© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

Back when I was the marketing director for all of the Wendy’s restaurants in Southern New Jersey, we ran a ‘crew incentive’ one month.

Everyone on the staff was given a stack of coded coupons that were good for a dollar off a meal. They handed these coupons out to their friends, family, the mailman, strangers, etc. The crew member who had the most coupons redeemed won a prize.

That was one monster of a month.

And it demonstrated two things. One: People like getting something for free, even if it’s just a dollar. Two: People feel good when they can give something to someone else.

Judy is a friend of mine who uses this same concept in her hair styling salon. She had custom-designed ‘gift certificates’ printed up. The certificates have a $10 value. But she doesn’t sell them: She gives them to her best customers to give as gifts. Why? Because her best customers are the ones most likely to recommend that their friends, family and acquaintances get their hair styled by Judy.

And now they not only get the opportunity to turn someone on to a great hair stylist, but they also feel good when they hand a friend a $10 gift certificate to be used on their first visit to Judy.

Think about it. Which would you be more excited about … going to a business a friend recommended, or going to a business a friend recommended with someone else’s money to spend?

There are a few subtleties to this marketing technique. First, you have to recognize that your customers are essential to helping you market. You must see them as your partners.

Second, you should accept that although there are some people who enjoy referring business to you because it makes them look like an expert, there are others who would recommend you, but they need a nudge.

Finally, because you’re probably introducing a new concept to them, you have to explain what you’re doing, and what they should do, the way a professor would.

For example, after a good customer has made a purchase, you chat with them to learn how they feel about dealing with you.

If their feelings are positive, you tell them that you appreciate their business.

Then you tell them that you’d like them to have two gift certificates they can give to friends who they think might like shopping with you, too.

Then you smile.

Then they smile.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Leave a space on the gift certificate for them to write the name of the recipient, and a space for them to sign their own name.

Then get a larger bag to take deposits to the bank. You’re going to need it.

About the Author: Dr. David Weiman, “the Jewelry Marketing Doctor,” is a psychologist and internationally-known expert on marketing and selling handmade artisan jewelry. He is also the marketing director for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Step by Step Beads, and Step by Step Wire Jewelry. His new book, 101 More Jewelry Selling Techniques from the pages of Jewelry Selling Insights — along with many other books and tools for selling handcrafted jewelry — at http://www.MarketingJewelry.com where you can also sign up for his free “Jewelry Seller” e-newsletter.

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All Things Metal Clay is proud to be an affiliate partner with JewelryMarketing.com!

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