Face the facts. You can't afford to be faceless in business.
I've been looking at the "people" factor in business over the last few weeks and can really agree that "people buy from people".
And how people interact . . . .
or don't . . . .
When did you last even notice someone sweeping the street? Remember the face of the person who served you in a shop? Can visualise the attendant when you paid for fuel at a garage you don't call at?
Often it is irrelevant but sometimes it is because of the other attitude of the other person. Maybe they were talking to a colleague, perhaps they didn't give you any service.
On the other hand, if they took notice of you and were polite you are more likely to remember them. Why? In simple terms probably because next time you call you would like the same again. We all want others to talk to us, look after us and give us a little bit of personal attention. Next time you are out having a coffee just spend a few minutes watching how people are served. notice a difference between Tesco and Aldi. In Aldi the till staff always ask how you are in just that way that you don't mind it when they tell you they don't provide carrier bags.
And that personal touch goes deeper. Do you have staff out facing up to consumers? Do they wear a name badge? If not then try it our for a month. You'll find it does work. Make the names big enough for everyone to be able to comfortably read. Introduce a "lets smile at our more customers" campaign. If you smile at someone they'll usually smile back and suddenly both of you are relaxed.
And make your business personal too. Get your name on your website. Why not have a mini video of you welcoming people to the site and telling them you want to give them a good personal customer experience too. They'll see you and that makes all the difference. If you include your name they feel even better. I've just tried to speak with the manager of owner or a hotel to tell them about the Local Business Card but not even their e-mail address was on the site, just an impersonal form. When I tried to get their name I was stone walled and just gave up. An opportunity they might have appreciated and used for additional business . . or . . a prospective guest who just had a query but didn't want to speak to the receptionist.
Well. You won't believe this but as I write . . .
. . . . I've just had an e-mail that is very personal and begins "I am Michelle Furse and I am the new Sales and Marketing Officer for Afan FM. I have been brought into the station to increase both sales and awareness. I am very passionate about taking the station forward to the next level and want to form relationships with all local businesses.
I would also like to thank you in advance for reading this email.
Afan FM is a new style of radio station. We are Neath & Port Talbot's first and only dedicated radio station. We want to work with all local businesses throughout Neath & Port Talbot and find ways in which all residents of Neath & Port Talbot and both ourselves can benefit. . . . . . . • To establish a station for all people with a focus on young people aged 11-25
• To give a local entertainment, news & information service
• To provide training and experience opportunities to those interested in working in radio broadcasting, production and broadcast journalism. This gives avid media fans a first step to a new career
• To support, nurture and provide a promotional platform for local bands, DJs and artists
• To provide cost-effective advertising packages to all local businesses Afan FM is the radio station that is proud to be different because:
• No cheesy DJs – real people speaking in a real way!• No Hidden Agenda – we’re a not for profit company so we’re here to help make Neath & Port Talbot great!
• We pick the best music because it is the best music – not because our friends at the record company bought the last round.
• We’re 100% independent and impartial – we are honest to all! This is what makes us unique; we aim to provide high-quality programming whilst giving back to the local community Why choose Afan FM?Whether you want to create awareness for your business, generate footfall, increase website traffic or promote a product launch we can tailor an advertising package that can really separate your business from your competitors."
So I phoned and we had an interesting call that I feel might give us both some business.
If she hadn't mentioned her name in the e-mail probably wouldn't have called. So if you sfacetart getting personal - stop being faceless - and concentrate on being available then I promise you that your business will do better things.
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