividing it by the number of transactions. And the best ways to build your average sales are pricing for profit, meaning strategically raising your prices, and bundling, which is putting like merchandise together in a bundle so it makes sense to buy the bundle. Let me give you an example. A value meal at McDonald’s is a bundle.

But hands down the best way to increase your average sale is through sales training. Not just training. Not just an event. But creating a service culture that sells. When you have a team of great, properly trained people, they naturally and automatically and enthusiastically recommend the appropriate add-ons. They showcase your better-quality merchandise. And they make sure that your customer leads with everything they need.

It’s my experience that in most stores there is at least a 25% gap between the average sale of the average salesperson and the average sale of the best sales person. That gap represents opportunity. Building your average sale is the quickest, most efficient way to grow your business, but it also has limits.

When I had my retail store, the Mackinaw Kite Company, our average sale was about $30, and we worked hard to get it to $30. But no matter what we did, we were a toy and kite store. We were never going to get it to $100. The nature of your merchandise will determine the ceiling of your average sale.

There are many, many ways for you to increase the number of sales per customer. You can get more sales by giving your customers the kind of experience that makes them want to come back. You can get more sales by building relationships with your customers correctly, using email marketing, social media, and newsletters.

You can get more sales by doing everything in your power to show them the love that will engender loyalty to your store. And speaking of loyalty, you can have a kick-butt loyalty program. The retailers that do the best job of getting their customers into their store more often also have lots and lots of fun, interesting promotions that bring them into the store.

Again, there is a specific group of strategies and tactics to employ to get your current customers into your store more times. And by the way, while it’s really, really important to get new customers and do everything you can to increase the average ticket, the big money, the take long, long vacations on sunny islands with a coconut drink in your hand, comes from getting more transactions per customer.

There it is….the three ways to grow your business. Think about how you can break it down to build your sales up. Think about every single one of the three ways. So your action item for today, should you choose to accept it, is to sit down by yourself or with your team and identify ways that you can increase each of the three ways to grow your business.

I hope that you found this episode of Real Retail TV helpful, and if you did I would appreciate it if you liked it, if you shared it, and of course if you have not subscribed to our free email WhizBang! Tip of the Week, I would encourage you to go to whizbangtraining.com and sign up today.

There is three ways to grow your business. I’m Bob Negen. You’re watching Real Retail TV. And I will see you next time.

Non-Negotiable Standards

This Episode: Non-Negotiable Standards

 

This Episode:  3 Incredibly Powerful Words:  “Non-Negotiable Standards.” If you are frustrated because your team members are not doing what you want them to do, the way you want them to do it, then you are going to LOVE This video!

Rather Read The Episode? Click Here.

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to share with you the management concept that changed my life.

What I’m talking about here is the idea of a non-negotiable standard. Before I heard those words, I never could get my people to always do what I wanted them to do. My management strategy was to ask someone to do something, and hope that they did it. And then when I heard those words, when I learned this concept, it was like the clouds opened up, and I recognized that all I needed was the words. All I needed to do was hear those words– non-negotiable standards– and everything changed for me.

So let’s talk about what a non-negotiable standard is, and how is it defined. A non-negotiable standard is a standard that everyone in your business, including you, I might add, adheres to in exchange for their employment, meaning this is how we do it, and if you don’t choose to do it this way, you won’t have a job.

For 19 years, I had a seasonal store in Mackinaw City, and I kept employees for years and years and years. They always came back because we were the coolest place in town to work. And I retrained them every single season, and I’d always come back to the non-negotiable standards. And I’d say look, McDonald’s is right next door, and McDonald’s pays $3 an hour more than you make here at the Mackinaw Kite Company. But if you don’t adhere to our non-negotiable standards, you can walk right next door and get a job, because you won’t have one here.

Of course, I said it nicely. Of course, I made a joke about it. But they knew that I was serious.

So let’s talk about how to apply this concept in your business right away. So first of all, don’t come up with a list of 100 things that you should make into non-negotiable standards. Come up with a couple, maybe three that you are serious about. Think about opportunities that you have or things that are driving you crazy.

So here are a couple of examples of non-negotiable standards. You will attempt to add on to every sale. You will ask every customer if they are members of our loyalty program. You will never say, may I help you. You will always initial the open and closing checklist. You will be on time. So you just pick out a couple things that you know if they happened every single time with every single employee, your business– and therefore, your life– would be better. So start with a list of three. Get serious about making sure those standards are executed every single time, and watch your business change.

Let me tell you a quick story. For years, I spoke at a nursery and landscape association, at their big national educational event. And I spoke for many years in a row. And one year, I was in the airport, and a guy comes up to me and he says, Bob, I was in your program last year about standards, and I have a big operation. Turns out he had a very, very big operation. They had a growing division, they had a retail division, and they had a wholesale division. He said we went back and we made the managers of every one of our divisions pick three non-negotiable standards, and then make a commitment to making sure those standards were adhered to all the time. He said, I could not believe the positive impact that that single exercise had on our business.

