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Are Customers Driving in, or driving by?

By Gary Christensen
Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2004

In my travels, I've often seen small roadside businesses and have wondered what it's like inside their stores. I've stopped and some & taken a look, and others I've seen did not inspire me to stop at all.

As I have thought about some of those small businesses, I've tried to figure out why I drove into some of them and passed others by. Those small businesses are, in many ways, very comparable to locations on the Web, and the reasons why people stop at some and don't stop at others could be the same.

Here are a few reasons why some customers drive in and why other customers drive on by:

1) Attractive or Inviting. If the outside of a business is bright and attractive; If they have large windows & I can see someone inside; If the business looks appealing to my eye, I will seriously consider driving in and taking a look.

How about your ads; your flyers or the front page of your website: Is it appealing to the eyes? Is it inviting to readers? If your webpage (or your ads or flyers) are not attractive and inviting, people won't read them and you won't get orders. Simple as that.

2) Meet the need. As I've looked at store fronts & read the signs in the windows of roadside businesses, I look for stores that ultimately will meet a need that I have. If I am looking for a business that will have ice cold drinks, I will probably drive by furniture & clothing stores and I will look for a grocery store; a market or a convenience store. THOSE are the kinds of stores that will meet my current need! Are your ads; flyers and websites meeting the needs of those who stop by and take time to read what you have to offer? Be as general and as non-specific as possible, to try to meet the needs of most of those who view your flyers or visit your website.

3) As I approach a business, besides looking to have a need met; and besides looking for an inviting store front, I am looking for an un-crowded parking lot! Now, most websites don't have parking lots, but, most businesses SHOULD make things as easy as they can for anyone who drives in! If your ad is "busy" or crowded; if your flyers are confusing; if your website loads slowly, because of too many colors or graphics; if figuring out how to order is too difficult; if the use of credit cards are the only accepted way to order,.. then any one or all of these can turn a customer off and they'll pass you by!

4) Focus. Each of your ads should offer ONE thing for sale. Ads that are filled with 3 or 4 or more offers can be confusing, and people will drive on by without ordering! If the front page of your site is filled with lots of "stuff" it could turn people off and they might keep on surfing! Each flyer should focus on presenting ONE product or service. Any Business that tries to be "everything to everyone" will lose a lot of customers because of the multitude of offerings. Try to focus on ONE main offer. Get people to first respond to one offer. You can follow-up with other offers on down the road! First you need to get a bite and as every fisher-person knows, you can't load the hook with worms and eggs and lures. You need to focus. One kind of bait, that's all, to snag the prospect. Once they've stopped to read your front page, you can lead them onto other pages, with other offers. To Focus, is the key!

5) Offer something free. That will draw customers in, better than ants to sugar! You can't always get people to buy something on their first visit. You needn't give away your entire stock, but, if at all possible, offer something free to everyone who responds or stops by for a visit. The word FREE is the most attractive and attention-getting word in our language. Some will say it's the most over-used word in our language, and they would also be right! It's used a LOT, because it works! I just picked up our morning paper and when I got to page 3, I saw that Children get in FREE to a local festival; On page 4 there is an ad for a Free CPR class; Page 5 announces a Free plant to be given to the first 100 people through the doors at the local "Country Barn and Garden" and on and on it goes. There's a tire store offering the 4th tire free, to all who buy a full set; a furniture store offers a free bed frame to all who buy a new bed; a Pizza shop offers free bread sticks to all who order a Pizza; another offers a liter of Soda to all who order; A carpet store offers free installation and there's a Spa whose headline reads "$500. of Free Accessories." There's also Free mower cleanings at Fisher Implement; Free gift wrapping at the Happy Cooker and a Free Bride's Registry at Rice's Pharmacy! And that's just in the first section of today's paper!

Your Business; Your website; Your ads or flyers MUST be appealing to the eye; The needs of all visitors MUST be met; People like to have it easy; Simple ordering; no hassle; with easy in and easy out! You MUST Focus (on just ONE kind of bait) to snag those customers, and if nothing else, offer something free to all who respond! Simple as that!

About the Author
Above article was written by Gary Christensen, a self-published author of 8 books & over 100 Reports, like this one. Of the 100, 67 Reports are in his "67 Mailorder Trade Secrets" Book, one copy is yours for $18.00! (Or, the full set of 100+ Reports are YOURS for only $28.00). His latest Free Report is "The 10 Greatest Money-Making Secrets" Gary will circulate your 2 page Article or News Release to 90 Publishers for just $28.00! Write him at: 2601 N.E. Jack London St., #138, Corvallis, OR 97330, or E-Mail him at: )


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