Practical tips: Getting your business recommended
We all know that if a business is recommended to us then we’re much more likely to use it. So is there anything we can do to encourage customers to recommend your business?
I once worked for a Salesman who insisted that any meeting was a chance to ask someone if there was anyone else who might need your products. Initially I would squirm with embarrassment as, as every meeting came to a close, he’d smile and say to the person say opposite him “Thanks for meeting us today just before we go I was wondering of there is anyone else you could think of how could benefit from using us?”
To my amazement – almost everyone would suggest a friend, colleague or business contact we could talk to. I learn’t quickly that this was nothing to be embarrassed about. It was easy to ask, no one was offended and we often got amazing contacts and made more sales just by asking a simple question.
There were three lessons I learnt:
1. Always take the time to explain what you do – and who you do it for . . . so that people have a clear idea of what you offer
2. Always ask the people you meet in business if they can recommend anyone else you should talk to
3. When you talk to someone new, and you’ve been given their name, explain who gave you their details and that you’d asked them if there was anyone they would recommend you talk to.
So how can we apply this simple approach to getting new business to the dog grooming industry?
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SIX SIMPLE STEPS TO GET YOUR DOG GROOMING BUSINESS RECOMMENDED
1. Make sure that your customers know what you do!
This sounds obvious – put if you have a regular bichon customer it may never have occurred to them that you regularly trim terriers for summer, perhaps that you are seeing more puppies coming through the door or that you are always prepared to do dog nail appointments or perhaps shampooing and drying dogs that have just rolled in something rather unpleasant!
If you can find a way of telling customers what you are doing – then it’s easy to ask them if they know anyone who might benefit from your skills
2. Use Facebook
Do you have your own Facebook page? Then make sure you ask your customers if they’re on Facebook and whether they use it regularly. Of course, it’d be good to make contact and become friends. Perhaps you could ask customers to post on Facebook when you’ve finished their latest groom.
3. Use photos
Think about taking photos of customers with their dogs – is there a nice spot you can use to take a close up of their customers with their dog? If you can take a nice photo you can get it printed out and put it up on a photo wall (reminding customers of all the different things you do) and also email it to the customer – and guess what – they’ll probably post it up on Facebook! Just make sure you ask them to mention you when they do!!
4. Ask for testimonials
If you produce leaflets or update your website then ask friendly customers if they’d be happy to provide a quote to say how pleased they’ve been with your work
5. Be brave and ask customers to recommend you
If you can summon up the courage to ask a customer if they are happy with the trim you have just done – then (and we’re assuming here that they’re delighted) when they’re enthusing about your work what better time to ask whether they know anyone who could benefit from your skills?
6. Think about non customers who could recommend you
Have you talked to local vets (especially your own vet), dog trainers, puppy trainers, dog kennels, pet shops . . . Try and make the time to contact these types of people, explain what you do. Remember it’d be a great idea to have some simple leaflets or just business cards you can hand out. Could you return the favour . . . are their businesses you would be happy to recommend to your customers.
IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK
This might sound a little daunting – but these basic steps are much easier to do than you might think . . . and you will find that if you can get people to recommend your business it’s a much easier way of attracting new business than just trying to advertise for new customers.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
If you have any experiences or extra tips you’d like to share with members then please get in touch – we’re always keen to expand on articles.