Don't Chase Clients, Let Them Come To You

Updated: Mar 17

How to create a successful referral business



How often do you stop for ice-cream on the motorway? I'm guessing not that often, I doubt I ever have.


Meet Juan, known all over Mérida, Mexico, for his delicious ice-cream.


This is not a regular gelato parlour however. There is no choice of cones, no sprinkles, no sauces. In fact, there are only 2 flavours: coconut or mamey, so pick both if you don't want to miss out.


Juan has no shop, no chairs and doesn't advertise anywhere. He makes the ice-cream himself at home and loads them on his scooter in portable coolers each day.


I'm half Italian and lived in Italy for many years, I know what amazing gelato tastes like and Juan's produce was simply fantastic.


How did I, a tourist, find this gem off the beaten track? Referral.


You see, Juan is not a pop-up, nor is he looking to make a quick buck. He has been selling his incredible homemade helado in the same spot, on the motorway, for 20 years.


He told me people actually factor in his ice-cream when they plan trips across the state. People actually drive out of their way for that ice-cream and it's not that easy to get there. If you're on the wrong side of the motorway, you need to find the nearest exit and take the ring-road to get across and of course, do the same again if you're headed in the opposite direction.


That is true customer committment.


Juan has never searched for clients, they come to him. He doesn't offer any choices, special offers or even somewhere to sit.


I asked him, how his business not only survives but flourishes? His answer was:


Consistency.


He's always in the same place.

He always sells the same flavours.

They're always made with care and quality.

His ice-cream is always delicious and he is always serving people as best he can.




Ice-cream is a very delicate subject because it's so personal. People know what flavours and textures they love because they are connected to fond memories and deep-rooted emotions. You don't mess with people's ice-cream.


At the same time, because it's such a personal experience, it's a moment to share with loved ones. When the overall experience is fantastic, customers willingly share the joy.


Juan has no shortage of clients. He has no complaints and when I asked him if he would ever change anything about his business, his reply was, "Nada".


Reflection Questions


What does your business / work do to astonish clients?

What is stopping you from creating an incredible customer experience?

What would be the impact for your business and yourself, if your clients raved about your service?




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