Recently in Italy my aunt and I spent extended time in a couple of our favorite towns. Since we were not in tourist mode this trip, we were able to observe the people in the town closer.  We noticed an interesting repeated situation, some stores and restaurants seemed to attract all the business and others attracted none or very little.

One small town had a main street that tourist buses would drop visitors off at the bottom and they would walk up to the center of town shopping and eating along the way, but out of several restaurants only a couple would get any business and the same for the shops.

We had been to this town several times and had eaten at few of the restaurants, which were all very good. The tourists had not been there before so what made them choose one place over another?photo(3)

After spending time watching to see if we could figure it out this is what we noticed.

1. The busy businesses had friendly greeters outside or close to the door who would engage the prospective clients in a non-assertive manner.

2. They were friendly, not pushy and would gladly tell them about their menu or products explaining in detail. If there was no real interest they would thank the visitor and wish them well as they left.

3. These same businesses were also appealing to the eye, more of what the clients were looking for and in this village it was the “local Italian charm” what you would see in travel books. They were colorful and quaint. The newer modern contemporary looking buildings” didn’t seem to draw these visitors.

As these businesses attracted customers who would come in or sit down it was as if the customers themselves were a magnet and drew others to come also.

Once these businesses had the customers they were able to show them great service, give them business cards and make that all important connection that may possibly bring them future referrals.

As you can see from these pictures taken at the same time there is quite a difference between these two restaurants that were next to each other.  One is very busy and the other empty. All of the busy businesses seemed to have the three “keys of attraction” friendliness, knowledgeable personnel and pleasing appearance.

It was pretty interesting to witness this time after time and we wondered what the owners of the non-busy businesses thought about this very apparent difference between them and their busy neighbors.

Business owners must find out how to draw customers. Finding the right combination of what customers are looking for from their type of business is the key to their success.  The link below has a few more key points to draw customers to your business.

How to Attract Customers