If you read my blog, you probably know that I spent last week in Jamaica. My daughter wanted for the longest time to get corn row braids, and we decided to go for it together. In the process, I learned some business lessons that everyone can use, and I want to share those lessons with you today.
Be Where Your Customers Are
There were lots of vendors on the beach, where people spent a good part of the day. But the vendor who got our business was the closest to our hotel: they probably paid more than the others, but had first access to anyone interested in visiting/buying from any of those vendors.
Connect With Your Potential Customer
Get in your potential customer’s face every chance you get, and make them comfortable with you and what you have to offer. As we were walking on the beach, trying to decide which vendor we would go with, this lady started talking to us even before we arrived at her booth. She asked us what we were looking for, mentioning hair braiding specifically (I am sure she knew how to spot her potential customers by their behavior/appearance), called us to her booth, introduced herself, and assuring us that she would work with us, whatever our need was.
Make Yourself Useful to Your Target Market
She constantly kept an eye on the traffic going by her booth, and started conversations with potential customers. Even if they were not looking for something right now, she asked questions, introduced herself, and offered information for free. I remember a mother & daughter walking by, and she asked them to come and see what she was doing (our braids). They said they just got there, and weren’t interested in braids right now, but she said: “just come and take a look!” Her words were happy, upbeat, encouraging, and when the two left, she said: if anyone else offers you hair braiding, tell them you are all set: I am going to give you a special price.
What Not to Do!
Now, while our “vendor” was very good at getting customers, she wasn’t as good at servicing her current clients. She spoke on the phone a few times during our appointment, serviced other customers who stopped by to buy some of her trinkets, which I might add, were only a fraction of the cost of our service, and even stopped to feed her son (the father was also there, and could have easily taken care of the child). If I needed her services again, I probably would not go back, nor would I recommend her services to my friends.
Remember to give your current customers your full attention. While getting new customers is important to any business, don’t do it at the expense of your current customers. In the long run, your happy customers will bring new ones your way. I hope you can use these lessons in your own business.
P.S. Would You Do Business With You?