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How to teach your customers to buy

Customers who frequent Peninsula TIM-BR Mart in Miller Lake, Ontario often come away with more than tools, nails and lumber. They come away with the knowledge to do something with their purchases — plus ideas and tips that will keep them coming back. Clinics on framing and drywalling and product demonstrations by suppliers fire up do-it-yourselfers to launch new projects, and very likely, buy more.

Educating your customers may be one of the best ways to establish your expertise and build a strong relationship with them, while encouraging them to spend more with you.

Here are some ways you can teach your customers to buy.

Clinics

These might be simple “teasers”, such as a financial planner’s short seminar on tax-saving tips. It gives just enough information to entice customers to engage the planner for their tax planning. Or, like the building clinics, they might offer more detail — everything you need to know to complete a project.

Use your imagination. A flower shop might teach customers how to brighten their decor and arrange flowers, a clothing retailer might teach customers how to save money by artfully mixing a few sets of clothes and accessories. A butcher might offer barbecuing clinics and recipes.

Newsletters

This time-honored marketing tool can be a great relationship builder and educator, but only if you use it properly. Too often, a customer newsletter becomes just another flyer, a quarterly ad for the business. Remember your audience, and give them information they need. Don’t talk about how great you are; tell them how they can use your product or service to improve their lot. A landscaper might offer ideas on how to build privacy into backyards or what plants thrive best in the area. A garage might give tips on when to rotate tires and simple do-it-yourself maintenance — implying that the customer come down to the garage for the bigger jobs.

Newspaper advertising

Newspaper advertorials which offer how-to tips give customers and prospects a reason to read them. By publishing new tips all the time, you encourage them to look for your latest offering.

All these undertakings involve a fair bit of work and commitment, and a regular newsletter or ad will lock you into a schedule. But they’re worth the effort as long as they: give customers ideas and confidence, inspire them and excite them, and make their buying decisions simpler.

 
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