In the last few weeks I've been chatting to a few fencing contractors about putting up some fences to keep our new puppy contained on our semi-rural property.
I phoned four businesses and three of them took the time to return my call and make an appointment to visit my property and see what I was looking for.
All three businesses took well over a week to give me a quote for a fencing solution and that was after repeatedly asking them for it.
I've now selected the business I want to use, the start date has been confirmed and the fence should be completed by the end of the month.
Now the fencing contractor I chose was not the cheapest fencing option and the style of fence I chose was not what I thought I originally wanted.
However I can see it's a much better solution than what I first had in my mind.
Overall it has been a challenging experience because everything seemed to take so long and I had to continually ask each business for more information.
I've chatted about my experience hiring a fencing contractor with a number of business colleagues and friends. And they have all said they have had similar experiences dealing with a range of tradespeople.
It seems to be hard to get tradespeople to come to your property and then give you a quote within a few days on what using their services will cost you. And then difficult pinning them down on start dates and so on.
And that leads me to topic of this week's marketing column.
A simple way to improve your marketing results is this:
Just solve a common problem that customers have around using your type of business. And mention this solution in all your marketing.
Let's say you are a painter and genuinely want new business.
Tell potential clients that you guarantee to visit their property in the next 7 days and you will then give them a detailed painting quote within 48 hours of your visit.
That instantly solves the common customer problem of 'when do I get a quote?' and differentiates you from all the other painters they might be considering using.
The good news is that solving a common problem that customers have around using your type of business is usually relatively easy to do.
Many years ago we had some extensive renovations done to a property.
We used around fifteen different trade's people to help us, including an interior designer, three builders, a plumber, a gas fitter, a plasterer, two electricians, a carpet layer, two tile layers, a painter and several others.
Two years later we were talking about which of these tradespeople we would happily recommend to any of our friends.
We were quite shocked to discover that we would only recommend one tradesperson without reservation.
What was this tradespersons secret advantage?
Was it the quality of his work?
Not at all. He did good work, but so did many of the other trades people we used.
Was it his prices?
Again no. His prices were reasonable.
Was it his excellent follow-up service after completing his work?
Definitely not. One thing that every tradesperson had in common is that we never heard from them after they have done their work.
No follow up phone call, no thank you note, in fact no follow up communication at all.
Our star tradesperson was a plumber who did good work, but more important he did one thing that added real value.
He always showed up on time.
None of the other trades people showed up on time consistently.
They would say something like "I'll be there tomorrow at 8.30am" and show up at midday.
Our plumber's unfair advantage is that he always showed up on time.
We really appreciated this because he was the only tradesperson we used who did this. And doing this one thing makes it easy to recommend him.
The message today is that 'how' you do business is often far more important than your price or what you sell.
And changing 'how' you do business might be an easy way to quickly improve your marketing results.
"A person who sees a problem is a human being; a person who finds a solution is a visionary; and the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur." Naveen Jain
What is a common problem that customers complain about when dealing with your type of business? How can you solve this compliant and then promote this solution in your marketing?
Graham McGregor is a Marketing Advisor and helps businesses who offer an expensive service to quickly attract ideal new clients. You can download his brand new 106 page marketing guide 'The Expensive Service Marketing Solution' at no charge from www.TheExpensiveServiceMarketingSolution.com