In tough economic times, marketing becomes more challenging than ever. To counter lower sales, retailers and other marketers are turning to new, innovative ideas to help them get and retain customers. Low-pressure marketing tactics are one way they’re establishing relationships with their customers, instead of the usual practice of selling the product and seeing them to the door.
Getting Started in Low-Pressure Marketing
To start your own low-pressure marketing campaign, think about marketing your entire company, not just a product. You should focus heavily on quality, customer service, customer retention, and follow-up. For example, if you own an ice cream shop, offer free samples to sell more cones, and offer specials to repeat customers. Make sure your staff is friendly and welcoming, so they’ll stay inside longer and order more, and make sure your products are the best they can be with premium ingredients and innovative flavors. Offer customer surveys to find out what they like and don’t like about your shop.
Your clerks should know what ingredients are in the ice cream, and know the nutritional content, as well. Always greet customers, and greet the ones you know by name. If your customers seem like they want to be left alone, let them be, but most people enjoy a friendly atmosphere where they feel comfortable and accepted. Your staff should act more as consultants who are meeting people’s needs, rather than pushing a hard sell.
Managers can help lower the pressure, too. Instead of requiring quotas and hard sales numbers, many are looking toward higher-quality interactions with customers and other businesses. Most customers don’t want a hard sell, they want a positive experience from start to finish, and they want to feel the sales person cares about them. They want experienced and knowledgeable people who can address their needs effectively.
Train Your Staff
Since your staff reflects you and your new ideas of low pressure marketing, you’ll need to train them to be caring and helpful to everyone. They should always greet customers as they enter the store, assess their needs, and then meet those needs by having good knowledge about your products and services. In the low-pressure system, staff doesn’t worry about making quotas or numbers. Instead, they get bonuses when they’re observed treating customers well, or when the entire store meets other numbers for the month.
Managers have found that higher salaries keep staff longer, and more effective training adds up to better production and knowledge. They look for people who really like people and working with them, too. All of this leads to customer satisfaction, which is one of the keys to low-pressure marketing. A happy customer comes back to your business again and again, and that only adds to your bottom line.