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Want To Bring More People Into Your Store? Get Out of Your Store!

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I SPOKE with Brennan Scanlon, Referral Institute franchise owner and an executive director of Business Network International (BNI), this week, and he told me that too many jewelry retailers are waiting in their showrooms for their advertising to bring customers in instead of going out and building relationships. And it makes sense: Why not put some elbow grease into growing your customer base?

Karen Hollis of K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia, IL grew her store into her Chicago suburb’s favorite jewelry store primarily by making it a personal goal to meet three new people a day when she launched the store back in 2002. Ten years later, the store had topped $1 million in sales and was expanding into 4,100 square feet. Hollis says she’s since pushed that number up to five.

Scanlon says it’s more than just walking outside and hoping to meet new people: You have to have a strategy. “Ideally, you should belong to three organizations. One should be a ‘strong contact’ group that only allows one person per profession and meets on a weekly basis for the expressed purpose of passing referrals, such as BNI.  One should be a casual contact organization such as your local Chamber of Commerce. These meetings happen at least monthly and are open to all professions. Lastly, join one social or civic organization.  This could be a non-profit or charitable organization that will allow you to give back to the community and at the same time build some key relationships.”

What are you doing to build your customer base organically?

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Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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