What's Your Approach To Getting Customers?
Do you engage as well as Don?
You may have seen a video on various social media sites featuring an inspirational guy who never has a problem getting customers. Don Ward has been shining shoes on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 47th Street in Manhattan for more than a decade ...
Don Ward never has a problem getting customers in Manhattan for his shoe-shine business!
As you can probably guess, there are literally hundreds of shoe shiners in New York, but unsurprisingly, few of them stay in business anywhere near this long. Like most businesses, if you're average, there's just not a lot of money in it.
"But Don isn't average. He's unlike any other shoeshine guy in the Big Apple!"
He's definitely in the top 1% of super successful businesses. And it's not just down to his unwavering commitment to hard work ("whether it's nine degrees or 90 degrees, the show goes on") or his pursuit of excellence or ability to spot a customer ("I never tell a man in clean shoes he needs a shine").
You see, while the majority of people in his line of work sit back waiting for people to come to them, Don takes an entirely different, more assertive approach. He constantly lets people know he's there with a series of no-nonsense, hard-hitting and humorous one-liners ("nice boots, you can do better than that" or "hey, beautiful, those boots need love too").
And it's paid off. The shoeshine industry (yes, there really is one Stateside – it's non-existent here) was hit hard by the recession and Don's average 50-60 shines a day dropped to around 30 in 2009. But he says his unique approach saw him get back to over 45, and even at just $5 a pop, the figures are not to be sniffed at. He's making over $5,000 a month.
As Don says himself: "If I don't engage, I don't do business. I always have to find a clever way to tell a guy his shoes are dirty!" Now that's a mantra that's true for all of us whether you're a big or a small business.
The fact is, people are attracted to people who engage with them. The more you try to engage with the right people the more your sales go up.
Interesting characters like Don make themselves difficult to ignore. Even those who walk on, seemingly oblivious to Don's charms will often return hours, days or even weeks later. Why? Because they can't forget the guy shouting at them on the street and when they need a shine, he's the first person who comes to mind.
Sure, some may find his approach a little hard to take, but as he also says: "some laugh, some ignore, but it's an approach that works for me." Another big lesson here is to find what approach best works for you.
So while you're dreaming up novel new ways to get you and your business in front of potential new customers, watch the video below to see one of Don doing his thing.
If you'd like to learn more business nuggets like this or simply want to take a step toward your own success, call me on 0333 335 0421 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's have a coffee and a natter to see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
Keith established BlueSpot Solutions to fulfil his highest intention of working with individuals and groups to empower them to ‘Be the Difference that Makes the Difference’.
Having 40 years’ experience in training and development working in engineering, F&HE colleges in England and Brunei (SE Asia) as well as private and public organisations in the UK, Brisbane and Miami.
Keith has a wealth of experience as a trainer, facilitator, coach and consultant. Keith is also a NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) Trainer, Master Practitioner and Master Coach.
Keith also works with sports people having completed trainings with Europe’s top golf coaches Karl Morris (Master Mind Factor Coach) and Brian Hemmings (PGA approved Golf Psychology Coach). Keith is the very first Master Mind Factor Coach in Northamptonshire.