So here’s your action item, should you choose to accept it. Sit down by yourself, maybe with some team members, and ask yourselves, what would make a difference, what behavior would change things, what’s driving you crazy, what’s driving your team crazy, what three things can be changed that will make this business a lot better. Make those non-negotiable standards, make a commitment to driving them down, and watch how your business is going to change.

If you want to be a better manager if you want to be a better leader, if you want to know more about standards, go into the staff development module of your retail mastery system, because that module is filled with nuts and bolts, information on how you get your team really, really running on rails. If you don’t have the retail mastery system, I’d encourage you to consider investing in it. It might be a game changer for you.

If you haven’t subscribed to our free email tip of the week yet, please go to whizbangtraining.com and subscribe. You’ll be glad you did.

So as always, I appreciate your likes, your comments, your questions. And I’m Bob Negen. This is Real Retail TV. And I’ll see you next time.

WhizBang! Cause Marketing

This Episode: WhizBang! Cause Marketing

 

WhizBang! Cause Marketing is a technique that helps retailers like you solve the “donation dilemma” in a way that lets you help your community while bringing new customers into your store. 

Rather Read The Episode? Click Here.

If you want to get your local nonprofit organizations enthusiastically sending their members and supporters into your store, spending money, then this episode is for you.

So today what we’re going to talk about is WhizBang! Cause Marketing. And I’m going to share the fundamentals of this really cool strategy to get lots of new customers, generate lots of free positive publicity, and of course build your sales. When most retailers think of supporting a local cause, they think of giving a donation. And while I’m all for generosity and supporting your local community, there’s always a limit.

When I had my retail business, I’d sometimes get several donation requests a day, and it started to wear on me. I started to suffer from what I call the donation dilemma. I wanted to do good, but I felt like people were taking advantage of me. I was giving, but I didn’t feel like I was getting. Then I developed what we call WhizBang! cause marketing.

WhizBang! Cause Marketing is not a donation. It involves a mutually beneficial partnership. Let me say those three words again– a mutually beneficial partnership– between a store and a nonprofit. It’s mutually beneficial because the store gives a percentage of the sales generated from the members of the nonprofit if the nonprofit organization does a great job of driving traffic and generating sales, the store writes a big check. If they do a lousy job, they get a little check. You see, you only pay when you get paid.

So let’s talk about three WhizBang! cause marketing models. The first is one store, one cause. An example of this is paint the town pink. My wife, Susan, and several of her friends, walked 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast-cancer research. They partnered with a local running store. The name of the store was Running Circles. They had an after-hour party, where Alan invited all of his customers and Susan and her friends invited all of their friends, and they had this big party, and Alan donated a percentage of the sales back to Team Save our Sisters, Susan’s group.

Now Alan got 250 new customers. He generated a ton of publicity for his store with this event. He sold a lot of shoes, and he gladly wrote Susan and her team, her partners, a big check. That’s the first model. One store, one cause.

The second model is one store, multiple partners. An example of this is Skirt, a high-end women’s clothing boutique in suburban Philadelphia. Maureen, the owner of Skirt, approached several local schools and their fundraising arms and did a Cause Marketing event. For one full week, everybody who came in the store got to choose where the percentage of the sales was going, which school was going to get the donation.

Now Maureen did two very, very clever things. The first thing she did was she put a leader board up in her store, so everyone who came in got to see which school was getting the most money. The second clever thing she did was she doubled the amount of the donation for the school that raised the most money. So this was an incredibly important, profitable, valuable event. This is one store, multiple partners.

The third model is multiple stores with multiple partners. And a great example of this is Traverse City Celebrates Downtown. This happens in Traverse City, Michigan. It typically happens on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and they have 50 local nonprofits who are driving their supporters into downtown to local merchants.

And so when these 50 nonprofits drive their supporters downtown, these supporters, these customers, get to choose who they want the percentage of their sales donated to. So you have 50 local nonprofits in Traverse City, and all of the local merchants in downtown Traverse City all working together to help their community, to keep their money local, to doing good things.

So those are your three models. They’re all quite simple. One on one, one on many, or many on many. This is a great strategy, again, to build buzz, to get new customers, and to, of course, increase your sales. If you want to know more about the details of using Cause Marketing and your business, go to your Retail Mastery System and go into the marketing module. If you don’t have the Retail Mastery System yet, I would strongly encourage you to consider investing in it. It could be a game-changer for you.

So here’s your action item for today. Think about the nonprofits that you’d like to work with. Write them down. Approach them. Put this strategy into work. It never quite happens the way you think it will the first time, but if you stick with it, great things are going to happen.

So again, cause marketing is a wonderful way for you to get new customers, to do great things in your community, to build a buzz around your business, to get free publicity, and of course to get new customers and increase your sales. Use it in your business and prosper.

If you haven’t subscribed to our free email Tip of the Week yet, I’d encourage you, I’d invite you to go to whizbangtraining.com and sign up. Every Wednesday you’ll get something great in your inbox. And if you like this, I’d appreciate your like. I appreciate your comments. And of course I appreciate your shares. So I’m Bob Negen. This is Real Retail TV, and I’ll see you next time.

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