Senior citizens are generally not a large marketing segment for mobile detailers or car washers, however, they should not be ignored. You will find in a near by area a seniors-only mobile home park. You will also find square dance clubs and senior centers. All of these places can be extremely good places to look for new business. If you want to accelerate word of mouth advertising, you should meet with people in these groups. Wash cars at senior centers while they play cards. Hand out flyers, etc.
In mobile home parks you should hand out flyers and put flyers on bulletin boards in the recreation rooms. If you wash one mobile home in a mobile home park, the word of mouth will spread the news of your service like wildfire. Next thing you know, you’ll be washing every mobile home in the place. Sometimes a simple visit to the park’s manager who usually lives on-site is enough to get the ball rolling.
Many senior citizens belong to groups like: veteran’s groups, AARP, Masonic Lodges, temples, churches, senior volunteer programs, Shriners Clubs, garden clubs, sewing clubs, antique auto clubs, Audubon Society, arts councils and various political groups. Many of the more affluent seniors play golf and many of the local courses have senior discount days where you can meet the senior crowd. They are usually members of well-known local clubs and organizations; great for word of mouth networking. Many times they will have their cars washed while golfing. Usually most municipal or older golf courses have senior day discounts once per week. Some seniors simply use the driving range during senior day. This is good as it provides good turn over in the parking lot. Every hour new golfers come to hit balls.
Square dances are very popular amongst the older crowd. A city with a population of over 50,000 could have as many as four to five groups. Each group may have a membership of fifteen to one hundred people.
Any city or community worth its salt has a senior center. It is imperative to develop a good working relationship with the program director. She (usually a she) is in contact with all senior groups, activities, field trips and such. Senior centers usually have racks of pamphlets near their entrance with interesting information, schedules of upcoming events and lists of names, phone numbers and addresses of the board of directors of various non-profit organizations throughout the area. You will be amazed at the incredible network seniors have and how fast word of mouth information spreads. Many seniors are involved in more than one group or activity. You may be at a bridge club meeting washing cars one day and the next day you will get called by the instructor at the square dance club. Then the following day you wash cars for a political action committee while volunteers stuff envelopes. This can go on day after day. You can significantly speed up the word of mouth advertising with this segment by showing up at various senior centers.
You must also remember that negative word of mouth topics permeate from these groups too. Don’t let this happen to you. Spend an extra minute or two with each senior customer. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving two or three flyers to their very best friends. Usually they will. Get to know each senior customers by name; you’ll be glad you did. Name dropping amongst seniors is great, a they value relationships with friends with much higher regard than the younger crowd does. They will try to help you by offering advise about how you might attain more business and places you might go to. Acknowledge these tidbits even if you think they are ridiculous. It is sometimes the ridiculous things that bring you to a new idea. Even if you don’t want any new business, listen anyway. Many of the greatest ideas we ever go to help our company innovate came from talking with seniors with a slightly different perspective than today’s rat race.
Accept all tips from seniors even if you think they can’t afford it. This is one of the greatest compliments they can give you. It means they accept you. This is not an easy thing for a senior to do, especially since younger generations constantly fail to even acknowledge their existence and fail to meet their work ethic expectations. The gap has been widened before you got there and it is your job to close the gap. By uniting the seniors and your company and uniting the kids of the multitude of fundraising groups you help, you can unite the entire community. You can be something everyone can talk about. Grandparents and grandkids can all talk about your company.
Too get information on car wash fundraisers, search Google; “car wash fundraisers”
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