My Business Tips by Tim Shaw May 2007

Customers vote with their wallets.

Thank you to the readers who responded to my story last month on credit card surcharges at national supermarket branded petrol stations. They have voted with their wallets and do not purchase petrol from these sites anymore either. One reader even sent me the correspondence from the supermarket petrol division acknowledging that it was disappointing that some franchisees were charging the surcharge.

Many of you will note that the 4 CPL discount has now become 6 CPL in some stations. Let’s all face it though, say 50 litres times 6 cents is a whopping saving of $3. It’s hardly worth it is it?

Customers are becoming acutely aware of how quickly their money flies from their wallets these days. So called OPEC petrol pricing determines our bowser price weekly. That is absolute BS. The oil companies here are deemed by consumers to be really ripping off the customer. They just do not seem to give back. Media reports tell us that drought will now cause our veggies to skyrocket at the supermarket, It’s time we popped up to Bunning’s garden section and planted the old veggie garden again that was the staple of Aussie backyards in the 1950’s. Consumers are just not getting real value on purchase anymore, but some really smart retailers are adding real value to loyalty purchasing and referral business.

If you don’t ask for a discount, you won’t get one. Smart retailers factor in at least 5% of their sales price as a flexibility for their staff to play with especially if you are paying cash. Just ask the good guys – great marketing and a unique purchase difference in the competitive whit and grey goods market. We also see this value emerging with loyalty liquor marketing from the independent retailers not yet consumed by the multinationals. Buy a case of wine and you will be bonused with a low case price and sometimes with a magnum of wine as well for free. If it’s not offered, then ask for it!

Retailers want to reward customers for support and loyalty, but the customer may need to remind them of who they are and how often they have been buying from this location. A smart idea for retailers is a ‘customer of the month’ promotion, like many retailers use the staff member of the month picture. Customer of the month can acknowledge loyalty, referral business and as a reward to the customer, a cash discount on their purchases for bringing in more customers. Empower customers today and retailers will be surprised how much business can come their way, just for saying thank you to the wallets of existing and loyal customers.

Happy Selling 2007

Tim Shaw appears as the sales and marketing expert on My Business - Channel 7 from 10am with David Koch, Sunday mornings commencing late 2007. He can diagnose sales and marketing opportunities available for your business today. Tim is available as a keynote speaker for your next sales meeting or conference. Visit or contact Tim directly at

Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved Tim Shaw.
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