What Business Owners Can Learn from Usain Bolt

There are many things that people around the world associate with the name Jamaica. These include Dunn’s River Falls, Negril Beach, Doctor’s Cave Beach, Bob Marley Museum, Port Antonio and Kingston.

Ask most people to name a famous Jamaican and very likely you won’t hear the names Marcus Garvey, Alexander Bustamante, Harry Belafonte, Edna Manley, Merlene Ottey or Michael Holding.

Many people associate the name Jamaica with reggae music and famous singer Bob Marley. However, the younger audience (worldwide) and many sports fans think of Usain Bolt when asked to name a famous Jamaican.

Over the past few weeks the name Usain Bolt has received more mentions (especially on social media) than any other Jamaican person place or thing. There was the controversy over whether Bolt called the Commonwealth Games “a bit shit” as reported by The Times of London. There were images and tweets of Bolt watching the Jamaican Netball team. Then there were headlines like “Usain Bolt makes Glasgow smile again as Jamaica reach 4x100m relay final” and “Usain Bolt’s Commonwealth Games win draws more than 8m UK viewers.”

One of the more anticipated events of the recent Commonwealth Games, the men’s 4x100m Relay featured the Jamaican relay team anchored by Bolt. Usain Bolt and the rest of the relay team won the Gold while England took Silver. The event generated a lot of chatter in social media  and in traditional print/online media.

The image below is one of the more memorable images of the games. The image shows millionaire Usan Bolt mingling with his fans. Similar images show him taking selfies with the crowd and signing autographs. What does this have to do with business?

Image Source: CNN

Bolt-with-fans

Usain Bolt is a global brand. Bolt is aware that his skills contribute to the value of the brand. He is also aware that the fans play a huge part in making that brand and in increasing its value. He realizes that without them he would not have accomplished what he has. He does not hesitate to show his appreciation for his fans. He interacts with them in person and on social network.

Like Usain Bolt, successful businesses value their customers. They realize that their customers keep them in business.

Successful businesses view customers as assets rather than numbers. They interact with them. They get feedback from them and respond accordingly.

They show appreciation for them by saying “Thanks for your business” via Thanks You cards, emails, texts, tweets and other digital avenues. They offer incentives to encourage repeat business.

YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR BUSINESS BY GAINING NEW CUSTOMERS OR BY INCREASING THE VALUE OF CURRENT CUSTOMERS’ PURCHASES (UPSELLING) AND INCREASING REPEAT BUSINESS (INCENTIVES, DISCOUNTS, EXCLUSIVE SALES ETC).

Since it costs more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one, smart businesses take what they know about their customers and tailor future sales with them in mind. They work diligently to keep current customers in the fold.

Remember customers are not numbers/data. They are emotional human beings that have tastes, preferences and oftentimes display certain buying trends. Value them. Thank them. Interact with them. Give them reasons to stay with your business or they will find your competitor very quickly.