Dave  Ratner

Dave Ratner

Expert in Retail and Creative Ways to Build Good Business

In-Person Fee Range:
$5,001 - $7,500
Traveling from:
Dave Ratner – Expert in Retail

Dave Ratner

Expert in Retail and Creative Ways to Build Good Business

In-Person Fee Range:
$5,001 - $7,500
Traveling from:

Why Book

  • More than a by-the-book marketing or sales speaker, award winning independent retailer, Dave Ratner delivers forehead-slapping insights, belly laughs, and inspiration for small business and retail success. He’s a working retailer with 150 employees, who deals with customers on a daily basis.


For more than 4 decades, Dave Ratner has been building an independent, critically and commercially acclaimed pet supply business. With seven Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores, and a nationally marketed line of high-quality pet food for dogs and cats, Dave has earned a seat at the table on the National Retail Federation Board of Directors. He also sits on the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association Board of Directors, the only small business owner representing the independent retailer alongside the VPs of Marketing for Home Depot, Walgreens, and Target. As he puts it, “It’s all these big dogs — and me!”

Dave has represented the voice of small business owners before both houses of Congress and continues to work to elevate the retail industry.

Despite a myriad of top competitors, Dave built a business with fanatical customer loyalty and employees who have been with him forever. He is known for creative and cost-effective marketing strategies that have allowed him to compete with large national chain stores and win.

He’s a working retailer, with 150 employees, who deals with customers on a daily basis. He is “one of you”:

  • Understanding the challenges of finding, hiring, and keeping quality employees.
  • Understanding the challenges of marketing on a tiny budget.
  • Understanding the how hard it is to make your store “the chosen one.”
  • Understanding the challenges of implementing the great ideas the because you are the “fire chief”.Dave won’t just tell you what to do, he’ll share how to make your life easier and your business more successful.Dave’s career spans a humble start in an abandoned gas station selling soda, to an enviable independent retail business which earned him the National Retail Federation Silver Award 2010 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Retail Industry and induction into the Massachusetts Retail Hall of Fame.Dave’s expertise has earned him a place in the media as well. For 18 seasons he has hosted a weekly local ABC and Fox television show focused on caring for pets, while his business savvy and marketing genius regularly land him on the pages of The Wall Street Journal, Pet Age, and countless Associated Press stories.

    Dave is passionate about sharing his strategies with small business and retail owners and managers. His book Customer Love: Make Your Customers Love You So Much They’ll Never Go Anyplace Else! has been called, “a must read book for insights into the strategy, creativity, and challenges in developing and sustaining a successful business.”

    Dave Ratner received the Silver Award from the National Retail Federation and was named to the Massachusetts Retail Hall of Fame.

    As a motivational business speaker Dave delivers common-sense, forehead-slapping insights on management, sales, marketing, customer service and customer loyalty in engaging and laughter filled keynotes and trainings.

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Creating Customer Love

How To Get and KEEP Loyal Customers

Don’t dig a hole with your customers. Creating rich customer experience and cultivating fierce customer loyalty. Based on Dave’s critically acclaimed book, Customer Love: Make Your Customers Love You So Much They’ll Never Go Anyplace Else!

Audience Will Learn:

  • Cost effective ways to get your message to the folks you want as customers
  • How to keep your customers coming back
  • Tips for getting existing customers not only to come back but tell their friends learn how Dave does it and how each practice can be customized to your business
How to Beat the Snot Out of the Big Dogs

How to compete with national chains by owning your local market

This session is filled with easy-to-implement “musts” that all businesses should already be doing. Dave apologizes if this “duh” filled session hits a nerve. It’s time to stop yipping about best practices and get dirty. Audience members will leave with a list of simple things that every business owner/manager must do to compete with national chains and own their local market.

Audience Will Learn:

  • How to make customers LOVE your business
  • The secrets of building fierce customer loyalty
  • How to exploit what the big guys simply can’t do
  • How to compete with national chains by owning your local market
Lead the Pack in Sales

Bad to the bone marketing tips that won’t break the bank

Increasing small business and retail sales through creative marketing. You can’t “out advertise” the big guys but you can “out market” them! This interactive and fun seminar is chock full of creative and cost effective ways to advertise and market your business. Bring your note pad as Dave fires off rounds of ideas customized for your audiences market.

Audience Will Learn:

  • How to craft good ads
  • Where, when, and how often to run those ads
  • How to get lots of free publicity
  • How to not advertise but “market” your business
Lessons Learned From The Top Dogs

Trade secrets from the titans of the business world

Audience members gain business insights they can put into practice tomorrow. Dave shares first-hand tips from lead dogs in business that give attendees a leg up. Dave joins the leaders of the pack as one of the few independent retailers serving on the board of the National Retail Federation. From Terry Lunghren of Macy’s, Mindy Grossman of Home Shopping Network (HSN) or Laura Sen of BJ Wholesale, Dave has slurped up wisdom straight from the big dogs. Bring your pad a pen and start scribbling as Dave fires take aways that will change the way your do your business — and your life. You’ll learn when you wag more and bark less, you’ll make friends for life – with customers, vendors, contacts and employees.

Audience Will Learn:

  • The difference between true titans and titan wanna-be’s
  • To lead the pack with respect and empowerment
  • To create a hot button that will create a buzz
  • To wag more and bite less
How To Get and Keep a Great Crew

Let the Dogs Out! – You Are Who You Hire!

Dave manages over 150 employees in his 7 retail stores. In this program you will learn how to tread lightly in the human resources arena. No bones about it, every manager has made a bad hire. Dave comes to the rescue and lays it on the line, advancing retail and small business management to build excellent teams. Dave receives more emails following this session than any speech or workshop he gives. Small business owners and managers thank Dave for giving them the kick they needed to lick their wounds and move on with a more loyal and dependable crew.

Audience Will Learn:

  • Why it is so important to have a great crew
  • What you need to do to how to get a great crew and keep a loyal crew
  • What you need to do to foster a fabulous working environment.
  • How to hire and yes, how and when to fire people

Dave Ratner Reviews

“Should you hire Dave to speak to your group? All I can say is we have asked him to present at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York for an unprecedented 4th consecutive year. Audiences love him!”


“Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater SpringfieldDave spoke at the chamber annual meeting last year. They loved him. He is funny, inspiring and full of common sense ideas that every can use. It just dawned on me… he got a rousing standing ovation. I can’t remember the last time that happened.”

— Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield

“Mayer Bros. Apple Products, Inc.Dave Ratner is one of the most entertaining and informative speakers I have ever heard. His no-nonsense, no-notes, extemporaneous delivery made his message very believable and sincere. Dave’s marketing ideas hit home through his humor and honesty. His lecture commanded the largest audience with the most post questions and answers. You don’t fall asleep with this guy!”

— Mayer Bros Apple Products, Inc.

“Pet Industry Distributors AssociationYour topics are spot on. Part of what makes you such an effective presenter is that you live what you discuss. Plus the mustache—at least half the audience shows up just to see if it’s really a hamster.”

— Pet Industry Distributors Association


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