This week’s question comes from a small business owner living in Ohio. He runs a dry cleaning business, and is wondering about how to effectively gain a customer’s data, without being too pushy. Here’s his question:

“My name is Gerald, and I own a dry cleaning company in Ohio. I have a staff of 3 people, including myself, and we live in a fairly small community. Whenever a new customer comes through our door, I want to capture their information for future marketing and for our books. However, myself and my colleagues feel uncomfortable and pushy when trying to get their information. We don’t want to come off a sales-y. Any suggestions?”


Gerald, this is such a common concern for business owners and just people in general! You are not alone in feeling like you don’t want to come off as a pushy salesman, especially if you’re worried it will reflect negatively on your business. Luckily, most people understand the need for giving their basic information to a business like yours, and that’s really all you need.


As a dry cleaning business, you need contact information for your customers in order to reach them when their clothes are ready, and also to contact them should you have any questions in the process of cleaning their sensitive clothing. If they trust you enough to drop off their, often expensive, clothing items, they should trust you enough to leave their name, phone number, and possibly email address with you.


If you explain to your new customers why you need their contact information, they will certainly understand. They will likely be more than happy to give you that information. However, if your customer is hesitating to give you extra information, like their email address or physical address, don’t push them. In order to effectively market to your customers, you want as much information as possible. However, it’s not necessary that you have all those bits of information. If you’ve already acquired the customer’s phone number and name, you have enough to begin your marketing. Don’t stress about acquiring every piece of contact information right away!


For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!