A Retail Boutique Shows Us How to Market with Style

One of my favorite clients took me along on an errand after our lunch a few weeks ago. "I just have to pop into Bella and pick up a few things they have for me," she said as we walked up Park Avenue in Winter Park. It was hot, but the shade from the canvas awnings of the swanky shops helped me from breaking out in a full-on sweat. At the north end of the street was an unassuming ladies boutique that on my own I would have not even considered walking into. Why? Because I was loyal to the few retail brands and I hated shopping. Yes, that's right. I HATE shopping.

We walked in and my client was greeted enthusiastically by her first name. Two women appeared and my client introduced me to them, and we were suddenly all on a first-name basis. Over the next 45 minutes I was converted from an "I HATE shopping" person to an "I LOVE BELLA" person. Let me tell you. Bella is doing it right, and here are some of the reasons I now shop there:

  1. They took the time to get to know me.
  2. They were professional, pleasant and attentive.
  3. They knew I didn't like shopping, and after getting some basic input (size, general style preferences) they quickly whisked around the store pulling together outfits and set up a dressing area for me to try them on.
  4. They listened (this was huge, by the way).
  5. They had taken such good care of my client that she had nothing but unsolicited raves about them.
  6. They gave me a personal gift for visiting and shopping with them.
  7. They have kept in touch with me via email, sending coupons and personal suggestions on new items coming into the store.
  8. They are VERY good saleswomen, and know their products well.
  9. They take pride in their store.
  10. They love what they're doing and love helping women feel good about their appearance.

Now many of you may think, "oh, sure, that's retail for you," and wonder how to apply this to your B2B company, manufacturing plant, professional services firm, or other non-retail company. I say you can take these ten reasons and lay them against what you are in the business of selling and have the same results not only on your existing customers but on new customers as well.

The next time you're in Winter Park, check out Bella. Tell them Terry sent you. Way to go, Bella.

P.S. Note that I didn't mention the wonderful clothes as one of the reasons I now shop there? Well, I guess that would be number 11.

Terry Pappy