I didn’t need more spices. I needed a spice rack. I figured they might have one. Or know where to find one.
I walked in and asked a woman who worked there.
She apologetically shook her head and told me they didn’t carry any racks and had no idea where I might find one in town beyond a local Home Depot.
I was struck by the loss of the marketing opportunity.
Consider this: if you find a spice store and fall in love with it, you’ll be a customer for life. You don’t want to have to go through the work of finding a new one, you enjoy how knowledgable and passionate they are and you love that they know you by name. You trust these people when it comes to spices.
So, what if they did their research and found their ten favourite spice racks and made a little, in store catalogue to show people, or had those pages book marked on their computer or even stocked some and sold them directly to you for a small profit. And maybe they could tell you where in town to find them or where to order them online. Or they could order them for you.
I would have loved it if they’d said to me, “So you want on that hangs over the door? Okay. So there are ten basic models of these on the market. Five of them are worthless and fall apart instantly or their hooks don’t actually fit over regular size doors. Three of the remaining ones are pretty good but we’ve found two that everyone seems to be thrilled with. Why don’t I show you those?”
They could make a video about this and put it on youtube and then, when customers asked about it, they could email them the link to look at.
And what if they found those places that sold them locally and befriended the staff so that, when people were looking for spice racks, they might be inclined to mention their store.
I recall a doula in Canmore, Angie Evans (who’s now in Regina), who got a surprising amount of business from referrals from the people who worked in the supplement section of Nutters (the organic grocery store in Canmore). She befriended them, told them what she did and then, when the staff would see people looking at prenatal vitamins or other products that indicated they were preparing for a child, the staff would often ask them if they were considering hiring a doula or midwife and if so who. If they were considering one but hadn’t decided yet, they would often suggest reach out to Angie.
My friend Ron Pearson is a magician in Edmonton who does corporate magic shows. But corporate event planners call him all the time to ask his opinion of other performers.
My dear friend Monika runs Reset Wellness in Edmonton which has a very science based approach to wellness. It’s more osteopathy than energy work. But you’d better believe that people will come to trust Monika and ask for her opinion on, “Who’s a good reiki practitioner in town?” A few weeks ago, Monika and I had a conversation about how she could create a referral list of people she trusts so that she would be ready for these questions.
Consider what people keep asking you for that you don’t offer. Consider what kinds of recommendations they ask you for that you don’t have answers to. Consider building yourself up a referral resource list of people you trust.
You can just sell what you sell.
But you can also become a trusted advisor. You can become a hub. You can become the go to person on a certain issue.
Jay Abraham makes the distinction between customers and clients. In his worldview, a customer was just someone you sold things to. A client was someone who was under the care of a fiduciary. A client is someone you were there to guide and protect on the matters surrounding what you do.
If everything you recommend is gold, people’s trust in you will deepen and they’ll spend more money with you and refer more people to you.