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Ask for What it is You Need Now!

Saturday night is date night in our house.  Each Saturday Lynne and I alternate who will pick where we eat dinner.  We always look for something new.  This past Saturday was a referral by way of a referral.  Let me explain.

A few weeks ago we were walking passed a vacant store front to discover a workman inside.  It happened to be a new restaurateur preparing the space for his new restaurant.  We waved.  He invited us in.  Telling us about what he was in the process of creating, we immediately started our list of referrals, people we knew who would love to connect.  Within a few days we started the referral process.  One of those who we referred told us about how wonderful the food was after his first visit.  Therefore, it became our destination for Saturday’s night out.  One problem.

When we arrived at approximately 5:30 PM there was already a 25-minute wait.  We were told that they would take our name.  We noticed that there were three to five tables that were available for seating with no one waiting for these tables (we were the first name on the waiting list with no one else in sight.)  With 25 minutes and no other better offers (the restaurant is without a bar or lounge area,) we gave our name with hopes of being seated in 25 minutes.  We strolled along the sidewalk finding another new restaurant with many open tables.  As we looked at the menu offerings in the window menu I said to Lynne, “If someone comes to the door and asks us to come in, we will eat here.”  Within less than 2 minutes the owner came to the door and invited us in.  I went up the street and told the young man that we were going to eat in the new restaurant adjacent to theirs.

The lessons to be learned are:

  • When opening a new business, be certain to have enough staff, products, etc. to serve your clientele.  If unsure, have contingency plans.  Had we been offered a complimentary soft drink and seated at a table we would have stayed at the first restaurant.  An alternate contingency in this case might have been a percentage discount for the next visit.  Do something to get the client to stay or at least encourage them to come back.  I am sure we will return, however, we will tell our friend who has already eaten there.  There is no telling when we will return.
  • Keep your eyes open for opportunities which will knock at your door (or stand in front of your door.)  Always ask for what it is you need now.  Invite people in.  I am sure that many cars have been sold when the person taking the test drive awoke that morning hardly interested in buying a new car yet bought one that day.   Always find a way to give people a taste of your best offer.
  • Post your offer in conspicuous locations.  Having the menu posted in the window caused us to pause, giving the owner the time to come out to greet us and invite us in.   You say you have no storefront.  I say you do!  Your “storefront” is a written article every 30 days published to your target market, supporters, champions, and advocates.  For more ideas like this please ask me.
  • Many people are afraid of competition.  I have read studies on competition.  They always suggest that competitors when located in close proximity (a block or less) become collaborators.  Consider your competition as your collaborative marketing partners.  Some nights we eat Italian food, other nights we dine on Chinese.  With these two restaurants nearly next to each other we were able to go from one to another.  As a side note there are at least three other restaurants in this two-block area with a dessert shop and coffee bar.
  • Who is your target market?  The first restaurant specializes in barbecue.  The second specializes in Italian food.  The other three in this two-block distance include a deli, Mexican cuisine, or healthy Chinese food.  All different, targeting different clientele, all collaborating with each other.

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started IntegritY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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