Antiques are not usually an impulse item. I know whenever my wife and I have found something we like, at an antique store, we typically will walk away and discuss our level of interest. We may consider a purchase for a few days before ultimately deciding to make, what can be, a significant investment from our perspective and involving a piece of furniture or artifact we intend to keep for some time. For these reasons we often have taken a business card on the back of which we jot the details. After our deliberation all of the information we need for our purchase decision is in one tidy place.
It can be tiresome to watch people scribble notes on the back of your business cards and sometimes it may seem like an exercise in futility, but keep in mind that the only business card that matters is the one that goes out into the world and brings back business. The more of these little soldiers you send out in the world the more your opportunity for success is multiplied. You can read how to increase this potential in my book Turn Your Business Card Into Business, CreateSpace Publishing, 2008.
Consider making an effort to encourage people to take your card and make notes. When you see someone pondering over an item, do your best to close the sale. If they are still uncertain offer a card and jot the details on the back so that you can encourage them to continue their deliberation. Take this opportunity to get information back from them. Suggest that you will follow up in a week to let them know if you have acquired any similar merchandise. You can use this call to get them to come back and reconsider the original purchase or see some new arrival. In this way you build rapport and cultivate a customer.
In Turn Your Business Card Into Business I mention an antique store in Chicago that tacked a small box of business cards by the door outside of their store so that customers who spotted something in the window after hours could make a note and call or stop back later. This is a great example of aggressive business card marketing.
Encourage your customers to take a business card. Be sure to have them handy throughout your store maybe even with a few pens or pencils nearby. It is not a matter of how many people may not follow through but rather about making it easy for the ones that do.
Imagine if a thousand people walked out of your store over the course of the year with a notated business card. That’s only about four people per day. Do you think that might help close a few sales? Give it a try the cost is low and the potential return high.
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Copyright Reno Lovison 2008