May 18, 2015
Entrepreneurs are a creative bunch – there’s no doubt about that! With limited resources, you seek out unique ways to drive business forward. Recently, one entrepreneur shared with me their one-of-a-kind way of growing their business and they do it by counting on – and rewarding – their very own customers.
Here’s how it works, this small food business (they asked that they not be called out specifically) invites customers to share with them the names of retail establishments in the customers’ area that may be a good fit for the company’s products. The company promises to follow-up on every lead sent to them and if the retailer ultimately places an order, the company will send a $10 gift certificate to the customer. It’s win-win for everyone and, truthfully, it’s rather brilliant.
The small food company benefits from this by building their sales database. When you’re mainly targeting smaller, independent stores, it can be hard to know which stores to approach and it can be prohibitively expensive to research areas outside of your own immediate location.
For the customer, the benefit is that they get to be scouts for the company and identify local stores where they’d like to be able to find and buy the products they already love. Plus, it takes no more effort for them than sending an email to the small food company and they may even get a $10 gift certificate – what’s not to love about that from the customer perspective.
And then there’s the retailer. It’s also a win for them because the small food company will reach out to them and let them know that their very own customers are interested in seeing this product on the store shelves. A retail buyer would much rather bring in a new product that has a built-in audience than a product that none of their customers are familiar with.
I wanted to share this with you in case you might be able to use this idea in your business. What other unique customer generation ideas have you seen and/or used in your business?