It’s easy to get tunnel vision. You can get so caught up worrying about how to attract more customers and sell more products that you forget about sharing the marketing love with other local businesses.
But great marketing—the stuff that gets people excited about your business and your brand--is about more than just making a sale. You’ve got to always be adding value for current and prospective customers. And sometimes that means referring them to someone else.
Some owners just get it. They actively promote small businesses via social media, face-to-face conversations, emails, etc. They’re always listening to what their customers want and are more than happy to point them in the right direction. Unfortunately, and all too often, their peers don’t reciprocate.
When you help promote other local businesses everybody wins. Customers will start looking to you as a source of helpful information. Businesses will get great word-of-mouth endorsements which help them sell more stuff. And you will get huge karma points for supporting another member of a tight-knit community.
This just happened over the weekend. I was chatting with a local business owner named Nicole. She makes really awesome hand-crafted jewelry using upcycled (fancy word for recycled) materials.
All I needed to do was ask what other exhibitors she thought I should check out. Without skipping a beat, she proceeded to give me a personal tour of some of the other booths. If that wasn’t enough, she not only provided a quick overview of what she thought made them so awesome, but she also shared some of her favorite products. It was like watching an episode of Oprah’s favorite things or having a personal concierge. Seriously, how freakin awesome is that?
Nicole didn’t have a hidden agenda. She just wanted to help other local business owners be more successful. That’s who she is. She gets it.
Each and every time she talked about one of their products, she had the same energy and passion as if she was talking about something she created herself. As a shopper, I can tell you that energy was totally contagious.
Most businesses would kill (okay, I’m sure there are at least a few that wouldn’t go that far) to get a ringing endorsement from another local business owner.
10 minutes. 5 seconds. The next time you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or chatting with a customer, remember to share the love.
When you help other businesses be more successful, everybody wins.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Marcel Hauri]