Friends Do Business With Friends. So more friends equal more business, right? YES! :)
Last week on "The Meredith Kallaher Show" I kicked off a series on Word of Mouth Marketing. It has been proven that Word of Mouth is the most effective marketing tool for small businesses. Each week I will look at an aspect of Word of Mouth and suggest ways you could strategize to increase your sales.
Word of Mouth begins with friends.
Next week we will cover how to meet friends at networking events rather than spamming strangers with business cards.
But this week I am going to share 6 strategies that I used to make friends when I moved to Miami.
Over 7 years ago I moved to the Magic City with my husband and 3 children. I didn't know anyone but the realtor assigned by our relocation company who asked me how I was able to keep weight on even though I had just run a marathon (she wasn't my favorite).
It was a big move. Good bye parties. Selling my grandmother's home. New job. New next door neighbor watering the lawn in a bikini. New house. New peacocks. New schools. And after a few months I was ready for some NEW friends.
I took to the internet... maybe you remember? I wrote a blog called "Meredith in Miami" on which I challenged myself to figure out the best ways to meet friends in Miami.
And I did it! I figured it out... well maybe I don't have all of the answers but I have developed some wonderful friendships. I identified 6 strategies that helped make that happen and I am excited to share them with you.
Because maybe you would like a few new friends. Maybe you have for a while, but who has time for that, right?
I'm hoping that since we now agree that more friends means more business that you will prioritize your friend making for your business's sake. See no guilt involved here when you are having fun.
And yes.. I do know meeting new people is not always fun for everyone. But check this out. I have 6 proven friend making strategies that work.
Networking Events used to make me feel oogy. In fact.. not just attending networking events, but hearing the word "networking" would immediately make my lip curl and anxiety levels rise.
But that is because somewhere along the way I got some bad information. Or maybe just the wrong idea. Actually, I'm not sure where I came up with this notion but I used to think the point of a networking event was to put my business card into as many people's hands as possible. The End.
And as you can imagine it was not pretty. Because y'all know I'm not shy. And let me tell you, if there had been a networking trophy I would have come home with a big one. As I remember there were several networking events that no one escaped without my digits.
But I felt so creepy.
And I'm pretty sure no one called me afterwards.
Why would they? They didn't know a thing about me or the people I served.
Friends do business with friends and I was just a blur who shoved a card in their hand.
Thankfully, for me and my fellow networkers, a few years ago I figured out making business cards rain is a waste of everyone's time.
In Miami, there are so many networking events available to me and instead of trying to make sure everyone leaves with my phone number I should have been utilizing the time to meet friends.
I realized that leaving an event after getting to know a few people was way more fun and definitely more effective than making sure everybody left with my card.
I developed a plan for all of the networking events that I attend and now I never feel "oogy" and I really have made some new friends and customers. I shared my Networking Event Friend Strategy in this video.
I created a list of 13 monthly (and a few weekly!) networking events currently happening in Miami Dade, complete with descriptions and website links. There is something for everyone! What do you have to lose? Go for it! Remember, focus on meeting new friends and you won't feel oogy!
In this episode of The Meredith Kallaher Show I'm talking about how to provide exceptional customer service.
Can you imagine how proud you would be of the job that you do AND how confident you would be in the longevity of your company if every time someone did business with you they said "WOW, that was awesome!?
For the last month we've been talking about Word of Mouth Marketing. Statistics show that Word of Mouth Marketing is the most effective form of marketing for small businesses
The foundation of word of mouth marketing is customer service.
IF we EXCEED customers' expectations.
if we surprise them and their customer experience is EVEN BETTER than they imagined it could be,
if they say WOW,
then we will turn our customers into walking billboards. We will turn our customers into free marketing agents for our business.
I have identified 7 Key Elements of Exceptional Customer Service and in this video go over each of them and give examples from my own business and from those with whom I work on TSG Miami. Watch the full video here.
You guys, as small business owners customer service is our competitive edge! Typically small businesses, can't compete on price, advertising dollars spent, or even quantity/variety of goods sold/services offered.
But what can we do? We can treat our customers differently. We can treat our customers EXCEPTIONALITY. Our customer's experience can differentiate us from our competition.
Watch this video to identify business strategies you could incorporate into your business plan to bring an exceptional experience to your customers.
And while your watching... take notes! I've created a Customer Service Brainstorming Worksheet to help you capture all of your ideas that includes thought provoking questions to help get your ideas flowing.
"Same is Lame" That's what Jay Baer kept telling me throughout his actionable book, "Talk Triggers" that is a recipe for business owners like us (or marketing team.. he scales his directions for big companies!) to create an operational difference from our competition that will help EXPLODE our word of mouth marketing!
This week on The Meredith Kallaher Show I reviewed, or summarized really, Jay's amazing marketing book to I wrap up a 5 week series on Word of Mouth Marketing.
Over the last month, we discussed that word of mouth begins with our friends because friends do business with friends and we spent 2 weeks strategizing how to make more friends. :)
Last week we discussed the 7 key elements of exceptional customer service. Exceptional customer service will ensure that your customers will come back to you... and when you are playing the long game and consistently deliver exceptional service, your customers might even start talking about you.
But if you want to ensure that they will tell others about you, you must build an operational differentiator, a TALK TRIGGER, that surprises them. Something that your customer doesn't expect, but brings them joy, saves them time, makes them feel understood or makes them laugh.. THEN you can explode your word of mouth marketing.
In his book Jay teaches that a good talk trigger is relevant, relatable, reasonable and repeatable.
He takes us through a detailed how-to-create process to build our own talk triggers and gives us LOTS of examples.
According to Jay some of the talk triggers you might have encountered (or even heard of if you haven't experienced yourself) are the Doubletree chocolate chip cookie, the Cheesecake Factory menu and the excessive french fries given with each order at Five Guys (had you guessed the french fry thing was intentional?)