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Why did Gary Vaynerchuk become successful? We know he is an expert salesman, but there has to be something else. He needed to do something differently, but what was it?
If you ask him directly, “Hey Gary, Why did you become successful?” he is likely to say something like “I hustled my face off” or “personal brand,” but that isn’t the whole story. Gary Vaynerchuk became successful by bringing the mom and pop shop atmosphere to the internet.
Let me explain.
We all like mom and pop shops. It may not be the cheapest place around, but they know exactly what you want and why. They know you and your family. They’re willing to sell girl scout cookies for your daughter and take night calls to fix a leak. Gary Vaynerchuk took “Mom and Pop” best practices to the internet and in the remaining part of this article, I will talk about some of his tactics.
Every Single E-Mail
How great does it feel when a business appreciates you as a customer? I’m not talking about silly corporate speak that says “We appreciate our customers,” but instead, I’m talking about the kind of corporations that send you a gift basket for Christmas (my hosting service, Choopa, did this).
Mom and Pop shops are known for this kind of treatment. They give you personal phone calls and care about what happens in your life. They’re willing to answer your questions and provide that extra level of support that most corporations cut due to the cost. Most importantly, these mom and pop shops remember your name.
Well, Gary Vaynerchuk appreciates his customers and he shows it by answering every single e-mail. Even if he needs to answer “What wine goes with chicken?” one thousand times, he says he responds to every e-mail.
Become a Social Business
In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely talks about the difference between a money relationship and a social relationship. The money relationship is when people trade their money or time for a paycheck or goods, whereas a social relationship is where people feel they are part of the team and the community. As Dan Ariely pointed out, when people feel like they are on the same social team, they are more likely to go out of their way for each other.
Now we know Mom and Pop shops aren’t the cheapest, but they build a social relationship with their customers. They know what’s going on and they talk about it. They know who lost their job, or who bought a house. They participate in local town halls and help lobby for community improvement projects. Overall, these mom and pops create social responsibility and the community supports them.
Gary Vaynerchuk did something similar with his online business. Even though he runs a $50 million business, he’s willing to treat you like a human being. He uses a Twitter account, runs a personal blog, and uses various other social media tools such as Facebook. He’s not impossible to reach and he isn’t faceless. He talks about the same things we talk about (sports, business, etc…) and he gave his customers someone to trust. So, not only did he build a loyal fan base, but he made sure each of his fans felt socially responsibile to support him and his business.
We have all been there. We know where we need to go to buy what we want but we don’t know what to buy. In a big-box store, you can’t find someone to help you and if you do, they can’t help you because they don’t know. The other day when I was in a big box store, I asked the customer service representative, “Where can I find the video cameras?” He said, “I have no idea. Talk to sales.”
That would never happen in a Mom and Pop shop. The workers will show you where to go and offer to carry it to your car. If you don’t know what you want, they will make suggestions for you based on your personal interests.
Now as I said before, when you e-mail Gary Vaynerchuk and ask him “What wine goes with my meal?” He will respond and your dinner party in a few weeks will be a huge success. Gary knew that great service was the key to word of mouth marketing, so he made it his priority.
Now What Do You Think?
What else did Gary Vaynerchuk do that made him a great “mom and pop” internet business? Share it in the comments.
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