Kim Angeli is the founder and president of Grateful Box, a company on a mission to help people drive an attitude of gratitude. The company also assists business owners in developing a raving fan plan—connecting with the clients beyond the transaction.
On today’s episode of Stay Paid, Kim talks about the ways she has shifted gears to coach clients during the coronavirus crisis, including the new workshop she has planned to help business owners utilize the platform Nextdoor.
- Now is the time to pivot your business while making sure you’re still serving your clients
- Overcommunication can keep you in front of your clients when the crisis is over
- Nextdoor is a great platform for small businesses to gain valuable referrals and feedback from the community
Q: What are some of the ways you’re shifting your business and what are you telling other business owners right now?
This is not my first rodeo pivoting a business. I survived 2008 as a business owner, and this is a time to really pour into your existing client base. This is a time to reach out and say, “How can I serve you? How may I help you?” What I find is a lot of the business owners we work and consult with have been so busy getting new clients they don’t even know how to reach out to their existing client base. I’ve been strategizing with them and creating gratitude call scripts. This is the time to take your sales hat off and dig deeper into the relationship and how you can serve these people.
An example is I reached out to one of my speaker coaches who is a customer of mine, and we help him “wow” the customer behind the scenes. He recently lost 22 speaking engagements. This guy is on a plane 300 days a year, so I said, “How are you pivoting? How are you still serving business owners?” How to wow the customer is what he teaches—Disney-like service—and Disney is closed right now. So how is he pivoting? I said, “Well, let me have you come on in April into my network and let’s seed what you do so that when the economy is up and running you’re ready to go and you’re top of mind.”
We’ve added value to your life, you’ve added value to our client base. How can I serve you? And my real estate clients that I’m serving, I’m saying, “See those neighborhoods you want to be the go-to real estate agent in. Mail those postcards out. Call those clients you’ve served in the last 36 months. Say, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’” This is what I did in 2008 with my clients who suffered big financial loses. They were laying people off, turning in equipment—their whole livelihoods were drying up. And I sat around with them and said, “What do you want this to look like on the other side? This is a clean slate time.”
There are two camps: I find the business owner who is like me, I’m busier than ever because we’ve actually taken a program that we’ve been doing one-on-one with clients in person online, which is our Nextdoor business—how to get your business on Nextdoor and reach local clients. How can you pivot your business right now and still serve your client base? My restaurants that were on Nextdoor, you can actually click a button that says you do takeout or delivery. So I called them all and said, “Go click the button in Nextdoor,” because they didn’t know this, it’s not their job. But they will remember who helped them rally around.
There are businesses that are busy like me, helping others, and then there’s the business owner who is sitting around in gloom and doom watching Netflix and eating bonbons. There’s no in between. You have the really busy business owner, or the business owner bingeing.
Silence is not your friend right now. Overcommunicating and building that relationship with your clients consistently—I tell this to everybody every time I get a chance—what I did April 14 shows up 90 days from now. The things that you work on today, so things like this—my Start Healthy magazine—went out yesterday. That is a consistent thing that I’m doing and I’m not going to stop it. I’m telling my other clients who are real estate agents and insurance agents: consistent behavior, we can’t stop it. We have to figure out what’s doing well and keep doing it. It’s your job to show up for your customer. You have to communicate with them and build a relationship.
And why am I doing a Nextdoor workshop? Because I want to get more business owners on Nextdoor so they can reach local clients. The business owners who want to continue to grow their business—I had 90 people register and 35 people on a call last night at 8 o’clock. The ones who have said, “I’ve been too busy to do this,” well, they can’t leave their house. So work on the things you said you were going to do.
Q: What is Nextdoor and how are people using it? How are you changing your strategies?
Nextdoor is 12 years old. It’s a platform just like Facebook or Instagram or TikTok. They got the people on first in neighborhoods in 50 states and 11 countries, and then they allowed business owners to claim their page about 3 to 4 years ago. I called them in 2014 because my insurance agency only focused on neighborhoods, HOAs, so it was in my wheelhouse at the time to understand what they were doing with the platform. So I said to them, “It’s nice you’re getting people on this platform but how are you going to monetize it?” They said, “Oh, we’re going to let business owners get on there and claim their page and then they’ll be able to access people locally for location-based advertising.” Think about it like the Yellow Pages online, with recommendations from your neighbor. You’ve got business owners who claimed their page 2 years ago and never looked at it again. So I get in a session with them and they have 59 referrals and they’ve never responded. That’s 59 people who gave you a recommendation and you never got back to them. I worked with a Mr. Appliance franchise the other day and we were in his account, a one-on-one session, and he had 2 referrals in the account from last year but he never saw them because he’s not managing the account. So he missed 2 opportunities to serve a client and never saw it. Now there are 2.4 million recommendations given a day on Nextdoor.
