Firstly, I don't deal with many offline businesses but I tried this the other night and it worked a treat and I then referred the business to a friend of mine. I tried it at a restaurant but it could work with any other business. Here goes...
- Pick a restaurant to eat at and search for it on Google. Take note if they have their own website or not. If NOT it is very likely that a local portal listing will come up for the restaurant (we have eatability here in au), if this is the case ...
- Take a look at the reviews for the restaurant, if they are mediocre you've got a good candidate.
- Go out for a meal at the restaurant and try to talk to the owner. In my experience most smaller sized restaurants will have the owner on premises. Have a chat with the owner but DO NOT put on the hard sell.
- Point out that you love the restaurant and you always bring friends but you know a lot of people who dont come because of the negative reviews. You'll have to use some finesse here so as not to insult the owner. As an example, i told him 'some of my friends didnt want to come because they read your restaurant was noisy, but Ive always thought of it as atmospheric' ... It doesnt have to make sense, just pad the owners ego.
- By this stage you can chat a little freely. Point out that the local portal is ranking #1 for their restaurant name in Google and this may be hurting their business because of a few negative reviews. Let them know that they could EASILY rank #1 for their own name if they had their own site.
- Bedazzle them with some IM 101 talk and then go in for the kill... You might even want to tell them that your friend makes websites (if you have a partner in your business) and that you can pass on the details. This way it doesn tlook like you set him up for the sting.
Ok, thats the jist of it. Essentially you want to tell them that some people have been saying bad things about them and you are the one who can help them set the record straight.
Hope this helps and happy hunting