One easy and effective way to be Donald Cooper's 'Caring Coach' is to create quick tips for your customers, something like…
- 7 Questions to ask before choosing a renovator (or accountant, or website designer, stock broker, dentist – you choose depending on your industry). And then give an answer for each question.
- 10 helpful tips for buying the right photocopier for your business (or power drill, or car, or insurance policy, etc).
- 5 things you can do to drive safer and improve tyre wear (or reduce energy consumption, or the risk of a heart attack, etc).
A plumber could run regular ads in his local paper titled “Chip’s Tips”. Don’t advertise furnaces or hot water heaters. Instead, tell folks how to choose what’s best for them and then how to maintain it for maximum performance and longevity.
If you are selling wines, you could offer a selection of popular priced wines with a picture of the foods that they are ‘designed’ to go with. This would be a real break with tradition, but it makes it easy for folks to choose an appropriate wine. Maybe there are other graphics which would suit your own business.
High-end home builders, as part of the planning and design process, could meet with buyers for in-depth discussions about the lifestyle they envision having in their new home. The clients are then involved in every step of the process to make sure their wishes and vision are being properly executed.
The local butcher could ask customers if they want their roast to be rare, medium, or well done and then to write the weight, cooking temperature and cooking time right on the wrapper. Customers would love it…and it’s a personal touch that you won’t get at the big supermarkets. He could also offer free kitchen knife sharpening on days when he’s not so busy. This would also potentially increase sales on those not so busy days. How might you coach customers to be more successful with what you sell and what simple acts of kindness could you offer that will build both relationships and sales?
Many garden centres write a weekly gardening column for the local paper reminding folks about the hundreds of things that every gardener wants or needs to know throughout the year. The same copy can be posted on their website, sent out as a Blog to their database and printed out as a take-away sheet at their garden centre. They could even become the gardening expert on their local radio or TV station appearing every few weeks to coach and take calls. That makes them the ‘caring coach’ and a celebrity…and that’s marketing magic.
A number of contractors are losing business to unscrupulous competitors who promise to complete the job in just 4 days, when it’s impossible to achieve that. But they lie to get the order and a 50% deposit. Then, they call in three days to say that there’s been a problem and it will be 10 days. It was always going to be 10 days. So get on the front foot, and expose those shady practices by explaining why it takes 10 days to do the job right. You can do it via your website and any other promotional material you use – and even write articles for the local rag. So by being the voice of reason and truth and doing the right thing, you will subtly get even with the bad guys and your customers will love you.
So, what are your customers confused or stressed about and how can you help them make the right decision for them? How can you use tips, warnings, insider secrets, or helpful hints to help and inform your customers while positioning yourself as the trusted and respected authority on what you sell?