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Have You Told Your Friends Yet?


Michael Brown
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by Matt Michel

Sometimes we forget the simplest form of marketing. It's one-on-one marketing.

THE FRANCHISEE'S WIFE

When I was running a franchise organization, the wife of one of the Franchises called to let me have it. Six of her co-workers had purchased air conditioners, but none purchased from her husband. She was letting me know that she considered this my fault.

"I'm not sure I understand," I said, "Why is this my fault?" "Because all of them said they would have bought from my husband if they had known he was in the business." "And that's my fault?" "Yes!" "Okay, I'm not trying to be dense. Tell me why that's my fault." "Because you don't advertise on TV."

It went downhill from there. The Franchisee's wife didn't understand that no amount of advertising would ensure those six people knew her husband owned an air conditioning company. Only she could do that. Or maybe she did know. Maybe she was venting at me because she was upset about her own (lack of) performance.

THE NEIGHBOR

The Franchisee's wife is not unique. The other day a neighbor called to ask about a local service company. My wife recommended a couple of companies. He called the first, which responded within an hour. After the work was performed, he called me to get reassurance about the decision he made. I informed him that he made an excellent choice of companies, that the repair sounded appropriate, and that the price seemed reasonable.

"I felt better about calling them because Pam says you know the president," he stated. "You probably know him too," I said, "I think he goes to your church." I gave him the president's name and description. Sure enough, my neighbor knew him. But he didn't know what business he was in.

My friend's small business was not exactly "small." His company generates well over $10 million in annual sales. Yet, people that he saw every week didn't know what he did for a living.

BE PASSIONATE. OR AT LEAST WEAR A COMPANY POLO

Small business owners should never be passive about their companies. They should be passionate, evangelistic. And, as much as possible their families and employees should share their zeal. Everyone you know should know what you do. The first and richest target of opportunity is the people that you, your family, and your employees personally know and interact with.

In every community there are a few business owners that are living, breathing, non-stop walking commercials for their businesses. They seem to know everyone and everyone they know, knows what they do. Spreading the word about their companies is second nature to these individuals. It should be for you as well.

Maybe you are not naturally exuberant. Work on it. At least wear that company t-shirt, sweatshirt, polo, or jacket during off duty hours. Wear it to the PTA meeting, to the church men's group breakfast, to kids' sporting events. Only you can ensure everyone you know, knows what you do.

Since it helps to "see" examples, you might want to download a copy of the "Build a More Profitable Service Business" notes by clicking on the link below.

http://www.serviceroundtable.com/Freebi ... p?PCID=295

Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.

Free subscriptions are available at:

www.serviceroundtable.com -- click on the Comanche Marketing tab

Copyright © 2004 Matt Michel

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