The Rocky Road to Redemption

I decided to road test and redeem my retailer birthday freebies noted in yesterday’s blog. First up, Sephora. Their Beauty Insider program has received our kudos in the past and this was no exception. As always, I couldn’t make it to the register without picking up two new fall lipsticks, a lip plumper and a new mascara (because of course, I don’t have any of those!)

At checkout, I presented my birthday gift card and the nicest associate smiled out, “Happy Birthday!” three different times. And he offered me another free gift for my accumulated points, but I decided to hold out for a better choice next time. Great retail execution of a marketing concept.

Next stop, the Diane Von Furstenberg boutique for a party dress. I tried on at least seven with a very helpful associate who observed my usual disparaging mirror chants, “Do I look fat in this?” “Is this too young for me? “ . Then I presented their very generous $50 credit birthday offer toward a pretty red dress. But my associate friend offered no birthday woot at all. If I were a salesperson (well, I am, sort of…), I would have put two and two together (appearance anxiety and a birthday) and said, “Happy Birthday…by the way, you look fabulous in that red dress” thereby getting the full punch from the promotion. But no dice. Just the discounted receipt, which was swell but not sweet.

My point isn’t that I need salespeople to blow out my candles. It’s that when you invest big bucks in a promotion, train your sales floor to execute. “Gift” doesn’t mean “giveaway”…it means, thank you, I love you, come back. Make it feel that way and she will.

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