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Newsletter #727: The “Missed Opportunities” Issue

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Great marketers are always on the hunt to uncover missed opportunities. Here's a few to take a closer look at:

   1> Your distressed customers
   2> Your parking lot
   3> Your personality
   4> Check it out: "It's lovely! I'll take it!"

1. Your distressed customers

Regardless of what line of business you're in, the unexpected is going to happen — be ready to surprise your customers by taking great care of them. Airlines are naturally stressful, and it doesn't help that external forces such as the weather can really mess up a customer's day. Southwest keeps a stack of paperbacks other travelers leave behind to give to delayed passengers. If you're a similar business, you could take it a step further with a special cart filled with snacks, water, sandwiches, and pizza that can swoop in when things get tense.

The Lesson: A simple $1 snack can turn a bad situation into something positive and memorable.

2. Your parking lot

Your parking lot represents a lot of real estate that's probably not being used to its full potential. Try what some churches do: Use parking lot "greeters," who make visitors feel welcome and inform them of any services taking place. Or partner with a neighboring business, such as offering free parking for customers of your neighbor, but ask them to come in and get a pass first. If you're next to a daycare-like business, you could invite them to use your parking lot and when doing so, also encourage them to try a special event or promotion you offer for kids and adults.

The Lesson: The parking lot represents a bunch of opportunities for partnerships and ways to bring in new customers.

3. Your personality

Being uniquely you is at the heart of all great marketing. Anytime you're imitating a competitor, you're potentially missing an opportunity to truly stand out. We could pick from lots of examples here, but one that stuck out to us recently was how the Container Store offered free valet parking during the holidays (even though they had their own parking lot). Why'd they do it? Because it was different, it was unique, it showed their helpful personality, and nobody else was doing it. Right now, you're probably overlooking a simple opportunity to show off how fantastic you are — find it and watch how excited people get.

The Lesson: There's nothing remarkable about doing it like everyone else.

4. Check it out: It's lovely! I'll take it!

To see some of the most ridiculous photographs from property listings, check out the "It's lovely! I'll take it!" blog. And by ridiculous, we mean photos of living rooms with gigantic stuffed bears awkwardly positioned in the middle of the room, photos of back porches clearly showing folks shooting guns from them, and all sorts of other goofy stuff.

Check it out: "It's Lovely! I'll Take It!"

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Comments

  1. Mark Bradford April 9, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    For successful average size businesses, being “uniquely you” or “authenticity” is the single most important factor. These folks have been hustling by being themselves. Use social media to accelerate and amplify WOM.

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