#71: Nurturing Customer Relationships For Over 40 Years With Kris Damhorst from Damhorst Toys

What is the lifetime value of a customer across two or more generations, and how do you maintain the relationships so they become repeat customers? Tune in to hear how Kris Damhorst runs their family business Damhorst Toys, which started from humble beginnings in 1971 by their parents. With over 40% of sales as repeat purchases today, there’s a ton of wisdom we can learn in dealing with customers, complaints, and building a personable brand.

Topics Discussed:

  • 03:00 – Origins of bootstrapping Damhorst Toys in 1971
  • 06:00 – Pounding the pavement to find customers at trade shows
  • 07:30 – Managing cash flow and turning down wholesale business
  • 11:00 – Why you shouldn’t be afraid of using the phone
  • 13:00 – What’s the USP of their business?
  • 18:30 – Going online for e-commerce in 1998
  • 21:30 – Having a full buy/sell deal with the family business
  • 24:00 – Structuring the deal and price with family members
  • 27:30 – Why wholesale can be a business risk if cash is tight
  • 31:30 – Protecting the business against competitor and copycats
  • 34:00 – Frustration of lawyers, patents, and keeping expenses down
  • 39:00 – How to respond when customers bring up competitors
  • 43:00 – Database management and de-duping orders
  • 47:00 – How word of mouth beats PPC over the long-term
  • 50:00 – Why it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than finding new ones
  • 55:00 – Power of handwritten notes, personalized emails, and thank you cards
  • 58:00 – Insights into local news affiliates and TV channels

Mentions in the Episode:

Episode Length: 59:53


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