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Guerrilla Retailing by Jay Conrad Levinson, Elly Valas and Orvel Ray Wilson

The full title of this book by Jay Conrad Levinson, Elly Valas and Orvel Ray Wilson is

Guerrilla Retailing Unconventional Ways to Make Big Profits From Your Retail Business“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Interesting look at unconventional ideas to help increase retail sales

There are many Guerilla Marketing books written with the involvement of the late Jay Conrad Levinson. This is sub-titled “Unconventional Ways To Make Big Profits From Your Retail Business” and I thought it delivered exactly that.

While Jay Levinson’s name goes first on the book cover as the creator and owner of the Guerrilla Marketing brand, I know from previous books that most, if not all the writing has been done by the other two authors.

Orvel Ray Wilson is a regular contributor the the Guerrilla Marketing series, having co-written Guerrilla Selling, Guerrilla Teleselling, Guerrilla Trade Show Selling and Guerrilla Negotiating.

The real retail experience comes from Elly Valas, a Past President of the North American Retail Dealers Association and a speaker/retail consultant. The about the authors section says that “Elly grew up in retail and is a decorated veteran of the box-store wars. She served more than twenty years in the grocery, sporting goods, consumer electronics and home appliance industries.”

My experience of the retail business is predominantly that as customer rather than helping retail businesses make more money so what is new to me may be more obvious to more experienced retailers. Nonetheless I thought that the book was packed with practical tips to help any entrepreneurial retail business owner fight back against the big boys and their purchasing power.

Here are the chapter headings so that you can see the scope of what is covered by the book.
1 – So you want to be a retailer?
2 – What do we mean by Guerrilla?
3 – What kind of retailer do you want to be?
4 – Who is your customer?
5 – Location, location, location
6 – Merchandising strategy
7 – Store design and display
8 – Getting lots of customers into your store
9 – The telephone as a marketing weapon
10 – Low cost, high impact promotions
11 – Attracting the right staff
12 – How to train and motivate the sales team
13 – Selling effectively on the retail floor
14 – Selling at higher prices
15 – Creating a culture of service excellence
16 – Retailing in the experience economy
17 – Getting customers back again and again
18 – Dealing with upset or angry customers
19 – Guerrilla Marketing online
20 – Managing for growth and profitability
21 – Parting shot
22 – Appendix A financial diagnostics
23 – Appendix B job descriptions

As you can see, this is a comprehensive book explaining how you can make more money from your retailing business. Even better, the book is very easy to read and I found it very interesting. I have been critical of some of the other Guerrilla Marketing books because of the writing style of Jay Conrad Levinson’s collaborators but this is excellent.

Time has moved on and the Internet, email marketing and social media would have a larger role if the book was updated. This has cost it a star.

I see this as a must read book for anyone thinking about starting a retail business.

It’s a high risk, cash intensive first step into owning a business for many entrepreneurs and I see many start-ups that look doomed from day 1 because they have a faulty business idea or a bad location.

I also see it as an important read for any retail business that wants some new ideas and wants to break free of the competition, especially when it is an unfair fight against giant retailers. You may find other books that specialise in your particular retailing niche and I’d encourage you to read those which are rated as four or five stars but I don’t think it hurts to step back a little and try to learn from outside your narrow niche as well.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.


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