FEBRUARY 2020 ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Describe your most successful technique for getting customers.

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Describe your most successful technique for getting customers.

  • We used to do a lot of advertising.  Now we focus on social media.  I think it’s word of mouth and being consistent in the work we do.  We’ve worked a long time on the sympathy business – people who come in say they can always tell which flowers came from our shop.  Building up the customer base and keeping a quality product out there is most effective.  We also have a big sign to attract people when they drive by.

  • Branding: we play in a space that is very competitive and incredibly fast-paced. We provide our clients with useful information and work to ensure we continue to add value. We’re not about logo stuff but more about services and information.  Credibility and visibility are huge – especially during times of change.
  • We also add value for the “associates” (the job seekers). We have a tool that helps us stay current with local wages and trends in our specific area.
  • Product development. I’ve worked with different businesses and models.  No marketing solution will work long term for a bad product.  I make sure my products are good.  For marketing to be successful it must be measurable and scalable.
  • Newspapers don’t cut it. Social Media platforms are good, we also use a service called the public country club in the Cities ($500) Customers can play any course in the group.  They get a cheap rate on all the golf.  We get a cut of the profits.  It’s important to have an up-to-date website with relevant information. On the wedding side, it’s all social media.
  • Google ad words and putting the right amount of money at the right time. I have a phenomenal person who does the right things.  I’ve also found that if I don’t try to do it myself, I’m money ahead.
  • It’s the area I have the most trouble with. We have great name recognition.  We’ve also changed the way we price.  We offer rebates and consistently good service.  They all serve us in the long run.
  • Local radio ads work too – when they’re creative.
  • We use the Web, social media and Google to promote our stores. Customers from out of the area who use our services have said that’s how they found us.
  • Referrals and our reputation are the main things. We’ve been around since 1957 so we have a history in the community.  We utilize maintenance/salespeople to get a foot in the door.  We offer them programs that lead to projects.  Once businesses have our controls in their building, they are tied to us.
  • Our customers are very specialized. but the work is repeatable. It works well to attend conferences and mingle.  We have procured our biggest customer that way.  That has been the biggest source of leads.  We’re working with Enterprise Minnesota; this was a good question to have at this time.
  • “Giving it away.”  We answer questions even if the person is not a customer.  We will take a second look at their issues with no strings attached.  you just can’t dump everything and answer questions.  You still have to keep your current customers happy.  We usually try to keep our response to 15-30 minutes and offer specific answers.  People remember.
  • Ask! Doing lunch dates and educational seminars.  That results in conversations that sometimes result in business.
  • I’ve started posting on Nextdoor, which posts throughout the United States. Our classes are family-oriented and we have attracted clients through there.  It’s gotten the company exposure.  It’s a virtual watch.
  • Forever has a refer-a-friend program that works wonderfully. They offer a reward for both parties.  They’ve started to distribute “Tip Sheets” that are very useful for the clients and the associates.
  • It’s a new area for me – I have a lot of ideas. I have received referrals through networking.  I need to get out of the office to make personal contacts.
  • Being knowledgeable about the product is a great start. always be honest, protecting the customers will get you referrals.
  • I always have my business cards with me – I hand them out like popcorn. Make sure you have satisfied, happy customers who spread the word.
  • My customers are coming from referrals. Build trusting relationships with referral sources, being clear so expectations are known.
  • I cannot believe the people I’ve met and the gigs and referrals I have received from them.
  • Having happy and satisfied customers is more important than anything I could pay for. It’s important that customers say good things about me.
  • I’ve had satisfied previous employers and can count on them for putting in good work for me and sending referrals.
  • Hire good salespeople. I’m terrible at sales.  I work at it once in a while, but every customer I’ve brought in hasn’t panned out.
  • We treat our existing customers exceptionally well.  Up until last year it was mostly word of mouth.  We have a website, but that was all.  If you can’t add value at or above what you’re paying for the product you probably shouldn’t bring on new customers.
  • Outdoor power equipment shows – all present and potential customers are in one location for 3 days.  It’s a good place to touch base with a lot of people.  We get to talk to people, get business cards and check out new equipment and ask about customer needs.
  • We have 5 different business segments that must be handled simultaneously. We attend optical trade shows, we’re developing a distribution network base.  In injection molding, I work with designers of parts to find the manufacturer’s sales reps.  The gas inflation products will be going to market soon.  We’ve written introduction letters explaining who we are and will follow up with calls.  Everything is changing so quickly, next week all those answers could be different, and I would tell you it’s nothing but good luck.
  • When I first bought my business in OH, it was a franchise. It was based on a simple premise: we marketed to opinion leaders.  We focus on people who know the people you’re trying to reach.  In my work, bankers are referral agents and need my business planning service.  I do a lot of networking.
  • You only have three customers: existing, previous and new.  Almost everyone is spending all their time on new – you should spend at least 50% of your time on existing   Let people know you can do more.  Never forget that previous customers can make referrals.  Make sure you quantify the benefit you’re offering.
  • On the retail end, it’s face to face and social media. Customers look for us in markets because they like our products. On the wholesale side it’s cold calling.
  • When someone comes in for an estimate, we try to do some temporary repairs (replace a headlight, fix a door so it will open and get them back on the road.) It’s doing that extra to get them back on the road that impresses them.  If they are interested in our processes and want more information, we take customers on a walk through the shop. They can see that we have the equipment needed to do their job.

 

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