I am constantly amazed at how many bricks & mortar business owners completely miss a huge marketing opportunity by not collecting contact information when people visit their location.
So I was pleasantly surprised while having dinner the other day with my business partner at a local restaurant. This restaurant is owned by an entrepreneur who “get’s it.”
I know for the fact the owner is a consummate marketer and his success is evident at the large number of restaurants he owns. As a matter of fact, he just published his first book, which was available for purchase as we entered the restaurant.
But this is not the smart strategy I am referring to. The smart strategy, and one you can steal for your business, is what happened at the conclusion of our dinner.
When the waitress appeared with our check, she also handed both of us, two pieces of paper (notice she didn’t give us just one set, but two – one for each of us).
The first was a “business card” giving us a 20% discount at a future visit. This is an extremely smart strategy to study for several reasons.
- First, it was presented as a “thank you gift” for visiting that evening. Who doesn’t want to be thanked and acknowledged for their patronage?
- Second, the discount was substantial enough to get my attention. Had it been a 5% discount – the card wouldn’t have mattered. But a 20% discount is worth holding onto.
- Third, the owner understands that consumers are funny and while they may enjoy dinner at his restaurant, it doesn’t mean they’re coming back. By offering a substantial future discount, he tapped into human nature knowing that few of us can pass up saving money while enjoying a nice meal.
The only improvement I would suggest to him is putting a deadline on the card so that it forces me to use it by a certain date. It could be a generic “Must Use Within 30 Days” or he could leave room for the waitress to stamp a date based on my visit date.
The other piece of paper was an invitation to join his VIP Club. Again this example is worthy of study for several reasons.
- First and foremost, he’s making a serious effort to get my attention and contact information. I am sure he has an impressive marketing follow-up strategy by both email and direct mail. I wonder what I will receive on my birthday and anniversary?
- Second, he’s giving me several reasons to give him my contact information, including lunch at a 50% discount, giveaways, event specials, etc.
- Finally, he’s reassuring me that my information is safe.
If you’re a bricks and mortar business owner – how can you use these two strategies in your business?
If you’re allowing people to visit your location and not giving them a BIG reason to want to return and be contacted by you in the future, you’re leaving large amounts of money on the table. Study the Doc Magrogan example and use it in your business to improve your marketing!