| By Meridith Elliott Powell |
A few weeks ago I was working in Charleston, South Carolina, delivering a keynote presentation for a client. I agree, not a bad gig. I arrived early afternoon, the day before my session, as I wanted to attend the opening conference dinner, and spend some time getting to know and network with my clients and their members. Upon arrival, I went out for a quick run and to have a look around, and as you can imagine the resort was beautiful. But even with all its amenities, I was most impressed with how this resort (and the staff) had positioned themselves to get their guests talking about and promoting them.All across the resort property they had strategically located innovative, interesting, and fun photo ops. Just past the boardwalk was an oversized beach chair, big enough for ten people to crawl into and strike a pose. Just outside of check-in was one of those funny little paintings that you poke your head through. You know the ones, where you and your best friend put on a big smile while the rest of you looks like a mermaid or fish. But it didn’t stop there: they had these all over the resort property. When I checked in I was quickly offered a free ice cream cone as a thank you for liking them on Facebook. (Now I never said I did or that I would, they just assumed I was going to do it and gave me an ice cream.) My personal favorite was the drawing contest they were holding, encouraging kids to tap into their artistic sides and create their own personal, family vacation masterpiece. The children’s paintings were hung all over the walls of check-in and believe me, parents were taking photos of their young artists like crazy.
And it made me consider what an amazing job this resort was doing of encouraging their guests (customers) to help them promote their business – giving them every opportunity to tell their friends and family members how great it is. They had cracked the code to getting above the white noise, and getting guests and prospects to readily and happily promote their business and their brand. And in this economy, getting others to recommend your business is one of the best ways to really stand out from your competition.
In today’s marketplace, so much more than this economy has changed; consumers have changed. Your customers today are different; they are highly skeptical, very knowledgeable and squarely in control. They are no longer looking to us to find out about our business, they are far more interested in what their friends and families are saying or even Google reviews. So, that begs the question: What are you doing to stand out from the competition and get above the white noise? Now, as professionals and business owners we can’t necessarily create silly photo ops with oversized chairs or give away free ice cream, but there is still plenty we can strategically do to help our clients recommend and promote our business.
3 Strategies To Get Above The White Noise
1. A Story To Tell – believe it or not, your customers want to help you grow, they just need a way to help you do it. One of the most powerful is to give them a story to tell: a wow experience that they can go out and share on the golf course, over lunch or at cocktail parties. I bought a new car a few months ago, and my insurance agent called me at home a few days after my purchase, just to see how I was enjoying my new ride. Wow I was blown away, and could not wait to share that my insurance agent (not my car dealer) called me just to check in.
2. A Reason To Brag – we all love to brag, it is human nature, and while we love to brag about ourselves, we are just as happy bragging about others. We just love to brag. So this is your chance, your opportunity to tap into your volunteer sales force and get them to brag about you. You just need to give them a reason. Any time you do something positive, you have a good month, you launch a new product, you hire new employees – it does not matter; you just need to share the news in a way that gives your customers something to brag about.
3. A Way To Feel Important – whether it is having your personal cell phone number or making sure they are on a first name basis with the leaders of your company, the little things you are doing to make them know they matter and that they are important. My attorney has given me her personal cell phone number, and the only time I have ever used it is to text her when I sent her a new client. It was really fun to give her a call with my friend (her new client) standing there watching me doing it.
Yes, getting above the white noise is your key to success in this economy. To take your business and your success to a whole new level you need to follow these three strategies and fully engage your volunteer sales force. So, I challenge you to put your thinking caps on, get proactive, and give your customers a list of creative ways to help you get above the white noise and leave your competition in the dust.
Named one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to Watch, Meridith Elliott Powell is a keynote speaker and author. She works helping her clients decrease stress and increase profits. For more ideas on how you can succeed no matter what this economy does contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website: www.valuespeaker.com.