What’s Old is New Again
My first response was, “We are not doing any of the things that built this business.” We weren’t doing some of the old-style parking lot promos since they were not “politically correct.” We had stopped doing tent sales. We had stopped doing warehouse sales. We had stopped doing 36-hour sales. The only sale that had made it through the years was the “Private Sale.” This was always a great sale. This was an invitation-only sale for anyone in our database. We always captured mailing info on every customer and we would send out a direct-mail flyer with many leader items from every department. We also ran everything in the store on sale. It was always our largest event of the year. When I left in 1999 to work for Rockford Fosgate, we were back to promoting, having fun and most of all, selling product and making money.
Let’s get back to the topic. Why is the business slowing? Do kids like music today as much as we did when we were kids? The answer is “yes.” The iPod and the Internet have made sure of that. As we all know, the iPod is “just good enough audio.” Can you really hear and feel a song by 50 Cent on an iPod? It’s our job to show them just what they are missing. Show them what is possible. Do it any way you can.
If you don’t have a demo car, get one. This is the single most powerful tool you have as a retailer. When a customer comes into your store with an iPod, your salesperson should take him to his car, plug in the customer’s iPod and show him what is really possible.