"Bridging the Gap": Don't Forget Your Core Customers!

Written by Donna Schwartz Mills

The big news inrepparttar business sector last month wasrepparttar 117558 resignation of Millard Drexler as CEO of The Gap. The once highflying retail chain has hit hard times, losing money inrepparttar 117559 last four quarters and slipping disastrously close to bankruptcy.

Retail fashion is a notoriously fickle business, with yesterday's hot trends marked down today like so many Pokemon toys. But for years,repparttar 117560 Gap had been impervious to fashion ups and downs by beingrepparttar 117561 favorite supplier ofrepparttar 117562 favorite clothes ofrepparttar 117563 Baby Boomers: Denim jeans, khaki trousers and basic shirts.

But asrepparttar 117564 Boomers hit middle age,repparttar 117565 Gap maderepparttar 117566 decision to go afterrepparttar 117567 youth market. Gone wererepparttar 117568 comfortable fit jeans its customers loved, replaced by hip huggers and belly shirts that could not be worn by someone carrying 20 years of cellulite. And that wasrepparttar 117569 beginning of their troubles.

Asrepparttar 117570 owner of a home business, I found this puzzling. After all,repparttar 117571 Gap had always identifiedrepparttar 117572 youth market as its own and was just carrying outrepparttar 117573 course it set for itself back in 1969, when it was a single store in San Francisco. But as their young customers grew, so didrepparttar 117574 chain, resulting in a clientele that stayed loyal for 30 years. By shifting gears to appeal to *today's* teenagers, they alienated millions of loyal customers who moved on to discounters like Target (which manages to evoke an image of "cheap chic") and newer outlets like J.Jill and Chicco, which proudly display relax-fit clothes that are stylish, comfortable and hide a multitude of middle-aged sins.

Inrepparttar 117575 meantime,repparttar 117576 young people Gap so desperately courted could not get over their image ofrepparttar 117577 chain as a place frequented by their parents. These kids flock to their own trendy stores like Hot Topic, and had little interest in whatrepparttar 117578 Gap had to offer. It was a "lose-lose" allrepparttar 117579 way around.

The lesson for home business owners is a reminder that it's never safe to *assume* you know what your customers want. Research is an essential tool in your business, no matter what its size, and it doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Those of you doing business online have access to several methods, including some tools you may already have but are not using for this purpose.

Marketer Karon Thackston of http://www.KTAMarketing.com is a big believer in research and providing her customers with information they can use to make good marketing decisions. And likerepparttar 117580 rest of us, she loves finding quick, easy and inexpensive ways to gather that information. Karon recently discovered that her website's free search engine gave her a window into what her customers were looking for at her site. The engine she uses gives her access to reports onrepparttar 117581 most popular search terms. By checking these reports on a monthly basis, she can fine tunerepparttar 117582 content of her site, make advertising decisions, and create new products to fill their particular needs. Readrepparttar 117583 rest of Karon's article here: http://www.family-content.com/articles/data/20020409193535.shtml

Benefits Of Resisting The "Buy Now!" Temptation

Written by Joe Bingham

There are countless Internet marketing articles out there on how to influence your customer to get excited and 'buy now!'

That's great, but let's turn things around for a minute. What happens when YOU arerepparttar potential customer?

Guess what? Others will be reading those same articles and trying those same tactics on you! That's ok, I mean, fair is fair, but what can you do to make sure you don't end up being counted amongrepparttar 117557 many thousands who feel they were scammed, betrayed, or ripped off?


Good salesmanship is about showing your potential customers what your product or program can do for them. In other words, it's about expressingrepparttar 117558 greatest potential benefits possible. Noticerepparttar 117559 wording I used there. Good salesmanship is about expressingrepparttar 117560 'greatest potential benefits POSSIBLE'.

I believe many times when people feel scammed or ripped off it's becauserepparttar 117561 product or program did not live up torepparttar 117562 person's expectations created by those possible great benefits. However, that's not alwaysrepparttar 117563 fault ofrepparttar 117564 seller, especially when it comes to network marketing programs.

Running your own business takes work, and no matter how goodrepparttar 117565 sales copy for a program sounds, marvelous results will NOT come to pass if you don't dorepparttar 117566 work.

Now, I know many programs claim it takes very little to no effort to be successful. That'srepparttar 117567 HYPE ofrepparttar 117568 salesman expressingrepparttar 117569 'greatest potential benefit possible'. Sure, if you put in enough effort and build a solid downline,repparttar 117570 day will come when your organization will grow with little effort on your part. That's whatrepparttar 117571 hype of a sales letter is hinting at, and it IS potentially true.

However, your job when looking over a product or program is to sort throughrepparttar 117572 hype and think about what is really being offered to you.

Ask yourself how much work is really going to be involved and under reasonable circumstances how long will it take to achieverepparttar 117573 kind of results you are looking for.

It's OK to hype things up a little, and get people excited about potential benefits. If no one did that at all, would anybody ever buy anything? A real scam is defined by outright dishonesty, notrepparttar 117574 expression of potential benefits. You've got to understand that as products and programs are presented to you.


Most generally, and this can be a good thing, people tend to follow others that they respect. It's only natural to copy success and follow those who have already accomplished what it is you are seeking to do.

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