“Love Your Maverick”
- Noun – A motherless calf.
- Noun – An unorthodox or independent-minded person.
In business, a maverick is someone that will make it their business to spread word about your business, like nobody‘s business. They are obsessed with telling as many people as they can about your product, store or service, and they are worth more to your business than any advertising could ever hope to be.
At the New York Kids Club, we have always kept our eyes peeled for the “resident mavericks” – the ladies with the golden voices – the ones who ensure growth and seal the deal by finding new customers for us.
Statistics have shown that if a woman likes a product, she will tell up to 14 people a day about that product. 14 people in one day. Since mavericks often travel in packs, let’s assume that half of the people your original maverick tells are also mavericks, and they, in turn, go on to tell 14 other people about you. And suppose the cycle repeats itself one more time. At the end of only one day, over 200 new people know about your business. After five days, over 1000 know. In a month, over 4000. And so on. The figures can grow to staggering proportions! So is it really any wonder why businesses LOVE their mavericks?
Positive PR from mavericks is more valuable to a growing business than print ads, web marketing or any other strategy. A maverick works hard to promote your business—as hard, if not more so, than your employees. They send out e-mails. They get on the phone. They become the neighborhood megaphone.
Therefore, it is important to take care of your mavericks. Treat them well. They are your VIPs. Give them complimentary services. A special holiday gift. Undivided attention every time they visit. Show your gratitude. Call them personally to say thank you for spreading good word.
Many mavericks are savvy and offer their advertising services as part of a trade-off. When the time comes, your maverick might ask you for 10% on a sale when you are only offering 5%.
They take their roles very seriously. They do the research about your business and industry; they know their stuff when they walk through your door. They will come to you with suggestions for what could improve your business, they will have opinions on everything from pricing to service. But remember, even if you can’t meet every single one of their suggestions to a tee, mavericks want to be heard and recognized, and really, you owe them at least that much!
As a business owner, you must search for your maverick and love your maverick. You must reward her, but above all, you must listen to her.
Be compassionate about your maverick’s requests, and try to meet them as closely as possible. Do as much as you can. Deny a maverick their request, and their outcry will end up posted on blogs across America. Plus, if you don’t cater to your mavericks, one of your competitors surely will!
All things considered, a business’s time and money is better spent keeping your mavericks happy and well fed than fixing the fence only after they have moved on to greener pastures.
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