When’s the last time you and your team met your business neighbours? The original concept of a main street was to group complementary stores together to maximise customer attraction and service.
It makes sense for your business to work with your neighbours to promote sales and common interests and become a destination, together. Regularly making time to walk the block to introduce yourself, discuss co-promotions, or at least support locals, can be effective, informative and is best done before an issue makes it necessary.
How are you meeting and offering to collaborate with your neighbours? Do you know what they do and how to best recommend them? Every business has to continually have actual conversations with people, whether customers, referrers or suppliers to really know where it stands.
I’ve helped shape, plan and implement community engagement campaigns for businesses of all kinds, using effective techniques like surveys, direct mail, meetings and social media – but the very best and most direct method is to doorknock. It can be confronting to genuinely interact and engage with people, yet invaluable to listen to what people think versus know about you. It’s the key reason political candidates do it at election time – because people vote for the people they feel they know; including you and your business.
If you think you don’t have time to meet and talk to your neighbours then you are missing an important opportunity to ensure they understand, appreciate and support you. It’s worth the shoe leather. You may be the pioneer on your block that starts the snowball.
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