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Marketing / Sales strategies

Mini marketing budget? Cultivate raving fans!

Do you have a dedicated band of converts who rave about your business? If not, you should, especially if you have a small marketing budget.

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With raving fans in place, prospects arrive to buy, and ‘selling’ simply becomes order-taking. It sounds like a dream but for a select group of businesses it’s a reality. You can enjoy this too, if you really want to.

The best marketing is built into your products and services by design, not by accident. If the value of your offering is impressive, your customers won’t be able to stop raving about them. The word of mouth marketing will drive business growth.

A florist who creates raving fans on a zero-dollar marketing budget

One of my favourite examples is a florist who owns a shop on a small, suburban shopping strip.

Her business hums along nicely. She has customers coming and going morning, noon and night; and she enjoys a level of trade that is way out of sync with her location.

Her business has personality, and it’s a customer magnet because:

"If the value of your offering is impressive, your customers won’t be able to stop raving about them."

  • The decor is simple but funky
  • The staff are super helpful, fun and energetic
  • The range of floral products is exceptional
  • The prices are practically a bargain

As a result you get a great product and an exceptional experience at a ripper price. Even though the product is not unique, the customer experience is. She does almost no formal marketing because her raving fans do it for her.

How to create raving fans

To create clients who bring their friends, colleagues and family to your business, you need to wow them, every single time.

Create raving fans by:

  • Offering quality
  • Providing value
  • Inspiring team members to love their job and clients
  • Creating a physical environment that excites your market

A practical exercise

Since so few businesses knock your socks off, you might think it’s difficult to make your business stand out. Not so. Think about all the businesses you deal with each day. How many of them were memorable? How many did you tell your family about?

Here’s an exercise. Write a list of all the things you could do to make your business wow your customers. Your list could include things like: remembering names, giving small gifts and being consistent in all areas.

Implementation is key

The most difficult part is not deciding what to do – it’s in the implementation of your ideas, and the discipline to maintain your changes every single day. It needs to become a habit that never falters.

Create a plan and work hard over the next six to 12 months to ensure your changes become habits. Then, watch your customer base grow while your marketing costs shrink.

Do you think raving fans are important? What do your raving fans say about you?

Warren Harmer

is author of Business Planning for Small Business. As a business adviser and coach, Warren offers instructive ‘how to’ information to make business ownership easier, less stressful and more enjoyable.

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