I was talking to an innkeeper this weekend and he told me that his business is off this summer. I asked what he was doing about it and he replied that traffic was off throughout the town. I asked if had called all of the people who had ever stayed at the inn. He replied that he didn’t want to beg.
OMG! WTH? Selling is begging? I like this guy! That’s what he thinks I’m all about? Finding creative ways to beg?
You know what? He’s not alone. I’ve seen business people not ask for referrals because they don’t want to beg. They want prospects to call them because they think that calling is begging. They want customers to ask to buy because if they ask, it’s begging. They’d rather starve or go out of business than beg.
If this is you or someone you you know, the fix is a two step process.
- The mind twist – It’s not about you! How many times do we have to hear that? It’s not about you starving; business being off; the town not being as attractive; the competition having a bigger advertising budget; etc. It’s about how happy your customer was when they used you. It’s about reminding them how happy they were. It’s about giving them the opportunity to be that happy again or telling a friend how happy they were.
- The how – Call everyone that you’ve ever done business with. Here’s your script. “Hi, (insert customer’s first name). Rick Roberge (insert your name) from Kurlan (insert your company name). Haven’t talked with you in a while. Everything OK?” If you’re talking to them, ask, “Where you going on vacation this year?” If you’re leaving a message, say, “Call and let me know if you want.”
This isn’t begging. This is AIDA in it’s simplest form. I can think of a gazillion other things to say or do, but just this two step process will be a start.