How to get business from other businesses
Reach out to your local community
One of the great topics we cover on our marketing DVD is the importance of supporting other local businesses. It’s good for your business.
Well, it’s a case of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. This is, of course, formalised in some business network forums where members are required to make referrals to fellow members.
But it needn’t be that hard or contrived.
As Debs often says, stamps and newspapers cost the same whether you buy them from the supermarket, or the local Post Office or newsagent. The difference is, you can strike up a more meaningful relationship with the owners of independent businesses than you can with the checkout staff at your local supermarket, who are generally not in a position to influence other customers.
Other business owners appreciate the fact that you are ‘buying local’ and may even choose to strike up a conversation with you about your work in the presence of other customers. Nic’s hairdresser has this off to a fine art, talking loudly about how effective hypnotherapy is when she’s beautifying Nic’s locks.
Even approaching competitive therapists can pay off and Nic has a great example of this too:
The osteopath at Nic's clinic was going off on holiday, well honeymoon actually. With Nic's permission she approached the Chiropractors next door to the clinic (i.e. the competition) and asked if they would look after her clients whilst she was away. Nic was fully on board with this as she knows how reciprocal business works.
Guess what, a few months later, the Osteopath was asked by the Chiropractors to return the favour, as they were off to get married and needed someone to see their clients whilst they were away. It just shows what can be achieved if you find people who are like-minded, although you probably don't need to get married to prove it works!
Make a resolution to:
· Use an independent coffee shop, rather than Starbucks or Café Nero
· Buy your lunch from the local bakery or delicatessen, rather than Pret a Manger or Subway
· Purchase notepads and pens from the local stationers, newsagent or Post Office
· Get your printer inks from your local IT supplies shop
· Ask you local bookshop to order your therapy or wellbeing books for you
· Buy fresh food from Grocers or Butchers (if you have them in your area)
The downside, of course, it that shopping becomes more time consuming and is likely to work out a bit more expensive (although there’s often not as great a prices difference as you might think). However, if you look at it as an investment in promoting your business, a marketing cost, then it’s definitely worth doing.
Remember to Take Action to reach out in your local community.