Monday, November 16, 2015

Are You Invested

I was talking to one of the leaders in our church last Sunday and he was talking about the potential for certain demographics (age groups) to leave for altrnate venues if they aren't invested in the church.

I could see the same thing happen with the farmers market customers. When Trader Joe's opened or the Food Coop moved there was a tendency for people to try the new thing. Don't get me wrong these are good stores and they have many products you can't get at the farmers market, so we support them too.

But how can you get your customers invested in the farmer's market. We have some dedicated customers that would come to the market even if it was pouring rain (and they do).

  1. Invested customers know your name and your family. Being known as the guy with the red shirt is not good enough. We have a sign up with our names on it. For a while we wore name tags and I've been tempted to do that again. We also try to learn the names of our customers. I even go so far as to repeat the names of the shoppers who are using WIC vouchers, when we check their signature cards. People like to hear their names.
  2. Invested customers like consistency. You have the same thing in ample quantities for staples from week to week when it is in season. We always have carrots, spinach, arugula, and spring mix for example. If you don't have it customers are grumpy (nicely in Minnesota of course). So stick to your knitting and keep those weekly staples consistent.
  3. Invested customers want to be at the farmers market because it is one of their social outlets for the week. If you shop in the typical super market you might see 1-2 people you know (even if there are many helpful smiles in every aisle). Studies show when you shop at a farmers market you will meet 15-20 people you know. What was that show about the Pub where "everyone knows your name", Cheers, wasn't it.
  4. Invested customers want their money to support local businesses and families.
  5. Invested customers will volunteer to help at the farmers market. We see many long time customer help set-up or tear down the physical infrastructure of the market. Those traffic cones and signs don't get there by themselves.
  6. Invested customer may be involved in special projects like a customer advisory board.
  7. Invested customers tell their neighbors. Word of mouth is the best advertising.
  8. Invested customers have shared values with other customers. They are there for the "why" of the market not just buying food.
Become invested in your local farmers market. The food is great, but the fellowship is also amazing.

Become invested in your church and other community groups. You will feel more a part of your community. Studies show that those who are engaged and involved live a happier and healthier life.

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