A closely guarded secret that direct marketers have known for years is that the most recent purchasers and the most frequent purchasers are the best prospects for buying again. Like eating potato chips, shoppers rarely stop after buying just one thing. One purchase leads to another and another, often with the first purchase justifying a continued spending spree. The emotionally driven consumer often behaves gluttonously, seeking more consuming satisfaction from buying more things.
Consumers want desperately to be romanced when they shop.
Every shopper who wanders into a store, stands before a display window, reads an advertisement, or watches an ad is a prospect. They must be romanced into buying something, to come into the store, or to seek out more information about the store or the product advertised. Romance is not played out rationally like a chess game; it is conducted emotionally. Moreover, I will share another secret: Consumers want desperately to be romanced when they shop. It makes them feel special, unique, valuable, valued. Ultimately, the only way to truly romance customers is to love them. It may sound hokey as we talk in the context of the commercial relationship of a company and its customer, but everyone wants to be loved. If you really care about your customers, want the best for them, and want happiness and satisfaction for them, then you will find the right strategy. I have seen companies that disrespect their customers, do not value them, and do not understand that everything, ultimately, starts with the customer. Every company owes its being to the customer, and employees are dependent on customers for their weekly paychecks. However, some companies do not make that understanding part of their corporate values. How many of us, as customers, have faced surly employees and store clerks who act as if we are in their way? These companies cannot succeed because their interaction with their customers is based on deception.
Truly put the customer first and watch how your sales skyrocket.
Marketers need to respond to consumers in motion to sell more. They have to think about ways to cross merchandise products creatively to open new consuming opportunities. Like the retailing of major appliances we looked at in Chapter 2, marketers need to think from the point of view of customers: what they want, what they need, and where they might want to find it. Companies need to stop making decisions based on their own myopic point of view: what the company wants to sell, where it wants to sell it, and how it wants to sell it. Tactical business decisions made from the point of view of what is best for the company, its operations, and its employees will fail. Companies must adapt their operations to the consumer, not the other way around. Truly put the customer first and watch how your sales skyrocket.