Getting Above The White Noise
A few weeks ago I was working in Charleston, South Carolina, delivering a keynote presentation for a client. I agree, not a bad gig. I arrived early afternoon on the day before my session. I wanted to attend the opening conference dinner and spend some time getting to know and network with my client and their members.
Upon arrival I went out for a quick run, and to have a look around, and as you can imagine the resort was beautiful. But even with all of its amenities, I was most impressed with how this resort had positioned themselves to get their guests talking about them. You see, everywhere I looked the guests were promoting Wild Dunes as a great vacation destination.
All across the property, they had strategically located perfect, fun photo ops. Just passed the board walk was an oversized beach chair, big enough for ten people to crawl into and strike a pose, then just outside of check-in was one of those funny little paintings that you poke your head through, so you look like a mermaid or fish. But it didn’t stop there. When I checked in, I was quickly offered a free ice cream cone as a thank you for “liking” them on facebook (they didn’t ask me to “like” them on facebook, they just assumed I was going to do it and gave me an ice cream anyway)! And my personal favorite was the drawing contest they were holding, encouraging kids to tap into their artistic side and create their own personal family vacation masterpiece. The children’s paintings were hung all over the walls of check-in and believe me parents were taking photos of their young artists like crazy.
And it made me think, what an amazing job this resort was doing of encouraging their guests (customers) to help them promote their business! They had cracked the code to getting above the white noise, and getting guests and prospects to readily and happily promote their business and their brand. And in this economy, getting others to recommend your business is the only way to truly stand out from your competition.
In today’s marketplace, so much more than this economy has changed, the consumers have changed. Your customer’s today are different, they are highly skeptical, very knowledgeable and squarely in control. They are no longer looking to us to find out about our business. Instead they are interested in what their friends and families are saying, and even turning to google reviews to decide where to take their business.
So that begs the question: What are you doing to standout from the competition, to revitalize your business strategies and get above the white noise? Now, as professionals we can’t create silly photo ops with oversized chairs or give away free ice cream, but there is still plenty we can strategically do to help our clients recommend and promote our business.
3 Business Strategies To Get Above The White Noise
1 – A Story To Tell – believe it or not, your customers want to help you grow. They just need a way to help you do it. One of the most powerful ways for them to help you is to give them a story to tell; a wow experience that they can go out and share on the golf course, over lunch or at cocktail parties. I bought a new car a few months ago, and my insurance agent called me at home, a few days after my purchase, just to see how I was enjoying my new ride. Wow, I was blown away, and could not wait to share that my insurance agent (not my car dealer) called me just to check in.
2 – A Reason To Brag – we all love to brag! It is human nature. And while we love to brag about ourselves, we are just as happy bragging about other people. So you need to give your customers a reason to brag about you. When your company has a good year, when you win an award, or when you are launching a new product, simply send a note thanking your customers for their business and announce the good things happening with yours.
3 – A Way To Feel Important – whether it is having your personal cell phone number or making sure they are on a first name basis with the leaders of your company, the little things you are doing to make them know they matter and that they are important. My doctor has given me her personal cell phone number, and the only time I have ever used it was when I sent her a new patient. It was really fun to give her a call with my friend (her new patient) standing there watching me doing it.
No, getting above the white noise is not always easy in this economy. But it can be done, and your clients are your most important resource. So, I challenge you to put your thinking caps on, analyze your business strategies, get proactive, and give your customers creative ways to help you get above the white noise and gain competitive advantage.