I used to be extremely superstitious when I was a child. I’m not sure why, but I had a lot of fear.
Sure, I still have fear, but I’m clearing and clearing and clearing. And I’ve learned to go ahead and push through the fear (since it’s not real anyways).
Today we attended the Front Range Showcase here in Castle Rock, CO.
It was an interesting mix of local businesses — we saw everything from restaurants serving up tasty samples, to free massages, to pilates demonstrations to a booth where our neighbor was displaying (for hands-on testing, of course) Discovery Toys.
What I found interesting was that all 3 of the chiropractors were located next to each other. One booth included 2 guys who were young, hip and laid-back. They specialized in family treatments (essential in my bedroom community town) and their chiropractic table had a bear’s head and big bear legs sticking out. They were friendly and we chatted with them for a bit, as we had a mutual friend in the booth next door, and she introduced us.
Across the aisle (imagine a fairly narrow aisle, as these things go) there was a massage chair and a lovely tall woman offering massages. There was another beautiful Japanese woman dressed in a kimono, smiling and holding up a sign that said “Free Massage” and there was an attractive young man talking with people. All 3 were wearing nametags that were easy to read, and it was easy to see that the young man was the chiropractor.
The first tiem we passed by, there was someone in the chair, but the secodn time we passed by, it was open, so I jumped in and asked for a massage.
They were extremely nice and accomodating — I was asked to fill out a single sheet of paper on a clipboard (pretty standard for a massage of any length) and the tall massage therapist explained that I could fill out the form, and then she would give me a quick massage, and then the doctor would speak with me.
The skeptic in me of course thought the doc would try to sell me his services. Makes sense, right? So I sort of mentally prepared for that while I filled out the form.
As soon as I finished the form, Nyke Soul (isn’t that a GREAT name? She is my new massage therapist) introduced me to Dr. Allbright and then took me over to the chair for my massage. It was fascinating — instead of making idle chatter, she asked me pointed questions about what she was feeling in my muscles while she worked on me. I was a little surprised that she was genuninely concerned. I was also impressed that she adjusted her technique based on my answers. (Chronic stiff neck meant I got a different technique on my neck, etc.)
As always, I wasn’t ready for the massage to end, but alas, it was just a sample, so I thanked her and prepared for the upsell from the doc.
I braced myself for the long litany of services he was bound to recommend, and the doom-and-gloom speech that was sure to accompany it.
Boy was I wrong.
I was shocked.
Not only did this doc take the time to explain to me the difference between Chinese and Japanese acupuncture, but he actually performed some muscle testing (read this book: Power vs. Force) and told me I didn’t need acupuncture. (gasp!)
I was blown away. A doctor actually telling me I DIDN’T need him.
Suddenly I was much more interested in what he had to say. I was more open-minded. Why?
Because this guy actually cared about my health — he wasn’t just trying to sell me something.
So what do you think happened?
I made a decision right then and there that I liked the guy. And that I would LOVE to go see him.
He then introduced me to his wife (the beautiful JApanese woman wearing the kimono) and did I mention that she was entertaining my 3 year old while I was speaking with him?
He did recommend massage (well, duh. Who couldn’t benefit from regualr massages?) and invited me to book an appt, but didn’t push when I explaind that my calendar is at home. He also said that when I came in for my massage, he would see me (for FREE) and offer some stretching techniques I could use at my leisure.
WHAT?!?! Free services from a physician? I’ve never heard of such a thing.
I was absolutely hooked.
(Now if you ask my coach, she would tell you that I am a clearing for peopel to give me things, that I actually attract those situations without trying to. Nevertheless, it still surprises and delights me when it happens.)
By this time, my husband had wandered back over with our newborn, and he got his free massage. Same deal. No acupuncture necessary for him, either. AND a free visit wtih the doc.
Eventually, we left and I agreed to make massage appt with Nyke.
LAter, my husband and I were talking. Across from this trio (next to the bear table guys) was another chiropractor. I didn’t even notice the guy.
My husband Andy is a reader, and apparently this guy had some articles posted in his booth. He was featured in the local paper, and a magazine or something. But there was NO ONE in his booth, both times when we passed by.
I didn’t even notice he was there.
What’s the marketing lesson?
1 – gimmicks are a good way to attract kids, but you’d better have personality to keep the attention of the adults. I don’t think we would have spent time chatting to teh bear table guys, if it wasn’t for our mutual friend who made the introduction.
2 – referrals are an excellent way to meet people. But you’d better deliver, otherwise, you’re losing an entire downline stream of additional referrals. I don’t thikn we would have talked to bear-table guys if not for the referral from our friend.
3 – press and publicity only take you so far. The 3rd guy had loads of press, impressive articles actually, but I didn’t even notice him. According to my husband, there was zero personality in that booth, and as a result, there were zero potential customers.
4 – a friendly smile, a warm invitation, and absolute service can rule the day. If there was an invitation for a massage, but no warm smile, I doubt I would have given it a second glance. The kimono was a good eye-catching gimmick, but it wasn’t cheesy, because she is actually Japanese. If the doctor had tried to sell me, without keeping my best interests at heart, I would have sensed it in a second, said no thanks, and hightailed it out of there. But instead, he showed me that he truly cared about my health AND he provided service AND guess who has an appointment next week? TWO new customers — myself adn my hubby. And if he truly delivers during the appt, how many people do you think I will tell?
5 – now the fifth lesson will show up in due time…my friend Joyce says that the #! mistake people make at these trade show events is collecting info from potential customers/clients and then NEVER bothering to contact them.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, here is your QoD:
What kind of tactics are you using to attract potential customers and clients? Are you delivering on what you promise? Do you love people and does that show? Are you honestly helping people, or attempting to just make sales?