“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
One of the most exciting things that can happen to you when you are building a speaking business is an email that begins with: “We were wondering if…”.
I was asked by a local builder’s association to speak to them about marketing on a “shoestring budget”.
Although we are still negotiating the dates etc, I just about jumped out of my skin with excitement, because grass roots, or what I like to call, interpersonal marketing, is my all time favorite topic.
Because it breaks my heart to watch a small business owner spend his entire budget on promotion, and then go out of business because he drops the ball on execution.
In other words, promotion does more harm than good if you don’t truly understand marketing.
Traditional promotion says: “How can I get people in the door?”.
Interpersonal marketing says: “How can I get people to do business with me?”
What might happen to your business if before you invested in the purchasing of promotional media, you invested in the promotion of your own positioning?
Let’s pretend that your name is Al and that you are the owner of Al’s Construction.
Let’s also pretend that you have just received a voice mail from someone named Julie that begins: “Um, I’m hoping this is Al’s Construction…I mean I got this number from a friend…and anyway I’m interested in building a house…”
What would be the first five things that you would do?
Here are the first five things that I would do:
1) I would call her back immediately, if not sooner, and I would dedicate myself to being the nicest person JULIE ever talked to. As obvious as that sounds, I think we’ve all called for a service quote never to receive a response. Or, if we did receive a response, it went something like: “Yeah, this is Al, you called…”
2) I would have my grandmother listen to my voicemail and if she found it the least bit intimidating, I would have her record one for me. I cannot even count the number of times I’ve called a business and got a voicemail that said something to the effect of: ‘Yeah, you’ve reached Al. Leave a number and I’ll call you back when I get to it’ ” If your business is not approachable, you don’t have a business.
3) I would make the customer feel like the OPPORTUNITY to meet with them is indeed A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY. I know it’s tough. Al is already pressed for time and he has met with tons of people who have “wasted” what little time he has. What if he shifted that paradigm? Simply “showing up” to “quote a job” is indeed an incredible waste of time. I would shave, shower, dress like a businessman, show up on time, and speak to the potential CLIENT as if I were already a partner invested in the production of THEIR DREAM PROJECT. Which reminds me,
4) I would change my business name to DREAM BUILDERS and ask the potential CLIENT questions designed to flush out what they are REALLY hoping to accomplish. People don’t want a house, they want a place to create memories with their children, a sanctuary where they can unwind and relax after a tough day, or a comfortable home in which to live out their golden years in peace and serenity. My first job would be to ask several questions designed to expose that vision, and then I would paint them an AMAZING picture of how I would make their dream a reality.
5) I would position myself as a DREAM BUILDER. Before I ever even thought of handing a potential client a price quote, I would influence them to believe that I am not just another “contractor”. I would hand them a special report called: “The 5 Things Every Buyer Should Know Before They Sign A Construction Contract”, and then I would say: “Before you hire me, or anyone else, to build YOUR DREAM HOME, these are the five most important things you should consider.”
Essentially, in a NOISY NOISY marketplace we all have two choices: We can either position ourselves as a horse of a different color, and act accordingly, or we can position ourselves as just another Joe (or Al in this example) trying to compete on price.
Competing on price is a losing proposition every single time.
Even if you win, what you are winning, is the race to the bottom.
This is not for you!