The digital age has not yet reached an equilibrium in which local and online businesses play nicely. Many online stores function more like a pick pocket than fair competition. E-commerce requires no physical contact for someone to buy, which removes overhead cost. Compound that with the fact that many online stores are run by my suppliers, the customer can often get a price that would be unsustainable for my local shop. Shoppers still seek personal face to face advice (like to see and touch it before they buy), but want to pay wholesale prices. If my products are not available online (through me), there is a risk that my customers will visit my location to use my staff’s expertise, and then purchase online. I make it available for my customers to look online when they are at my store. If my site is bookmarked as a place to buy, the next time they’re in front of a computer doing research – there’s a chance I will be the digital expert they listen to (which could lead them back into my store to pick up their purchase).
There is no reason that a customer has to choose between my store and an online retailer. It’s as simple as positioning myself as the online retailer that they get to visit in person. The electronic age will be owned by those who can harness the in-person and electronic realms seamlessly.
Sales Tip: Which client’s to focus on?
Previous or current paying clients who were enjoyable to work with yet required the least time and made the most money create the a profitable and sustainable model.
Target Client Categorization: Categorizing target client options is a process of filtering.
- Potential of being a direct client. If you know exactly who you are looking for as a client, you can know.
- Possible direct referral it a referral partner. The better grasp you have on who you are aiming at, the better grasp you will have on whom your referral network.
- Possible referral partner for you.
- Of no interest.
If people don’t fit into any of the above categories, it’s important to recognize that there’s no real benefit to moving forward. So move on.