Klein’s Korner: Making The Hobby Audience Feel Welcome – As many of you know, I’m an old-school creature nurtured by growing up listening to the radio in New York City. While there are a few vestiges left of those days, one of the most successful and nicest of the morning DJ’s is Jim Kerr. I talked about Larry Berger who was Jim’s former boss at WPLJ back in the day and Jim is still a morning man on New York radio. Jim is also a big Tigers fan and I’m sure would appreciate anything he received about the 1968 Tigers from his youth.
But Jim, as successful as he is, wants to ensure he retains his relationship with his listeners. I know each year he sends me a birthday Facebook greeting and I’m not the only one although we did meet about 3-4 times back in the day. Instead he makes sure he sends those message to everyone on Facebook because doing that is important to him. I saw a post from him the other day saying something to this effect. I’m using quotes here but this is not exact. “I’m in a message center at this Baltimore Hotel I’m a guest at 5AM to make sure I send out birthday greetings to all my Facebook friends celebrating today.” Now think about this for a second, his reputation is secure, he is beloved in New York radio and still takes time to make personal connections to his listeners. Now, are WE doing the same today. In case you don’t recognize him, Jim is the one on the left.
Now many of us in this business make sure to know as much as we can about our “heavy hitters” our “whales” or whatever term we wish to use about our best customers. But are we doing all we can to work with all our customers? When I was chatting with Dean Fuller of Nick’s last week while they are transitioning to a bigger location in the same shopping center one of the reasons he is moving is so they can host birthday parties, card break parties and other events. The new store is HUGE compared to the old store and with some gentle nudging I’m sure they would remember to send a note to all their customers big and small about important events such as birthdays and graduations.
See this photo, well the signage will be moving down as well. This will be one of the last photos of the old location. Of course on a personal note, when I want the good deli food from Cindi’s it will no longer be next door but be a few stores down. I think for their great food I can walk the extra steps.
But, as I mentioned to Dean, my only concern is that by moving to a bigger location they will lose a little of the neighborhood shop feel they had for all. I was reminded of this earlier when one of the fellow people in my office area bounded into my office and was very pleased his Chicago Bears (he’s from Chicago) originally won the NFC North title on Sunday. A store owner aware of his customers would make sure the next time he enters to greet him with a big smile, congratulate him on their success and give him something about the Bears as a holiday present. And it can range wider than that. I’ve mentioned the great Raymond Jones who helps with my shows and is a big wrestling fan. His favorite wrestler is Asuka (mine is Alexa Bliss) and he was thrilled that she finally won an WWE title last evening. You know the moment he walks in if I had anything on her, I’d give it to him and the first words would be congratulations about her 1st championship.
For the rest of us, we’ll just have to like this photo of the “Empress of Tomorrow”
And since this is the holiday season, remember it’s a time for giving and for all dealers, customers and vendors, let’s work on giving more to each other for 2019.
For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.