Editor’s Note: Each month, we publish an article dedicated at helping your bookstores or library up their marketing game. This month’s article is a little bit different as we’re going to focus on two key relationships that will help you grow your business as well as give your heart a great dose of satisfaction.
There is no way to get around it, relationships are hard work. As bookstore owners it can be really easy to get buried in the day to day operations of running your store, managing your team, overseeing sales and marketing and moving through your to do list. However, business is people and people are relationships. We know there are a lot of different types of relationships to develop, but today we’re going to focus on two key ones for your business, customer relationships and industry friendships.
Customer Relationships: Get Back Out On The Floor
If you haven’t put yourself behind the register recently or taken an afternoon to stock the shelves, schedule that time as part of your weekly routine. Not only will it give you a chance to interact with the customers, it will also give you a chance to see, hear and observe your team in action.
Things to look for:
- What does your staff do during slow moments?
- How do they greet customers when they walk through the door?
- How do they help customers find their next great read?
Getting out on the floor also gives you the upper hand on the big box competition as it gives you a chance to have direct conversations with the people who buy books. You don’t have to rely on search terms or algorithms to make sales, your customer is right there and you can ask them! Get inside your customer’s head by asking them questions about what they’ve recently read and loved, what kind of books they’re looking for.
Pro Tip: Go the extra mile with your most loyal customers by inviting them to help you select which books you purchase next, especially titles by new and emerging authors.
Want to take your customer interactions even further? Keep a stash of stickers in your pocket and give them to your customers. Our DIY Printable set of book quotes is the perfect set to start with. Get your free template by clicking here.
Dig Deep Into Your Industry Friendships
How often do you have a chance to talk shop with other bookstore owners?
Putting a community of people in place who share the same struggles, triumphs and trials will also become your greatest allies, brainstorming buddies and closest confidants. Together you can share ideas, create plans and hold each other accountable in a mastermind setting.
If you don’t already have these friendships in place, the next time you go to an industry event, try making new friends for this specific purpose. Then when you get back from your event, follow up with them to let them know you’d love to meet with them weekly (or every other week) to share ideas on what is working and what isn’t.
Pro Tip: This mastermind relationship is best developed with other bookstore owners who are not your local competition. You can meet monthly, weekly or biweekly. It’s up to the group!
The sticker template we mentioned above can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your bookstore. Use it for scanverhunts, a giveaway item at the end of Story-time or cut them out and place them by the register. Print them on sticker paper and everyone wins! Grab your free template here!