Marketing Idea for Hitting the Streets to Talk to Customers

Nobody likes seeing someone carrying flyers for a business walking over to them.

We’ve all felt it…

That awkward feeling of trying not to make eye contact with them because once you do, their cross hairs are now right on you.

Why do we hate this, anyway?

They could be carrying news of some amazing new service that is going to completely change your life. That wouldn’t be bad at all!

The truth is, we hate being sold.

Being sold feels like we’ve lost at a game. And no one likes being a loser…

So we don’t even want to put ourselves in that position.

And as a business, we shouldn’t want to put potential customers in that position.

We intrinsically know this, which is why you might not even hit the street to talk to people in the first place. But that too is not a great idea either

Don’t let this fear be an excuse for not getting out to talk to local people on the streets. You just need to do it in a way that doesn’t interfere with their personal space and think, “Oh god. He’s coming over here.”

I think I may have stumbled upon a great solution to this very problem.

How to Hit the Streets Without Making Potential Customers Feel Uncomfortable

The other day, I was walking through a part of town that always has business representatives handing out flyers.

I went through the same process as above. Head down, speed up, and they won’t bother me.

Phew. Safe. No flyers came my way today.

But then I saw something interesting.

I saw a group of people huddled around something.

I got closer and noticed it was a big hairy dog.

They were all giggling and smiling while excitedly petting this big, welcoming dog.

That group left, and then a few minutes later, it happened again. I decided to wait and watch. This kept happening. Over and over.

Then it hit me.

As a business, we can’t interrupt a person’s life just to say, “Hey! I’m here! This is what I do!”

Instead, we should provide something that actually enhances their day.

So the next time you want to get out, hit the street, and try to talk to potential customers, don’t let the fear of being awkward stop you.

Find and borrow someone’s big dog, and go sit somewhere with moderate foot traffic.

Have flyers with you in a bag. Chat with people who stop by. Be friendly. Then, if the opportunity arises, ask if they’d like to take your flyer, hopefully after they’ve already asked you what you’re doing.

Or maybe this could be a new service for dog walkers…

Tell clients they can get free dog walks if they’re willing to turn their puppy into an advertising magnet. The dog walker gets paid from the advertising, and people get free service they usually have to pay a lot for.

Or maybe we could just let this be an anecdote for good marketing. Always ask yourself, “What’s my big, hairy dog?”

In otherwords, what is going to maximize a potential customer’s willingness to be the one who comes over to you, and leaves feeling happier than when they arrived? Even if you don’t get a chance to give them any info, if you’re wearing a branded T-shirt, then they’ll at least recognize your business for making them a bit happier that day.

Who knows where that could lead…

Do you have any other ideas of Big Hairy Dog marketing tactics? Share them in the comments!

Originally posted on Nathanael is an entrepreneur and freelance web/mobile developer. On his blog, he shares ideas and thoughts on marketing and business, as well as free goodies to use on your websites.