If you find yourself in a community where a store has closed there is important action that you must take as soon as possible. Reach out to that stores clientele and extend them an invitation to make your facility “their store”, welcome them with open arms.
Here are some “to do” items:
1. Seek to contact the customers. Reach out to the closing stores management, you may be surprised how eager they maybe to have their customers looked after.
2. If the management is no longer available reach out to any “cross over lines” you both may have carried. Explain to the manufacturer the desire you have to reach out and offer the divers the required “annual service” or simply announce to the customers that you are an authorized repair facility for those items. They may have mailing lists from warranty cards to help you get the job done.
3. Reach out to instructional staff members from the closing facility, chances are you already know (via your customers) who the best ones are.
4. Advertise an open house for ALL area divers.
5. Entice your current customer list to bring in and “introduce” a diver to you and your staff.
Here are some “DO NOT DO” items, no matter what.
1. Join anyone in “slamming” your past competitor.
2. Joke with potential new customers about the demise of the competing store
3. Comment negatively in any way shape or form
4. Create two classes of customers “ those that are our divers and learned to dive with us and those other divers”.
5. Gloat about how well you are doing and how it would never happen to you.
While it all seems like common sense we all need to be reminded from time to time what is the high road and what is proper business like behavior. Even those customers that call you a friend will test you and how you respond will set the tempo which they will emulate. Make sure when they follow your lead it is for the better NOT the worse! You are an integral part of the Diving Community so continue to work to help it flourish.
TIP: If you read this far you deserve a reward. Try this, create a “special let’s get acquainted air card” in it invite the divers to visit your store for 5 FREE Air Fills, if you like what you see during those visits all we ask is that you tell a friend…if you don’t please tell me” and insert your private number. This has a WOW factor.
Let us know if you try it and how it works for you.