requesting your advice

requesting your advice

Post by Corber » Thu, 30 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Hi everyone.
I sell antiques and I want to be able to notify a special list, different
for each piece, whenever I get something in that won't even touch the
floor before it sells to one of my regulars.  Does anyone have an
excellent system for managing this kind of project?  I guess I could do
it by email, but a lot of my folks, living rurally, don't depend on
computers much.  Besides calling each one -- not reasonable anymore --
are there ways that people handle this kind of task?

Corbert

 
 
 

requesting your advice

Post by Kathleen Ann Trujillo Newma » Thu, 30 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Corbert,

I always use email with customers myself. but if I didn't this is what
I would do:

Maybe you can pay one of these phone messaging related businesses
and ask them how much they would charge to call your regular customers
once and awhile to tell them you have some antiques they might be interested
in. Or maybe you can send postcards to these customers saying to please call
you if their interested in the item. And as a last resort maybe you can
get a semi professional sounding youth who needs a little pocket money
to occasionally call your customers when things are in stock.

Good Luck!

Kathleen

Quote:

> Hi everyone.
> I sell antiques and I want to be able to notify a special list, different
> for each piece, whenever I get something in that won't even touch the
> floor before it sells to one of my regulars.  Does anyone have an
> excellent system for managing this kind of project?  I guess I could do
> it by email, but a lot of my folks, living rurally, don't depend on
> computers much.  Besides calling each one -- not reasonable anymore --
> are there ways that people handle this kind of task?

> Corbert


 
 
 

requesting your advice

Post by Jules Jamiso » Thu, 30 Mar 2000 04:00:00


I use a web service like this to contact my book
distributors when I've been asked to find a specific
title for somebody. Look at messageblaster.com and
see if it might work for you. I just check off
everybody I want to send something to and choose fax
or email or phone or.. telepathy.. and type in my
message and it does the distribution. Works
especially when your people are all over the country
and you can't afford to call each of them with the
same request every time you need something.

Hope this helps. -Jules-


says...

Quote:
> Corbert,

> I always use email with customers myself. but if I didn't this is what
> I would do:

> Maybe you can pay one of these phone messaging related businesses
> and ask them how much they would charge to call your regular customers
> once and awhile to tell them you have some antiques they might be interested
> in. Or maybe you can send postcards to these customers saying to please call
> you if their interested in the item. And as a last resort maybe you can
> get a semi professional sounding youth who needs a little pocket money
> to occasionally call your customers when things are in stock.

> Good Luck!

> Kathleen

 
 
 

requesting your advice

Post by Gerald Cloug » Thu, 30 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> Hi everyone.
> I sell antiques and I want to be able to notify a special list, different
> for each piece, whenever I get something in that won't even touch the
> floor before it sells to one of my regulars.  Does anyone have an
> excellent system for managing this kind of project?  I guess I could do
> it by email, but a lot of my folks, living rurally, don't depend on
> computers much.  Besides calling each one -- not reasonable anymore --
> are there ways that people handle this kind of task?

> Corbert

I think that if I were to try this I'd work up a simple database with
the customer info, a text field for notes about them that can't be
conveyed in keywords, and keywords that match their interests.  A simple
query would generate a set of records that contain the keywords
descriptive of a piece.  After deselecting those that clearly wouldn't
interested, the remainder could be used as a print run on continuous
feed postcards with their address on one end and your message on the
other end.    

You'd have to determine if you'd be mailing so many cards that the
postage would eat seriously into profit, but I suspect that if you have
customers with specific wants that you know well, and you are clever at
developing keyword standards, you might be able to target a quite small
subset of folks that would be seriously interested in a single piece.  

If your list of regulars isn't all that large, the whole thing could be
handled in Word, with the customer needs descriptions and mailing info
in a Word .dat file to mark and merge by scanning the needs descriptors.
For a relatively small regular customer list, I think I would personally
go for a simple approach, without the keywording, that would involve
keeping a customer list in Access that included free-text descriptions
of their interests.  If I had one or more pieces that came in, I'd work
down through the records, one by one.  If I came to one that was a
likely suspect for a piece, I'd have a simple procedure button on screen
that exported that customer's mailing info to a .RTF file, open a
standard Word .doc with postcard boilerplate, fill in the description of
the piece, and merge it to print.  If you had multiple pieces that
customer would like to see, you just list them all in the .doc before
merging.  

There are a number of ways to handle this interaction between Access and
Word.  (None of them very clean, Office being far, far less interactive
as MS would have us believe.) This just happens to be the way I handle a
very large database of 80,000 records, because trying to merge Access
data into Word requires loading that whole large database in a new
Access run for each merge and because I often have to modify each
document's content for that particular person.    

I suppose the downside to any mass notification is upsetting some who
responded that they wanted it after the first one got there and bought
it.  You don't have that problem so much with a personal call where you
may sell it over the phone in the first few calls.

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