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The Big Give

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February 18, 2016 by Scott Howard

From the ScLoHo 2011 archives for #TBT:
Last month I was invited to lunch for some marketing brainstorming.

I find brainstorming fun. It is one of the favorite parts of my day, because I get to play detective.

I ask, observe, listen, watch, suggest, and repeat.

This particular brainstorming session was with a hotel manager who is looking grow. His property is not the most expensive, nor is it at the bottom of the heap.

It is mid-market, without anything special or unique. He has spent the past 22 months cleaning the place up, making improvements, and “setting the stage” for more customers. He has improved the appearance and improved customer service.

Several ideas were discussed but the one that I remember the most is an idea that I use in my business. It is a question I like to ask, and in a moment I’ll tell you the 5 magic words.

I discovered that he can devote 15 to 18 hours a week getting out in the community. My advice was for him to go door to door to door to door to every single business within a 3 mile radius of his hotel and offer to help each of these businesses.

See, he estimates that in a year he will have between 10 and 20 thousand guests staying at his hotel. Most of these guests will be from out of town.

These out of town guests will have various needs while they are visiting. Sure there is the obvious like a place to eat, or a drug store. But what about a car wash? A cell phone store? A Chiropractor? A ____________?

As he goes door to door and starts a relationship with his business neighbors, he is offering to give recommendations to his thousands of guests to these businesses. He will collect names, literature, business cards from these businesses and give them his information too.

But he will also use the 5 magic words:

“How Can I Help You?”

These words are the beginning of the Big Give. When you ask that question, you are not asking for yourself, you are asking to help others. You are opening the door to starting a relationship.

“How Can I Help You?” is not used in the same way the guy at Burger Barn speaks when he wants to take your order. It is used sincerely without expectation of immediate financial reward in return.

Most business people won’t have an immediate answer, and not every business will be a good fit, but he is doing something none of the other hotel operators are doing.

Can you apply the Big Give to your business?

Scott Howard aka ScLoHo has 25+ years of experience in marketing , advertising, media and works directly in the radio and digital world from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Contact him at Scott@ScLoHo.net or 260.255.4357.

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