This is actually a sequel to a chapter I wrote on the same subject in my book. I will keep the first part, “How to gain customers” but this time I will include a chapter on “How to retain customers”. As many of you know, I am not a fan of the word “retain”. It makes people think of business cards, of cards that you keep for years and years, of watching people’s houses for those elusive business cards. No, that is not how it works.
You don’t stay in touch with people from your high school years. You don’t keep in touch with them about their wedding anniversary. Why? Because those folks have moved on. No, I am talking about the folks you meet when you go out and spend your time with people you don’t know, your coworkers, your customers, your friends. Those are the folks you stay in touch with, those are the folks you stay in touch with because they have influence on your business.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t keep in touch with them constantly, if you don’t send out thank you cards for years, if you don’t remember their birthday. It’s not their birthday anymore, it’s not about you. It’s about them.
This is not the same as those folks you met when you went out and spent your time with people you didn’t know. Those folks are now gone, they are no longer with us. What is left? Those folks we met when we met some other person. They’re still here, now. Those folks are the folks we stay in touch with because they have influence on our business. They’re the folks we want to stay in touch with, want to keep learning from.
This is different from the folks you met because you went out to spend your time with people you didn’t know.
Do you remember the first time you saw Spider-Man? You were blown away by him and wanted to buy a comic book and have Spider-Man comic books at home. I bet you that when you got your first comic book out of the mailbox, you looked at the cover and said, “Wow! That’s cool! I want one!”
How many times have you gone into a comic book store, flipped the comic and said “I want that,” or said you wanted to buy a comic book and been turned away because the clerk hasn’t even seen a customer’s card yet?
Let’s go back a bit further. Were you in kindergarten when “Duck Tales” came out?
We were in a theater and there were thousands of people in the seats. The lights came on and a whole bunch of animated characters came on. One of them had a magic sword. Everyone had a sword, but it was all tied up with a ribbon. It was difficult to use and the owner took a long time to untie it. There was a magic show that went along with it. It was a wonderful show.
In a few weeks, “The Sword in the Stone” came out. You could buy a sword for your bedroom and be fine. You could buy thousands of sword for your bedroom. You could buy the swords in the store and have them fastened with just a click of the fingers. That is what I am talking about with the magic show and the magic show merchandise. That is why comic book stores are doing well. There are thousands of comic book fans who would love to have the merchandise that the store offers. It’s a wonderful store to be in, no doubt, but they will also have plenty of comic book fans who will want to buy their merchandise. It is a win-win for everybody.
How about you? How will your business benefit from providing comic book merchandise?