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Making the Best of the Weather
A local restaurant owner made the best of the weather and his business during the major snowstorm that hit the Washington D.C. area a few years back. He stayed open for business the entire time and fed the snowplow drivers hot coffee and sandwiches at no charge. He also let the local news media know that he was offering this friendly service. The result: lots of local news coverage that home-bound prospects caught on the nightly news. Did much to boost his business.
Fishing for Prospects?
Is there a restaurant in your area that caters to a lunch crowd of prospects you're after? Time to go fishing! Buy a glass fish bowl (an appropriate size, of course) and propose this "win-win" situation to the restaurant manager: Offer to place the fish bowl in the reception area with the sign "Place your business card here! Qualify to reel in a free lunch." Make the arrangement that you'll pay for a certain number of lunches per month in exchange for copies of the business cards.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Mike MacNair, owner of MacNair Travel Management (703-836-1100) in Alexandria, VA, wanted to meet with the Executive Director of a large trade association to talk about the organization's travel needs. After placing many calls, all of which were unreturned, Mike got creative. He visited the nearest Goodwill Store and purchased a pair of black wingtip shoes. He personally polished one of them, took the shoe to a local department store to have it professionally gift wrapped, and had the package couriered to his prospect. The Executive Director opened the package to find the shoe and a handwritten note from Mike that stated (in part), "I'm trying to get my foot in the door..." Result: Mike got his meeting and a brand new client.
Third-Party Sell Benefits Everyone
Are you happy with a specialized software product that you're currently using? Call the software developer and tell them how much you like it. You may receive free publicity for your trouble. One entrepreneur we know has been using a small-business accounting package for over six years. She called the developer to gush about the product. Her testimonial, photo and a terrific write-up about her business was featured on the software box when the next update was issued. It pays to praise.