Imagine that there are hundreds or even thousands or people who are all recommending you
. What would the impact be on your business?
Granted that’s somewhat of a rhetorical question, since the obvious answer is, “Damn, that would be great!”
But it begs the question, how precisely can we get people talking about you? Here’s one idea from (of all places) the world of antique collecting — and don’t immediately turn off because you’re not in that business. I really believe it’s going to be helpful to you, regardless of the type of business you’re in.
A quick story: Hanging in my office is an antique sword formerly owned by Jeanne Pierre Robinette. Monsieur Robinette was the finance secretary for Napoleon I, and since his role was administrative and not military, the sword is actually rather wimpy. Nice to look at, but it would probably break in half in a real battle.
However, when he was sworn into office, Monsieur Robinette was the only member of Napoleon’s court not to have a sword, so he commissioned one from the great sword craftsman Angelo Del’Amico of Seville Spain. Unfortunately, the first time he wore the sword in court he was made fun of by Napoleon’s chief of staff. Tempers flared, a duel ensued and Napoleon was soon is search of new accountant.
I know this story because the person who sold me the sword at Red Baron Antiques, here in Atlanta, told it to me. Since Marian and I entertain a lot, I’ve told that story dozens of times over the years. In all candor, being able to tell that story is one of the most pleasurable aspects of owning the sword.
But here’s the important part. At the end of the story I also, instinctively, include the part about how I first learned the story when I purchased the sword at Red Barron Antiques. (As I just did once again.)
And here’s the even more important point. I (also instinctively) go on to talk about Red Barron and how cool it is and how all the items they sell have these great stories behind them. (As I seem to be doing once again.) I’m sure you see my point.
I’m bragging about Red Barron because they gave me a great story I could tell. And what I notice is that if I tell the story to someone here in Atlanta, they invariably start to tell me the story about the cool thing they bought at Red Barron. Lots of people seem to have a Red Barron story.
Obviously, there’s no shortage of antique shops. Quite frankly, Red Barron isn’t the most convenient place to get to, and the parking is often a pain. But it’s become the antique shop of destination. And a large part of the their appeal is that they arm us with great stories we can tell to others about the cool stuff we buy from them.
So what are the stories you want your clients to be telling about the services or products they receive from you? Is it something about the experience
clients have the first time they visit you? Is it something about the great information you share with them? Is it about events and activities
they get invited to once they’re a part of your circle? Is it the personal handwritten note you send?
Let’s make our clients proud of the fact that they’ve selected you. Let’s give them stories they’ll want to tell to others. Food for thought.