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In a recent article in the newsletter Creative Selling Strategies®, Bob Popyk wrote about "Turning Customers Into Torchbearers. He suggests that "to turn your customers into torchbearers for your products and your store, you first must have something for them to rave about. Take this little quiz: Do you feel you carry the finest, "absolutely-without-a-doubt" best products on the market today? Do you feel that no one can touch your store for value and service? Does everyone in your store help create an environment where customers feel they have come to the right place and are making the right decision? Do you have a "Customer Advisory Council" of your own, where you listen to customers' needs, let them evaluate new products, and make them feel like they're part of the team? Do you pursue your existing customers to bring them to a higher level of commitment? Do you handle every customer complaint, question, or dissatisfaction like it is the only one of the day and that the sales to another 100 people will depend on it? If a customer tells you that the product he purchased a week ago can be purchased cheaper down the street, do you rationalize your store and service value versus price, and make him a believer, or does he sulk out of the place vowing never to come back? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, it's going to be difficult to create torchbearers and evangelists for your store. If the answers are all "yes," you're really on your way. Don't forget your employees. One person with a bad attitude can bring your whole store down. With everybody carrying the torch, you won't have to spend thousands of dollars on advertising just to get people through your door. Your employees, customers, and all the people they know can help do it for you. Creative Selling® is an 8-page newsletter that provides advice from the experts on sales and marketing techniques. Call for a sample issue: Bentley-Hall Publications fax:(800)724-3881.

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