Getting Customers

Getting Customers
September 19, 2021 Gary Shotton

When starting your first business you probably will not have an abundance of money. Gary Shotton shares how he was able to get customers while spending a minimal amount of money. By Gary Shotton #000472

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Getting Customers

By Gary Shotton

This text is in Extreme Rough draft and will be edited in the near future.

Hello my name is Gary Shotton, and I’m here as a part of Inspiring Better Business /  and today I’m going to talk about gaining or getting customers, and especially regarding my story. Well, all of us have a story and mine starts with me. My first business after I had moved from 1200 miles from after working for an oil company, I had decided to go to Bible school and my wife and I, with our three children moved, using my family car, pulled pulling a horse trader that I had borrowed from my dad, and this horse trader is fairly big, it’s big enough to haul for horses and I had learned how to put all the stuff I thought why I needed for a year and my washer dryer my bags my kids clothes, a few toys I got quite a bit packed in that horse trader. And so when it came to my new town I had called ahead and expected to get a good job, but no job, the economy had turned my demand for employment was next and on, and I had to hustle I had a family I say a five three little children, and I had rent and utilities and tuition, all the things that go along with life. And so, my, my, my objective was then to get something going. Yes, so starting with something I had, I wasn’t even thinking about it becoming a business, and over time at grow for after many years to actually have many trucks, many, many employees, and some storage facilities and, and, and that took some time though. So to start with though I was faced with, how do I get customers. Now, If somebody has a current job, and you’re not in my situation I strongly recommend that you keep that revenue stream, keep your job, don’t quit. Keep the or sideline business growing until your sideline business, which could be your actual business hack out rows, and it’s logical for you to move away from having a regular paycheck into your company, your little company paying you the equivalent of what you’re making for somebody else. Be careful, don’t just quit. Now for me, I couldn’t get a job. So, with this, I had to a few little things to get started, I knew about putting an ad in the newspaper that I said, let me help you move I have a five foot by 16 foot trailer. I didn’t use the word horse in there I just said traitor and gave the dimensions, and let me help you move, and a few people called me as a result of that ad, but it wasn’t enough. We’re still fitting in. After school I starting at noon till the end of the evening and on Saturdays and, but I needed more business that I started actually got my first real truck and I eventually had a second truck, even while I was going to school, and I can handle some more work because I hired some people even while I was going to school while while I was in that newspaper looking at my ad I looked right over there, and there’s houses for sale. Wow, wow, this is not not rocket science. If somebody is moving or selling their house, logically they wouldn’t need someone to move them, why wouldn’t I offer that. So I would take newspapers and I would tear off that pages that dad houses for sale by owner, and I created a system where I had little recipe cards or recipe box, and I had my little system so that I wouldn’t call the same person twice in the same week or a couple of weeks I I categorize them by the phone number I was calling him so I could look up it sequentially and make sure that I hadn’t called this person again because that newspaper, next week would have that same number in and I wouldn’t know. So I called these people and more times than not they were fairly pleased that I called, I would ask him Could I call him back in a couple weeks or six weeks or whatever, based on the conversation I would set a time period and I would call him back. And that worked pretty good. Well then, I also saw as I was around town that people had yard signs that said houses for sale by owner, I would look at the address, go down to the library at that time, look up the address in this big book that they had, and I could normally find the name of the person and and find their phone number. Now you can find that all online. Wow, that’s pretty easy. So here’s where I was, this is 35 years ago, and was before Facebook it was before the internet, it was before cell phones. I know that doesn’t seem possible but that wasn’t that long ago, and now you have a lot more avenues to to present your product and service, but it’s not the only thing back to my story. Well, as time went on I realized that Realtors selling houses also were in touch with the same people that I wanted to be in touch with, if somebody was selling a house, moving, because they sold a house, or moving because they bought the house. Why wouldn’t I get in their pathway, and see if I couldn’t build a relationship with these realtors. Well now I’m starting to do to become a leveraging my time and effort through others. Others that, that had kind of gathered the crowd of people and gathered the group of people to gather, meaning those by selling houses, and that work really well we had, we had the realtors where I took doughnuts to their to their to their weekly meeting I at one agency at a time I invited him over to our facility and fed them a nice meal and and made sure they know who we were and we got some great jobs out of that. I also discovered retirement homes. The, the people in charge of retirement homes so I haven’t raised some responsibilities to help their clients there, there are people in those homes so then they have some homes are independent living and these people normally can’t move their own furniture they don’t want to bother their family, they don’t want to bother their church people they’d be gladly pay us, and we did a ton of jobs with retirement sitters, we’ve, we discovered many storage facilities, wow, if there’s a mini storage facilities people are moving in and out, in and out once again, We, I bumped in and became a truck row agent so I rented trucks, and that agency actually used us a lot, and we became interstate movers because by hustling, by keeping my eyes open, by, by looking at opportunities I never ever in my entire life, have stopped looking for opportunities, and that’s where it started when I had this company. I’m always looking for, who could use my services, how can I present that. And that’s the attitude you’re going to have to have. Now all this is to gain new customers but please do not overlook the importance of having happy customers that will become repeat customers that will become referral customers, by far, by far the cheapest thing you can do is keep your current customer coming back to you and they feel so good about it that they would tell others. There’s no amount of money that can override that through all these other ways, even if I don’t pay much money for these other your repeat and referral, have to be number one. Well, there’s also your general attitude towards this. So, your attitude, through all these realms of customers has to be more not selling something to them, but serving them finding truly what they needed. That’s why we became both a rental company and an interstate moving company, because we knew if someone’s moving out of the area. They had two choices rent a truck and help someone load it or. So we are doing Van Lines, we did both and we would come in with our package deal is say pick what you want. We’re here to serve you what’s best for you. Be willing to experiment. Don’t just steps, a set on what you’ve been doing, always be willing to look and change and, and, and know that no one said this was going to be easy. And that’s kind of the fun part of it that’s the challenge of it, there’s a challenge in increasing sales, and then I tried to say yes more often than not, I know when I was answering the phone calls coming in way early, I had a bunch of people calling me could you move me out of the country. Well as soon as I realized that there’s a few phone calls. I started saying yes, let me get back with you, and I found out an agency that I would represent for moving households to Germany households to Bangladesh, households to to other countries in the world, and I had a little piece of that that business, and then never, ever, ever forget that God’s on your side.  So it’s not a token to the end, God will open your eyes to see the avenues that you can go into your business that’s what he did for me. I went to Bible school to learn faith and how the Holy Spirit worked in my life. And to be honest with you I just answered the questions right in that school and it was a great foundation, but I learned, I learned how faith worked, I learned how to be led by the Holy Spirit, when I was doing exactly what I’m telling you, when I was using it in my business, using it to expand my business using it to, to meet and greet and involved with highways and byways with people that people that work for me, and our customers that we worked for. We thank you for being a part of Inspiring Better Business.


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