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“Generating” Smart Marketing Decisions

October 29, 2012

I went in a local store yesterday to buy a generator. The owner told me he could have sold 100 generators in one hour. He also stated he had run out of the product four days ago.  He looked bored with having to repeat his answer. Our conversation was quick and to the point.

He let me leave the store without doing a few key things that could have “generated” more business from me once the storm was over.  Here is what I think he should have done:

  • If his store was “flooded” with unexpected product requests and his shelves were empty, he should have handed out a rain check to motivate potential customers like me to return to the store to make a purchase after the crisis was over.  
  • He should have collected email addresses or phone numbers from people interested in the product that was closed out so he had a new list of potential customers for future sales.  He could have then hosted an “after the storm shopping excursion” to bring back interested buyers into his store so they could purchase what they wanted at a later date.  
  • He should have added extra staff once the demand increased four days ago.  Why not hire additional staff to greet new customers, inform them of the product they want to buy, and potentially place an order for them even though the product isn’t available right then.

I’m sure most small businesses wish they had a crystal ball to view unexpected demand cycles but we can’t. Instead entrepreneurs need to make quick, smart marketing decisions to capture the unexpected “flood” of new customers entering their business.

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