Sunday, September 26, 2010

Promote Your Business

“For every sale you miss because you're too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you're not enthusiastic enough.” ~Zig Ziglar

Repeat customers are invaluable. Whatever your business, you must do everything you can to encourage your customers to come back after each visit, whether online or in person.

I recently took my grandson to Five Guys, a very successful franchise that has more than 625 restaurants. Though I had never tried the restaurant before, I thought my grandson might like it. Turns out, he had been to one before, and I was right, he loved it!

When you walk in, lining each wall are large signs with quotes from newspapers all across the country. Though the words differ from one sign to the next, each quote boils down to one basic message: Five Guys is a great restaurant.

Obviously, the purpose of these wall quotes is not to bring in new customers but to encourage their existing customers to return. By posting these testimonials, I believe Five Guys is sending their patrons the following message: we are a great restaurant, and you need to come back if you want to be part of the experience.

Whether the food is good or not is immaterial to this message. They are simply making the point that eating at Five Guys is a great experience. For my part, I left wanting to come back with my grandson just to feel like I was part of this group of people who loved their food.

Another form of self-promotion is the on-hold telephone message. A study showed that 70 percent of business callers are put on hold sometime during their call. To take advantage of this time with their customers, many firms use these recording to softly sell their products or services. Since the customer has to listen, it is a great opportunity to pitch your products, but again, it must be a soft sell.

Many vendors provide this service, and you can locate them simply by Googling “on-hold advertising.” Costs range from $50 to $200 or more per month. Included in this cost are periodic updates and many of the front-end production expenses. It may seem pricey, but users of on-hold advertising say that they recovered the cost almost immediately and continue to see a return on investment over time.

Both of these methods allow you to promote yourself to your existing customers in a very inexpensive way. Of course, there are many other approaches, and you just need to find the vehicle that works best for your company. The critical issue is that you must make a continuous effort to transform current customers into return customers.

Now go out and find ways to promote your businesses to your existing customers!

You can do this!

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