Originally Posted by GordonJ
Thanks Millard, I'm going to share what I do NOW, quick snack vs. what I did then...recurring income, OK?
Today, it is a LOOK around, ask those FEW questions, tell them I need two days (I really don't) and then go home and write up a short review with 3 to 5 USEFUL, practical tips in this report, always trying to include some shortcuts or time saving things (all businesses and people have them). THEN I OFFER them a choice, a 99 dollar PLAN OF ACTION, or a 199 IN DEPTH review or PLAN and I mostly just walk out with a 99 dollar check or invoice them. A very high rate mainly due to Reciprocity.
A couple of secrets: Stack of Paper. A couple of MAPS of their Zip code with some arrows and circles on them, a little report on marketing, maybe some forms from SBA or SCORE, things which cost me pennies, but add to the PERCEIVED VALUE.
You will find, and do a little shoe leather test in an area you probably won't work, just to do a survey, but you find most places don't do well with staying in contact with customers, referrals or with their advertising if they use any.
Just ask a business, any one you walk into, for example, if they have a Birthday Club or have thought about having one? This one curiosity question gets them thinking, and IF they want to know more, you can say it is just one of several simple little things they can do to increase business.
So, this is in and out, getting contacted from my TALK of the TOWN type websites, we have several mainly because the guy who started it has alienated so many people, other Facebook groups have popped up, but altogether they get around 30k members...and allow advertising, which is where I cull many of my initial contacts from.
They either call me or message me, asking about the FREE MARKETING APPRAISIAL, set up a time, do a little research, show up and try not to spend more than 10-15 minutes. Write up the report (dictate it now), about 10 minutes, put together the "packet" put in envelope and then drop it off at an appointment, go over it, get a feel and most of the times walk out with a 100 bux in hand, try to get several on the same street, and it adds up quickly.
Olden days, tried to sell them an ongoing consulting gig, NOT DOING that now. Now Millard, when one spends a couple of hours in the field, one sees things, I know you will too.
Maybe the signage looks bad, or there is litter, or inside has a musty odor, you will see many things which most ignore or just aren't aware of. But I walk in knowing my MANY years of experience across many businesses makes me the expert, first signal they are hostile, I'm out the door.
As for questions, lead with ones you want answered and have a solution for, for example how many of your customers WALK to your business? (If near a large residential area, a good target for fliers or community boards, see?).
Just keep it simple, keep your time under an hour all told, collect 100 bux or more as often as you want. And always get referrals too.
PS One of the best investments ever is: I use an Olympus VN 722PC voice recorder I carry with me. I talk. Then upload the file, and NOW (used to use REV.com to have it transcribed) I'm using Sonix, thanks to Dien. Upload the file and in minutes I have a pretty clean report, add a couple of pics or graphs, it is fantastic. Takes minutes and I can usually talk for five or ten minutes in the car right after leaving their business. Love me some tech gear.
And OH, the difference between 99 and 199? The stack of paper gets bigger, mostly PLR or other free pubs I've gotten over the years, and truthfully, I rarely do one, it is mainly for a buy the cheap one NOW reaction, AND it works.
What you share here is very, very valuable!
I just wanted to say there are definitely some easy pickings around... at least in my area.
I used to do some work with restaurants - this was long before the pandemic...
One thing I noticed, at least in my neck of the woods, is that most restaurants still don't get the email addresses of their customers.
If they got the email addresses of their customers, they could generate business whenever they want... They could just come out with a new special, email their list, and people would come to the restaurant.
(Facebook is not the same, because NOT everyone will see your Facebook updates! If you want most of the people who have "liked" your Facebook page to see your updates - you have to pay to advertise...)
Even in the pandemic - imagine if all the restaurants had an email customer list.
All they'd have to do is just email their customers and say - come and order from us, and we'll deliver.
No need to lose all their profits to Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, etc.
Those restaurants with a customer email list would have done so much better...
Where I am located, I don't remember ever being asked for an email by a restaurant...
But it's such a powerful, powerful method.
(Nowadays, with smartphones, it would be even easier to get their email addresses, in my opinion... Customers could scan a QR code in the restaurant using their smartphone, go to a website, and enter it in, to register for a birthday list or something like that... Where the customer could get a "free dessert" or something along those lines, on their birthday...)
However, it does take ongoing work because, ideally, the business should put out some sort of email newsletter, at least
once a month... But more often is better...
Now, I know that this was a business that Jim Erskine was doing almost 20 years ago (before Facebook took off)... He posted about it here, and was selling a manual on how to do it ("Local Email Profits").
I think it would still work - but you'd have to counter the restaurants' objection that they'll just use Facebook... which as I said, is not the same, but many don't realize that...
When people open a store, especially if it's a family-run store, they're learning marketing on the fly...
There are so many things they don't know.
Your post is immensely valuable. Like you said, you're probably going to find the same things to improve, over and over, for many, many stores, restaurants, and other establishments.
Thanks a lot, Gordon. Amazing stuff. Fantastic.
P.S. Jim Erskine is still around, but is now selling to the home schooling market...