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Create a Magnetic Business that Attracts New Customers

If you want your business to be storm-proof against economic downturns, create a magnetic approach to attracting new customers. This idea means the creation and maintenance of an environment that is magnetic to people, where they feel attracted, comfortable, and eager to purchase. However, this situation does not happen by accident.

Mike Vance, a former executive for Disney, coined the term “five sensing,” which means using all five senses to analyze and improve your business environment. A consumer’s subconscious forms its perception based on input from all five senses. That means not just sight, but also smell, sound, touch, and taste.

There’s a “five sensing test” that I recommend to businesses with retail stores or factories who need to embrace this concept of isolating each sense. For example, blindfold yourself, stuff cotton in your ears, in your nose, and get led throughout your facility — just touching things. You’ll be surprised how small things can create a negative experience for customers. For example, one company tried this approach and found that their reception room chairs were too slippery due to cheap furniture polish, and the soap in the bathrooms was annoyingly sticky. These little issues had bothered customers, but no one had taken the time to address the problem.

At my karate school, I like to have candles burning, music playing, and a calming fountain in the front area. We use citrus cleaner to keep everything fresh and make sure there are no marks on the walls. We re-paint every four to six months. In addition, there are no loose newspaper clippings stuck up on advertising boards. Everything is behind glass, matted and framed. Garbage cans are emptied every day. And, we have ceiling fans throughout, so that the store atmosphere feels comfortable.

I strive for a “professional environment.” The reception area is not as clinical as a doctor’s office, but not dissimilar either. My personal office is like an important executive’s or lawyer’s office. The overall sense exudes a successful professional appearance that looks well-established and will be there for a long time. This is especially important when charging premium prices, as most business seek to do.

One way to think about your business image is by considering what changes you would hurriedly make, or what cleaning would you rush to do, if you knew the mayor was coming to visit. What would you adjustments would you make if a film crew from a major TV show or a wealthy investor suddenly schedule a visit? I’ll bet there are things you’d like to have an opportunity to change if you knew about such an important visitor in advance. If that’s the case, then take the steps now to “re-engineer” your business environment. Use the following exercise to consider how using your five senses can help attract and capture new customers.

Specific things I would change today if I knew the mayor was coming tomorrow:

  1. ____________________________
  1. ____________________________
  1. ____________________________
  1. ____________________________
  1. ____________________________
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