Did you know that in the few seconds it took you to begin reading this, two U.S. businesses died needlessly and two more are about to die from the effects of bad service and marketing?
Did you get the key word in that question? No? OK I will tell you… It is “needlessly”. That’s right, those businesses could still be helping our sad economy, but they lacked any semblance of customer or client service and they sucked at marketing. Maybe they deserved to go out of business. Smarmy employees, no client service systems, no real marketing systems, no focus, no drive, lack of tenacity… The list goes on…
Are you about to fall victim to Servicitis or Marketingitis?
These are serious ailments and can needlessly kill off you business. But luckily for you, there is a vaccination to prevent getting these diseases and if you are already afflicted with either Servicitis or Marketingitis, there is a cure. More on that in a moment…
As you know, I am a Entrepreneur just like you. I own and operate a Chem-Dry Franchise. I have been in business since 2007 (what a year to start a business, what with the economy imploding!). I have fought, slugged and groveled for more clients using old methods of coupons and discounts. What did that get me? Coupon-clipping-discount-seeking-cheapo’s.
I have cleaned my share of run down houses in questionable neighborhoods, and while they deserve clean carpet, I did not want to be the one cleaning it. These folks were not going to make me rich.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was managing to make a meager living, but I felt like an employee in my business, not a true owner. And I certainly was not getting rich. I needed to change SOMETHING!
Then one day, as I was driving my Chem-Dry van home, I thought to myself, “Self, you spent 10 years as a manager for the Walt Disney Company. Not only do you have a HUGE service background and gobs of knowledge about clients, guests and customers, but you also have the marketing skills to sell at the highest prices in the world.”
Think about it! Where else in the world can you buy a rubber ball for $87 bucks?! (That you can get at Wal-mart for $4.99). And you know what? You are HAPPY to pay that price! Heck, it is probably the cheapest thing you will buy there.
Back to my thought “Self, you should be getting Disney level prices for your service.” That day I went home and raised my prices 10%. I didn’t change anything else, just raised my prices.
You know what? I never heard a peep from my clients and prospects about my prices. They HAPPILY paid because I was already delivering Disney Style Service and a huge value. That was in 2010.
Check your wallet, is your $$ disappearing faster than you can shove it in?
Then I began to think to myself again “Self, if my clients and prospects are paying these prices, I bet they will pay even more for increased service and value.” And I was right! In 2011, I did another 10% increase while adding some value added services and packaging. My best clients and prospects paid.
Better Service. Better Marketing. Chem-Dry.
(ya gotta say it like the Papa John’s commercial)
That’s right. I was attracting BETTER clients. Those with nicer houses… Those with more income… (willing to spend it with me) Those with cleaner houses that were EASIER for me to clean. I was also eliminating the price-shopper-discount-seeking-cheapo’s. Which was fine with me, since they had some of the dirtiest, grimiest carpet and upholstery.
So by now, I had 2 of the 3 major drivers of my business in line and on task. I had systems. I had service systems and I had pricing systems. Now I just needed my marketing system.
Spent 1000’s on my marketing education
I spend thousands of dollars every year to studying, creating, testing and implementing Education-based and direct response marketing. I go to seminars and belong to Masterminds by Dan Kennedy, Joe Polish, Dean Jackson and Ned Hallowell, and Dave Dee.
I met 100’s of people; cleaners, restorers, chiropractors, painters and plumbers, folks just like me, who had improved their businesses and LIVES through the use of direct response and education based marketing.
Before I implemented direct response and education-based marketing strategies, I used many of the templates from HRI. They all looked so…. nice. Nice pretty pictures… Nice little logo’s… Nice little ROI…
But I was not going to feed my family on the nice little ROI I was getting from these image cards. (by the way did I mention I have 4 kids? Ages 13, 10, 6 and 5. It ain’t cheap keeping them fed and clothed!)
Know, Like and Trust
One thing I have learned is that people BUY things from people they know, like and trust. Notice I said “people”, not companies. We are in a very intimate business. We are in people’s homes and go places even their best friends don’t go. I mean really… when was the last time you invited a friend over to look at the inside of your closet?
The old style of marketing (pretty picture marketing) was not building any trust with my prospects. So I started creating marketing systems that built trust on various topics to educate my clients on a particular problem they were having. This marketing system educates a client or prospect WITHOUT trying to SELL them anything. (yet!)
It is just INFORMATION about their problem and offers solutions to fix their problem. The marketing positions you as an EXPERT who is to be TRUSTED on a given topic.
I know that my style of service and marketing works because I have had massive growth in my Chem-Dry business since 2011. My sales have increased over 27% in 2011, again in 2012 and am on the same track for 2013! My residential job average consistently hits over $350 every month!
In the summer of 2012, I presented my service and marketing system to an international marketing event to over 250 people from around the world. I shared the stage with Lou Ferrigno, Joe Sugarman, Dean Graziosi, Dean Jackson and a slew of other top marketers.
It was at that event that I had other small businesses (Chem-Dry franchises too) ask more questions and would I consider teaching them. Since that event, I have begun my service and marketing coaching business while still continuing to operate my Chem-Dry business. While it is a fun balancing act, it is important to keep both up and running simultaneously. My Chem-Dry business is where I test my new marketing and service strategies before I roll them out to my clients.
Want to learn more about my Service Blueprint, Marketing Blueprint, Training Series or private coaching? Just click.