A case for “How Not to Increase Sales!”

Today’s marketplace has many challenges. That being said, I am a big proponent of showing there are great opportunities if one knows where to look, and more to the point….how to look!

If you have built your business around rewarding your best customers ( It amazes me I even would have to mention that!) with exclusive discounts because of their loyalty, and you charge those same customers for that exclusivity, it can be lucrative for both you and your customer. However, here’s a great way to make sure you’ll not only defeat the purpose on the exclusivity pitch, but will also tick off the same customers you need desperately to buy your wares consistently.

The market place is rampant with the calls of one business model dying and a new one thriving. Books and book stores are the latest. With devices like the Kindle and others, it’s ringing with the same overtones music stores sent when the iPod gained popularity. Recently I read an article that was announcing the death of the book store. I thought it was a bold call being made very early in the new electronic medium cycle, but none the less I would keep an open mind to the possibility because all mediums today can turn on a dime. Low and behold I saw what I believe is a very, very foolish and short-sighted ploy for sales.

I went online to my retailers site to order a book. Here’s what happened:

1. I found a book and chose the option “Reserve at your local store.”

2. It shown it was in stock.

3. Just before leaving I checked my email one last time: A message from the retailer stating “Not in stock at your local store order on-line.”

4.In checkout process online it states: “Everyone receives member discounts for a limited time” ( I pay a yearly membership for that so-called privileged discount.)

5. Decided not to buy the book, and will look for something else at another store in my area that I frequent that sells the same books for less than 1/2 the price when they buy the unsold inventories from that better known retailer.

6. Now I’m contemplating if I should ever renew my membership.

If you find the need to discount do it, but do it in a way that doesn’t violate the value of membership to your better customers. Offer an extra discount for them. It doesn’t need to be much, even a token in some cases will do, but Something! When you don’t, subliminally what you’re saying is ..It was all just a gimmick and you fell for it…Sucker. I don’t know a better or faster way to kill a business, especially in today’s marketplace.

Maybe if I can wait a little longer and I can get it at a 95% off  “Going Out Of Business Sale” I’m sure will happen…That would really be a sales promotion, and I wouldn’t need to pay extra for the that privilege!