I was reading a great book on hunting techniques of predator species of animals and it occurred to me that there is a real correlation between the way animals get their next meal and the way businesses try to get customers. Nature has a great way of showing us how to do it right and to help us match our style to the technique that makes the best sense for getting customers into a store. By using predators as a means of examining the ways to get to an end result we are demonstrating a way of looking at your business that has been perfected and in use since anything roamed the earth. There are three main ways that animals hunt – Sit and Wait, Attack, and Infiltrate. Any one of these can be a good way to add customers, but the use of these three forms of hunting (or for us, marketing) should be blended and used often.
Are you a spider Sitting and Waiting in the right location so your customers can find you? Is that the main point of your business plan – to sit and wait for customers to walk in and be drained of their money? This is, of course, not a bad plan. A Business Bulldog stands where the business is. This requires planning and to have the right plan you need to think like a customer.
Let’s spin it around. What if you started thinking like you were the one being hunted. What attractive web would have you as the customers fly into the store?
- Where would you go to spend money?
- What do you think about when you travel to a certain area?
- Do other businesses in this area compliment your plan to spend money and keep you in the area longer?
Now let’s look at Attack! Bears use this aggressive method for getting what they want. Get a scent, leave the area, and grab what you need. Many companies used this technique to get started. Fuller brush salesmen and encyclopedia salesmen were everywhere in the middle of the last century. They would get a whiff of prey and they go charging after it like it is their last meal before Winter. This is a rough way to gain market share and a big way of getting your presence known in an area. It is also very tiring and can wear on customers fast. This is guerrilla marketing – bear style!
Time to turn it around. What would make a business come charging after you like they had nothing to lose? Some would say just being in the area is enough to set of the sensors on these crazy for a sale attackers. There is something more to it.
- You need to be a participant -someone who looks like their customer.
- You need to be in the territory.
- You need have the means of satisfying their need (to make a sale).
The last method is to Infiltrate. Jaguars are masters of this way of hunting. They look like their surroundings and no one notices them until they are caught. They look like they belong there. Ever been at a party and someone makes a suggestion that later on you realize was just to benefit them at your cost? That is the way to infiltrate. Be a part of the scene and then move around until you find what you need. Be quick, smooth, and act with style. This is a skill and a trait that many people do not have, but can learn. It takes being patient and waiting for the right time to act.
Spinning this around again; what would make a jaguar want to spend energy on you?
- Do you have what they want?
- Have you said or done something to make yourself a target as a customer?
- Do you really know your surroundings to know if their is a hunter in the midst?
Since many business owners find a “Customer Hunting Method” and stick with it there is a bewilderment that happens when the customers are no longer there. All it takes is to have more than one way of getting customers to eat well daily. Combine the methods.
- Be in the right place
- Location is one of the pillars of any good business – if they can’t find you, they can’t buy from you
- Have a place that draws customers in
- Act fast when the customer is in your web
- Go get the customers
- Know what a customer looks like
- Know where customers are in your area
- Hire the right people who want to go after customers
- Be prepared to be in the background until the right time hits
- Ask more questions than you answer
- Be prepared to listen to your customer’s needs
- Find ways to make what you want their idea