By Lynn Moncus
Although I always prefer to shop at home, I sometimes can’t find a few things here and am apt to head to Clovis two or three times a year. The drive is usually pleasant, and the change of scene brings back many memories of the times our family used to travel those roads.
In most stores, the employees are friendly and helpful, making non-residents feel comfortable during the time spent looking at different items not found in our town. In a few instances, employees have remembered other visits and greet me as if they were greeting a friend. Such warmth is refreshing where ever we go and makes us want to return to the same stores in the future.
Recently, I received a beautifully, handwritten note from a consultant in one of the shops in which I spend time and money almost every time I am in the area. Some people might think such a note would contain a, canned message sent to various customers to thank them for their business and to sell them on future visits. Well, this was no canned message because the woman referred to specific subjects about which we have talked through the years. She always knows me when I enter the little shop, knows I’m from Tucumcari, and knows where lma is. Of course, the latter caused us to become visitors whenever I’m there because few people know that place any more.
Yes, her note can be considered a sales activity, and it is, but it can also be considered a friendly note because it is that. She knows that she already captured me as a customer because of her knowledge of place, and she also knows that one of the best forms of advertising for the shop is the personal attention she shows by writing such a note.
Of course, we have good services in most of the businesses here, but I wonder how many of the employees reach out personally to customers who don’t live in town. We hear that many of our county people shop here more rarely than ever before. Perhaps, that could change were we to greet them as warmly as that woman greets me. Personal messages are a most effective method of retaining customers and even of acquiring new ones.
“Tried and true” methods of salesmanship remain just as effective today as they were when they were so common that we hardly noticed them until they were gone. A handwritten message just naturally gives the business a personal touch and makes a customer want to return to trade there. Friendly greetings also make most of us want to return because we appreciate being treated like something besides numbers. A little courtesy can make many sales possible.