We did our show today as a tribute to a member of our BIGG team – our little cat Fraidy.
We called him our Producer Kitty because, whenever we were recording, it seemed like he was always there.
You never heard him. He kept quiet.
But he seemed to want to make sure he approved of the quality of every one of our shows and other productions.
Last week, he was suddenly and surprisingly taken from us. We want to celebrate his life here and share some lessons we learned from Fraidy. He was a master marketer.
We’ll also share a poem which will help you get to know how he got his name. Here are Fraidy’s seven tips on how to attract and retain customers for life.
1) Find the people with a soft spot for you
[Mary-Lynn] Fraidy was a stray before we got him. He suddenly appeared in my sister’s neighborhood. But it wasn’t long before he got to know who had a soft spot for him. He had four or five “customers” who would put out food for him every day. My sister was one of them.
Fraidy didn’t have to scrounge for food because he learned quickly who would take care of him.
It’s a great lesson for all of us. You don’t need everyone to do business with you.
Find people who appreciate you for who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Focus on making them happy. Then find more people like them.
It’s not about crowds. It’s very personal.
2) Be where your customers are
As we mentioned earlier – if we were in the BIGG Studio, Fraidy was right there with us.
If we were in our family room, he was too.
If we went outside, he wanted to be outside.
If we came back in, he wanted to be in.
Where should you focus your marketing efforts?
Where your customers are!
If they’re on Facebook, be on Facebook.
If they’re on Twitter, be on Twitter.
It doesn’t mean you try to jump into them all all at once.
It means you strategically roll out your online branches much like you would conduct an expansion in the real world.
3) Be seen
If you’re a cat owner, you’ve probably experienced this – every cat we’ve ever had loves tuna. Whenever we’ve made tuna salad, we suddenly got really popular. And they get really vocal about getting a share.
But not Fraidy.
Oh, he loved tuna. And he was very visible – you could feel his presence.
But that was it. He would just wait patiently and quietly. Of course, we felt obliged to give such a good kitty a treat.
You don’t have to shout to attract customers. In fact, shouting turns people off.
For example, you make a new connection on LinkedIn. They immediately come at you loud and proud about their services.
Doesn’t that turn you off?
Show some patience. Build a relationship. Be helpful. Business will follow.
4) Get to know your customers’ schedules
Whenever we started preparing dinner, Fraidy made his way to the kitchen. When we went to bed, Fraidy came to the bed.
[George] I still haven’t figured out how he did it. Sometimes, we would purposely try to sneak into bed. But Fraidy always sensed it somehow. He would love on one of us and then the other.
Know your customer’s schedules, patterns, and cycles. Customers may experience seasonality. Some people like to do business early in the week. Others late.
Know when it’s really important to be seen. Lay a little low at other times so you don’t wear out your welcome. This will help you retain customers for life.
5) Stay awake – you’ll miss opportunities if you’re asleep
Fraidy slept less than any pet we have ever had. Why? Because he might miss out on some loving!
Of course, you have to sleep. But that’s not really what we’re talking about.
The point is that you have to be alert. You need to be aware.
Make sure your ears aren’t asleep! Listen. Really listen.
Your customers will cue you in to opportunities to serve them. But you have to be attentive.
6) Read their language, not just their words
[Mary-Lynn] On those occasions when Fraidy wasn’t around at supper time, I would simply say “Suppers Fraidy” with a certain inflection in my voice. He would come running.
Know when your customers are talking to YOU. Pay special attention then. They may be ready to put food on your table.
And don’t litter your communications with your lingo; get to know theirs. Speak to them on their terms, terms they understand.
7) Let your customers hear your purr
Fraidy purred often and loud. It didn’t take much to get him going.
He let you know he appreciated your attention. And it made you want to give him more loving.
It’s amazing how many places you can go today and not even get a simple “thank you” for the business.
Make sure this is ingrained in your people and your processes.
Go out of your way to show your customers how much you appreciate them and you’ll retain more customers for life.
We’d like to close with a little poem we wrote. Before we read it, we’d just like to thank YOU for joining us for this tribute to our special boy.
Our Little Fraidy
How did he get his name, you ask
Telling you is an easy task
Better yet, just give him some time
And he would show you at the turn of a dime
You never knew what would make him fly
Just move your foot and he would jump sky high
But other times, it was much less clear
It must be something only he could hear
Did he think he was human? Or we were cats?
We never knew, that’s the facts
In either case, he was one of the family
In Fraidy’s world, there was just us three
He acted like a dog, though he was a cat
Sitting off all alone was not all that
He preferred to be where the people were at
His ulterior motive? He might get pat
He loved to be chased, though he didn’t trot
The joy for him was in getting caught
It meant he got to be scratched and rubbed
All he wanted was a bit of love.
That was the thing he couldn’t get enough of
You see, for Fraidy – it was all about love
He’d give it, he’d get it, and life was good
He’d take all your lovin’ whenever he could
He got to know our every routine
At opportune times he would make himself seen
Food? Yes he ate, but it wasn’t the goal
Attention, you see, is what made him whole
The perfect cat? No, he had his flaws
Especially what he did with his paws
He scratched up our furniture and our wood,
But just say “No” and he’d be good
When you pet him, he would drool
And while we thought it wasn’t cool
He didn’t care, he’d shake his head
And the spit would fly, oh what a dread
But to us he was God’s special gift
Day after day, he gave us a lift
On the Thursday before the 4th of July
He went to the kitty heaven in the sky
Oh how we wish he had lived to eighty
We’ll never forget our little Fraidy
– George & Mary-Lynn
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