The VIP Profile
Working with customer-generated list mailings has "become 30 percent of what we do," Weitzer said. "But at the same time, they don't supplant the prospect. There are always new people moving into the area, always new prospects."
Gerrit's Appliance, a 7,000-square-foot., 54-year-old appliance dealer in Wyoming, Michigan, uses its own customer list for "Preferred Customer Sales" held in the spring and fall. For the past four years, Gerrit's has used Direct Mail USA to obtain a list of non-customer names for a pre-holiday sale. Sales Manager Curt Geers said, "We try to collect the invitation or post card [at each sale] so we can get a handle on who is coming and from what area." The post-sale analysis is time-consuming, but important, he said. "If you're not keeping up with it, you see a lot of 'return to sender.'"
Kent Furniture & Appliance, based in Kent, Washington, outside of Seattle, has a 25-year history in private sales, holding them biannually for the last five years.