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    How Do I Deal With Disruptions From Events In My Town?


    Question:"American Express has selected Small Business Saturday to be celebrated on the biggest college football game day of the year. My store is in Columbus, you'll be able to go bowling on the highways that day...any suggestions on how to deal with disruptions?"

    So Chris, you know, I think it's easy to think that it’s a horrible thing. I know that there are an awful lot of people out there that hate American Express because they charge you, what, 1% more than Visa MasterCard, and I'm not going to do it.

    The reason it's so great for you is it costs you nothing, and they have a marketing team out there that's doing things. One thing I did just before I got on here, Chris, is I did a quick little Google search of "Small Business Saturday Columbus." And I came up and instantly found the “eight must-visit places on Small Business Saturday in Columbus.”

    Well, you could write that yourself and put yourself as number one and get some of the other people and then you could go to the Small Business Saturday. They have a Facebook group. They also have a lot of marketing materials and you can tie into that. Now we've got time. We've got two, three weeks until it happens. But be proactive with this because instead of just crying the blues, this is giving people an opportunity to have a reason to come to you who, frankly, wouldn't come to you probably as easily. Because that momentum of Small Business Saturday which grew out of big business Friday, which is go to the malls and get the big discounts for the big boxes and then Saturday go to the small independent retailers. So it's a good thing.

    See also, Bad Customer Service Examples: 50 Things Retail Employees Shouldn't Do

    I don't know how else you could do it, other than that, I think it's great. So write that or look for that or do some more Google searches. All of you could do that. Look who wrote it last year so you could do another one. “Can I be included?” You know, just grab it. I did one about publicity a couple weeks ago and I said, "How to get publicity."

    And somebody did a direct mail message to me and said, "Oh, you know, I called up the paper and I said, 'We're having our three-year anniversary. Do you want to cover it?” And they didn't. They said, they only want to cover “anniversaries at five years.” So what did I do wrong?

    Well, that's not news. No one gives a damn. It's your anniversary. What we care about is we have a brand new program. We're using Facebook Live that's getting conversions at 30% and 40%. We're going through and we're using online retail sales training and our average ticket has grown by 20%. We've revamped our web and we've now got a chatbot on it using the latest technology to capture leads. And then they have a story and they're like, "Oh, this sounds great. I want to know more." But when you're just like, "Hey, you want to talk to them about me?" Nobody wants to do that."

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