by Tammy de Leeuw
The Grouchy Marketing Lady
Some of the staff of Gator Bob's Sales in Concord, California
Every business wants and needs at least some referrals. Referrals are the proverbial "low-hanging fruit," the "guaranteed sales," etc.
Actually getting referrals, though, can be somewhat intimidating, even if you an outgoing, people-person. For some reason, asking your customers to recommend you to others
feels a tad intrusive and as if you are begging for business.
You don't get referrals because you don't ask for them and you don't ask for them because... you fear
rejection (it's only human) or you aren't sure how to do it properly.
Wouldn't it be so much easier if your prospects and customers recommended you without you even having to ask?
Become An Advocate For Local Businesses...and They Will Start Singing Your Praises
Ever frequent a local business you really, really like? Maybe it's an Italian restaurant with the best sauce since Grandma, or a printer who always gets your direct mail done on time, or a dry cleaner you'd trust with your most expensive designer clothers...
You tend to be protective of those businesses, a little more vested in their success and well-being. You don't want them to go away...ever.
Why not take that concern to another level and become a walking evangelist for that product, service, or business? There are a number of ways to do this and over the next couple of weeks I will be examining them in more detail. For now, however, let's look at one way I worked to help a local business I love get more customers... and the good will it generated.
Case Study: Gator Bob's Sales, Concord, California
My husband and 10-year-old daughter have been addicted to this giant warehouse of STUFF for a long time now... You can't beat the prices on things like beading and jewelry supplies, scrapbooking materials, etc.
The stock changes frequently, making it all the more tempting to spend hours poking around in the gardening and housewares section (me) the "guy toys" (husband) and the kids crafting and art supplies (kid)
When Gator Bob's changed their business model from a seasonal operation to a full time store front, I was concerned about them getting the amount of foot traffic they needed in order to stay in business in a brutally competitive retail environment.
So, I decided to VOLUNTEER my services to help them video tape customer testimonials.
1. Helped them record customer testimonials. I spent three-four hours with my little Kodak pocket
video camera asking Gator Bob's customers to explain what they liked about the place.
You can watch one here:
2. YELP review. There are a lot of things to NOT LIKE about Yelp, but there is no denying that it can do
wonders to help cure online invisibility syndrome. Here is the review I wrote for Gator Bob's.
Be sure and visit this blog regularly for more of the story...