Pokemon Go is the newest app to take over the world. If you doubt it’s popularity, consider this. It has only been out for one week and it is already bigger than Tinder, Lyft, Candy Crush, and even LinkedIn. To the cynical pessimist, it’s nothing more than a fad that will soon pass, so it’s not even worth talking about. To the creative and savvy salesperson or business owner, it’s an opportunity to think outside the box about creative ways to close more sales.
Firstly, what is Pokemon Go? If you have somehow missed hearing about it, Pokemon Go is a free app where players can find and catch Pokemon in the real world. The app uses augmented reality and GPS functions. It requires players to get outside, walk around to new places and interact with people.
Already, we have seen numerous examples of businesses using Pokemon Go to drive more foot traffic. In the game, players can find eggs that are only hatched by the player walking for a certain amount of distance (driving doesn’t count). We have already seen an example of creative business owners who take advantage of this, such as the animal shelter who is letting Pokemon Go players walk dogs so the players can get their steps in.
Inspired by this creativity, we have came up with our own list of creative ways in which salespeople and business owners can capitalize on this insanely popular app to close more sales.
Simply Bring it up in Conversation
At the moment, it’s perfectly acceptable to bring it up in conversation because it’s so popular. Simply by asking the question “What do you think of this Pokemon Go app?” you can gauge your potential customer’s thoughts on it. Either he/she will think it’s a silly app (in which case you agree, of course), or he/she will love it and will admit that they play it. Finding a fellow Pokemon fan is an instant ice breaker and opens up the conversation to an almost “best buddies” level. If you ever find yourself in a position where you are talking with someone who loves the app, you should probably be well-versed on the subject.
If you have no idea what the app really is or what it looks like, here is a video posted by The Verge. I’d recommend watching it and soaking it all in before attempting a conversation about it.
Request that your place of business be listed as a Pokestop or a Gym
If you watched the video above, you know what these are. I have been playing for the past week and have noticed something interesting. The businesses who are located near these Pokestops or Gyms are experiencing way more foot traffic than those who are not. There is a popular beach area nearby, and it seems that the foot traffic in that area has nearly tripled since this app came out because some businesses are listed as Pokestops and Gyms. If you are looking for more foot traffic and want in on the action, Nintendo is currently allowing for folks to fill out this form to request a new Pokestop or Gym be places wherever you would like.
If your place of business is a Pokestop or Gym, take advantage and try to get people inside and offer promos/discounts for players.
To find out if your place of business is a Pokestop or Gym (or is at least nearby one), here is an an article by Heavy.com that shows you two ways to do it. If you want the easiest way, just download the app and walk around your area.
Many businesses are taking advantage of that foot traffic by offering special deals and promos for players. There is a local bar next to my house that doubles as a Pokemon Gym. They posted a sign outside their door that reads “all members of the controlling Pokemon Gym faction receive 25% off all drinks”. The place has never been so busy and I would bet my bottom dollar that he is seeing record profits.
Drive prospects around while they catch Pokemon
This one is really out-of-the-box, but Business Insider posted this article explaining how people are actually paying other people to drive them around so they can safely catch Pokemon on the road. If you have a prospect who admits that he/she is in to the game and are looking for a great way to build up your value, offer to drive them around town during lunch while they look for Pokemon. You don’t have to actually know anything about the game to do this, so it helps for those who are just looking for a way to capitalize.
This one is fun too because if a prospect allows you to do this and if they catch some good Pokemon on the drive, they will feel obligated to listen to your pitch and will open them up to buying.
Keep an open mind.
In sales, we are taught not to pre-judge our clients. Some guy in a broken down Ford could be a millionaire, so you have to pitch to everyone and don’t automatically disqualify people based off of first impressions. The same goes for trying to figure out who plays this game. Sure, you can point to a long-haired millennial with thick-rimmed glasses and assume that they play the game. But what about the guy standing next to him in a $2,000 tailored suit?
The other day, I saw an older gentleman in a nice 3 piece suit wearing a Rolex. He was walking around the same area, staring at his phone. We struck up a conversation and it turns out he was “hunting down a Pikachu”.
You never know who is playing this game. It’s pacing to become one of the biggest apps of our time, so chances are, people you wouldn’t even imagine are playing it. Who knows, perhaps the next sales call that you go on will result in a fun conversation about Pokemon with the company CEO. It’s good to keep an open mind.
While Pokemon go is currently huge, it may be a passing fad. It might be here to stay. Regardless, successful sales reps and business owners are looking for ways to capitalize on this. Those who are resisting are losing out on a ton of potential profits. Put any preconceived notions behind you and start capitalizing !
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