I just have to vent on this one. So I was out and about running errands and I came back to a funny little story from my phone girl.
She was sitting there doing her thing when she noticed one of our local “top 3” competition’s car with a car topper parked at the other end of the parking for our stipmall. She was like wtf, and decided to start watching what he was doing. Well apparently he was dropping off menus and such. So then he got in his car and parked right in front of our 2nd neighbor down hair salon (who buys from me). My phone girl took it upon her self to start walking to investigate a bit more. Well he was coming out and as she was walking by and she asked him what he was doing. He was really rude, and cocky. He asked how we were doing, she said “great!”, he said “yeah right, how long? 3-4 months?”, and then she said “3 months what?”, he said “till you guys close up?” - I thought that was pretty darn rude.
Soon after, the hair salon owner came in a said what had happened and how she won’t cheat on us. She also mentioned that he was one of her loyal clients that gets his hair cut there. Well just about 10 minutes ago, I went to one of our other neighbors to grab a smoothie drink and I noticed that our hair salon lady is keeping their menus on her counter!!! Jeez. I don’t even know what to say. I feel so betrayed lol. I’m not even sure if I have the guts, or right, to ask her whats up with that.
Well just thought I would vent. Thanks for listening.
The way to get other businesses to be your customer is to be their customer. I have tried to do business with the ones that are close to my store as much as possible. I will go to the C store to buy a soda (even though I sell soda myself) because they will come to my store to buy a slice of pizza. I give every employee who works in my shopping plaza a discount just to get them to use me rather than go to someone offsite.
Marketing is much more than printed advertisements or TV and radio spots. You need to be the one people think of when they think pizza. I always wear a shirt with “Dial 8 Daddio’s if You Love Pizza” across the back anytime I am in public. I have the same on my car as well as the 7 cars that belong to my wife, children and in-laws. I want every school kid in town to know me as Daddio. I want every senior citizen to know they get a special deal at Daddio’s. The way to do these things is to get out and be a customer in the businesses, and a volunteer in the schools and senior citizen homes.
Publicity can be more effective in getting the customers to come in than paid advertising. A case in point is the fire prevention program that I ran with the fire department last month. The cost to me was $100 printing for coupons and food costs on a 10" pizza for every coupon redeemed. The local news paper and TV news covered the program at no cost to me and I have had 7% of the coupons come back. Of the coupons that have come back 3/4 were from new customers. There have been return visits from 50% of those new customers.
Competition is a funny thing when you are the winner. Find a way to be the one laughing at the competition.
I can understand you feeling let down but it is going to be important not to get your customer personally involved in your ‘competition war’ with your competitor. It will be unprofessional if she is involved in any animosity.
She obviously likes your pizza but she is bound to have a bit of loyalty and rapport with the person whose hair she cuts.
Do you give her and her staff discounts for being loyal customers and neighbours?
At the very least I would recommend you stop cutting your own hair
Some very good points. We do offer everyone in our vicinity a ‘good neighbor’ discount. They all are really great people that work and network together. Theres a stereo shop a couple doors down and they order almost every day - and rave about it all day. And do send their customers down our way when they’re hungry.
Competition around here means a lot of residents have chosen their designated pizza places. Places that have had residents ordering for years and years, some even 10+ and I’m sure a majority of them are loyal that have the attitude to “why change?”. And I’m just the quite new guy, that offers a phenomenal pizza, in town of at least 50 other places that offer pizza all within 15 minutes. I’m working at it and trying my hardest with virtually no money, except sometimes food cost.
I’m fine with them coming in our stipmall, no hard feelings. I’m more disturbed that she has their menu on her counter. I think that makes us look bad if a customer went there and thought, wow that place next door must be bad if shes promoting another pizza place… Whats up with that? Even though I never did ask her to promote my menu, I still don’t get it.
Here’s what I would do…
Go to the haircutter and ask if she wouldn’t mind letting you put your menus on her counter as well. Don’t ask her to get rid of the other pizza place. Then let her know that you would be more than happy to put her flyers on your counter. And be sure to tell your customers that they should try her shop. Let them know that they could come in and order their pizza, go get their haircut, and when they’re done, their pizza will be too. Kill two birds with one stone. At least if you get your menus alongside the competitions, it will show no bias on her part.
Ok, so that (competitor) guy is a loyal customer of her’s. He’s only one. If you start sending over lots of people, who is she going to appreciate more? I could pretty much guarantee if you send business her way, your menu will get recommended a lot more than your competor’s.
Also, talk to her about doing some co-op marketing too… something like “bring your reciept from XYZ Hair Salon, and get a Free order of breadsticks with your order.” And maybe she could do a “bring Steve’s pizza reciept for a FREE shampoo or $2 off a haircut.” Give the people a good reason to patronize both of your businesses.