Q: It seems like there’s so much Nextdoor has to offer from a community aspect, and to follow up with referrals and recommendations:
You can’t promote yourself as a business owner, so it’s super polar opposite of Facebook or Instagram. I can’t go to my business page in Nextdoor and promote myself. Actually, my raving fans are the only ones who can actually promote me through social proof. What I teach in my workshop and in my course is that social proof is so much more powerful than social media. Me going on my Facebook page and saying, “Oh, Kim Angeli is awesome!” versus Luke saying, “Kim Angeli is awesome!” Luke has credibility, and your neighbors have more influence than John Smith on the Google review because I don’t know who that guy is. It’s way more powerful in influence because it’s imbedding social proof and it’s keeping it local. When you go to your personal page, you’re attached to your neighborhood and the neighborhoods that Nextdoor thinks you should be attached to. You can’t decide that, they decide it for you. Let’s assume you want to be a plumber, and I have a plumber client, so he claims his page or I help claim it, and he has 59 recommendations he never looked at so we responded to all of those. His page is not attached to a neighborhood, it sits on the Nextdoor platform so if he wanted to go into another area, he could go into 50 states or another country—your business page is not geographically attached to an area. Once you use the strategy we teach, your raving fans are automatically doing it for you. You get new recommendations when they see someone needs you.
Q: How has Nextdoor evolved recently and what are business owners doing now that can’t be open, like restaurants?
I had a client who hired me in 2017 for private consulting for Nextdoor. They have over 450 hearts, which is the measurement in Nextdoor, like Google reviews has the star, hearts is their measurement. They’re busy—their takeout is busy, their drive-through is busy—because they had already seeded Nextdoor and are in that marketplace with their raving fans. So when everyone said, “Say where your favorite restaurant is,” their page is claimed correctly, the takeout and delivery is turned on, they’ve got photographs on their page, it’s set up in a best practice manner, and so those clients of ours are having lulls in cashflow, but not as much as a company who wasn’t already doing things like thank you notes, things in the mail, magazines, because we were already doing those things. It’s hard to catch up. So my goal right now is to get as many business owners on Nextdoor as possible so when the economy is turned back on, they’re ready.
I have some secret strategies I share with real estate agents when they list a house, within the rules of Nextdoor, that I’ve figured out over time because I’m nosy. It helps them to add Nextdoor to their marketing strategy, and a lot of them don’t even know they can do it. They think they have to pay for zip codes, but those zip codes were purchased a long time ago. There’s other ways to use Nextdoor in marketing for free, other than paying me to tell you. I like to teach people how to fish and then let them go fish. My real estate agents who are implementing Nextdoor in their marketing strategy and posting a house they had for sale within the rules, are having a lot of success because it’s just another way to get that house out there in the marketplace.
Q: Have you seen Nextdoor work in every community? Do you need a certain amount of users to make it more effective?
Well, for example, I live in a very dense area—Charlotte—so let’s say Josh is a plumber and he came to my house and did an amazing job so I go to my personal page and leave a recommendation for Josh and tag his business. Let’s say that I say you’re amazing, and you ask me for your customer journey to give you a shout out on Nextdoor as a plumber. When I go and post that on my personal page, it goes to 16,000 people in a 5 mile area. If I did that same post from Facebook with 5,000 followers, I can’t accept any more friends, it goes to everyone that Mark Zuckerberg says it can go to, and whatever countries. It’s so much more powerful in that it’s location- based advertising. And then I have clients in network marketing who say, “I have clients in Long Island or I have clients in Texas and I want to open up those neighborhoods,” you can actually use a global strategy for it. Your business page sits on the platform but is not attached to a geographical area.
Q: Are you mostly seeing clients get referrals from it?
The real estate agents who use it to be the favorite in the neighborhood actually get a banner from Nextdoor, so if they get more hearts than any other real estate agent in the neighborhood they get special marketing from Nextdoor. If someone goes into the feed, like a Google search in Nextdoor, they’ll pop up as the top real estate agent. So let’s just say, for example, that Luke is a real estate agent and he lists my house. I go in there and post the house as the owner on Nextdoor to 16,000 people that it’s for sale. I never had to print anything or mail anything, but I’ve got that many eyeballs on that listing.
There’s nothing to monetize on the backend. Once you learn how it works from someone like me or go online and figure it out yourself, there’s no consistent posting you need to do, it’s just looking at it once a week. It’s not something else you put on your plate that becomes unmanageable.
Q: What are one to two pieces of advice you have for business owners right now that they should execute on right away to come out of this set up to thrive?
They need to stack rank their customers, A, B, C, and Y clients. Call your top clients first, the ones who if they don’t do business with you, you might eat peanut butter on Saturday night. I don’t care if you call 5 of them a day, just put it on your calendar. One of the things I teach is I live by my calendar. If it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t exist. I’ve been so busy sometimes I’ve put ‘shower’ on my calendar. Put it on your calendar in chunks: “Call 5 clients with their names and phone numbers.” And email me for a script. I have two scripts, one if they answer the phone and one if they don’t answer the phone. You don’t have to do the script, but I’m a BOLD graduate from Keller Williams. I’m not a real estate agent, but they teach gratitude calls in BOLD. It just helps you with wording so you don’t get fumbled up. And even if they don’t call you back, just ask how you can serve them. One other thing I’m asking clients when I get them on the phone is, “Who do I know that you need to know?” I’ve even sent people to LinkedIn before and said, “Who on that list in LinkedIn or on Facebook, who is it in my pond of networking that you need to know and let me make a true introduction?” People will always remember that you took the time to make sure it was a true connection.
Connect with Kim:
- Go to Nextdoor, claim your profile, and start using it.