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If you’re like me you will have had a few ‘locals’ over the years. Me? I’ve had four.
The first one was ‘The Beauie” or Beaumaris Hotel which sat at the top of a cliff and overlooked an oyster farm and yacht club. On Friday nights, the public bar was filled with tradies and surfers and could get a bit rowdy while the bistro was rather more genteel thanks to the older, more mature crowd.
My second ‘local’ was the Red Eagle or as it was then dubbed the ‘Spread Eagle’ (I’ll leave the interpretation up to you) in Albert Park.
In its day the Red Eagle was THE place to be...and be seen. Anyone and everyone drank there – especially on a Friday and Thursday nights. Ad execs, musicians, sales people, real estate agents, film directors, stylists, film producers, market researchers, designers and more made it their favourite drinking hole.
Our next stop was the one of the oldest pubs in Australia. The George in Fitzroy Street St. Kilda. We moved camp there when the owners of the Red Eagle sold out to become restaurateurs and entrepreneurs. The crowd was not as trendy or as sophisticated as the Red Eagle, but the beer was cold and tasted great.
Then like a rolling stone we exited The George and headed upmarket – to the 'Bot' in leafy South Yarra opposite the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Botanical's crowd comprised solicitors, QCs, would be celebrities, advertising creatives, account managers, entrepreneurs, rock stars whose use-by-dates were fast approaching, real estate agents, judges, pr practitioners and high rollers.
So what made our ‘locals’ so popular?
Firstly the people, and the friendships that we struck up. The bar owners and their support staff also made everyone feel super welcome. Even if you just popped in on the way home for a quickie, there was always someone there who you knew, could have a laugh and a beer with.
Talk about comfort zones.
Which is probably why, according to J.D. Power car buyers prefer to shop locally even if they get offered a better deal elsewhere.
So how do you capitalise on this fact? Be nice...to your staff, neighbours, customers and friends.
Support local businesses, schools, sporting clubs, charities and organisations with donations and by giving your time.
Just get out there and have fun and encourage your staff to do the same. The rewards will be more customers, more sales, more profits and more exposure.
Interestingly, in the 10 most frequently cited reasons for choosing a new car in the 2010-2012 Initial Quality Studies not one related to low price, low payment, financing, high resale value or longer warranty coverage.
The 10 top reasons cited were:
2. Interior comfort
3. Exterior styling
4. Gas mileage
5. Quality workmanship
6. Dealer was convenient/Liked dealer in the area
8. Advanced technology
9. Like the image the vehicle portrays
One thing to remember while you’re out there being a hero, make sure everybody knows your name –especially the local media.