If you worked on the first strategy (Turbo-charge Your Sales With Ear-To-The-Ground Marketing Strategy Part I), the second strategy now focuses on your employees. Specifically, sharing.
I love movies. I especially like good movies that have a good story to tell. Often, it’s tough to figure out how to find these gems unless I visited a Blockbuster or Netflix. I first noticed this approach when I used to visit my local Blockbuster.
There, in the back of the store, smack dab in the middle of “New Releases” was an 9×5 area of shelf space that was dubbed, “Employee Favorites.” I always spent a lot of time looking through those movies. Why?
I figured the employees were privy to more movie industry knowledge than I was and were especially discerning regarding their choice of films. Now whether that was entirely true or not, I cannot say. What was true was that Blockbuster stumbled upon a tactic that many marketers dream about. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s the “Holy Grail” of marketing.
Word of mouth.
Blockbuster was hoping that their customers would choose one of those “Employee Favorites,” enjoy it, and then tell others about it. It was also a way to build trust in their employees by helping their customers choose good movies.
Ever go into a restaurant and ask the waitress, “So, what do you recommend?” People love it when a waitress or waiter conspiratorially whispers to them, “The roast beef is the best in town!” And how many order the roast beef? Probably more than if they hadn’t been told about the roast beef in the first place.
So how can you translate this to your business?
Have your employees share which is their favorite item or service and why
Create a huge bulletin board that will have an employee’s pick and include photos of the area. Or dedicate a web page to featuring recommendations. If you owned a golf course, don’t just stop at “favorite holes” but how about “Most Challenging,” “Closest To The Pin,” or “Best Tee Shot.”
Ask your employees what they enjoy about whatever has to do with your offering and come up with some fun responses. Maybe even use these favorites to create a contest, i.e. “Beat John Smith’s Record Tee Shot,” etc.
If you have a retail shop, have a special area for the staff’s favorite purchases
This is a great way to explain why certain items are hot buys and can give you the opportunity to highlight merchandise that often gets overlooked. Consider demonstrating the usefulness of an item. Using items for “life hacking” are very popular. If you can show how to use a product in a new and creative way, it could potentially lead to bigger sales.
You could also boost sales by having a special night where products are demo’d and employees ask customers to share their own ideas. Great ideas often happen from collaboration.
Use your “employee picks” on your website, in your newsletter, and social media
Start generating interest by promoting employee favorites in different areas. If you have a monthly newsletter, devote a regular column to it. Broadcast new picks through the use of your social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. If you use Foursquare or other location-based social media tools, create specials for those who notice these choices. There are many ways to get the word out and the Internet makes it easier than ever.
Sharing your employee’s stories can reap many benefits. Your employees will feel valued and as such, will naturally be more motivated in their jobs. They’ll realize that they truly are a part of your business’ success. By emphasizing this value to your customers, they’ll also feel you do care — and that always has its own reward.
Finally, your customers will recognize that you want to share good things with them and ensure their enjoyment by introducing unique approaches.
Everyone likes to learn about a good restaurant. Take that and see how you can translate it for your own success. Get the word out and watch the interest in your business grow!