The Big Mistake

There’s a Mexican restaurant I like to eat at. The margaritas aren’t bad either. 🙂

The family who owns it is nice. Each time I’ve needed a donation for some volunteer effort I’m part of, they never hesitate to give. They are great people.

Since the recession of 2008, business has declined. Prior to that time the restaurant would be filled with loyal restaurant-goers, week after week. Sometimes, day after day. But then, it kind of sorta stopped. If it weren’t for the bar and those huge tasty margaritas, the restaurant may have closed.

As a loyal customer, I offered my help to them, suggesting one simple little strategy for getting people back in the door. It is one highly effective strategy that very few restaurants and retailers take advantage of. I suggested, “Capture the names of every customer that comes through the door that eats and/or drinks with you.”

My idea: Offer a discount or “free something or another” in exchange for taking time to fill out a comment card or brief survey.

How easy is that?

Then, once you capture that information, stay in frequent communication with them, like family – or – like dear a valued friends.

After I made this suggestion, the owners said, “You don’t know the restaurant business Craig. We’ve been in business for 20 years. That won’t work.”

Well, she does have a point. I’ve not been in the restaurant business for 20 years. But, here’s the thing: A business is a business is a business. And, I KNOW business.

If you don’t capture the information of an interested prospect or customer and then don’t communicate with them on a regular basis, well then… someone else will. And, the one that is top of mind and/or making an irresistible proposition to come in and do business with them is the one who will get the business.

It’s a big mistake not capturing personal information of each and every person who comes in your business, whether to buy or showing interest to buy. Be creative in your efforts to get it. Offer an ‘ethical bribe’ in return for the exchange. In this case, the restaurant could have offered a free dessert, appetizer, or margarita. If you balk at that, think of what it cost to get a new customer in your door in the first place. If you advertise, the investment can be substantial. If you capture their information and market to them on a regular basis on your terms, because you now have a relationship with them and trust is easier to maintain, your investment is very low and high in return.

So, the lesson here is simple: Whether offline or online, always capture the personal information of an interested prospect or satisfied customer… and market to them for repeat business and referrals each and every day, week, and/or month. It is essential for your success.

If you like this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2013 (and beyond!),

“No BS” Craig

Craig Valine, Marketing Performance Strategist
Enhanced Marketing Performance LLC

556 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, #469 | Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 507-8228  Office  |  (626) 507-8504  Fax