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Marketing Fundamentals

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  • #61
    Re: Marketing Fundamentals

    Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
    Give honest value for the dollar and work your *** off. Your business will grow.
    This statement is totally false. Not if you can't get the phone ringing. Marketing is KEY to success in plumbing service. Just because you do good work and give good value, doesn't mean squat if nobody knows who you are or how to reach you.
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    • #62
      Re: Marketing Fundamentals

      Mike, keep it up. Your ideas are very interesting. Some people just have no patience, ignore them.
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      • #63
        Re: Marketing Fundamentals

        Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
        This statement is totally false. Not if you can't get the phone ringing. Marketing is KEY to success in plumbing service. Just because you do good work and give good value, doesn't mean squat if nobody knows who you are or how to reach you.
        Unless of course you started your business in the last 60 years or so before this economy,90 was a little tough too.I launched easily on word of mouth and hard work 8yrs ago,to bad I boozed it away.I had five customs completed in eight months my second year.
        Now...I'm begging for someone to give me a chance to play with their sewer cooties(thx Rick).

        No way I'm going to get work without "Working my a$$ off" getting the word out to the community.

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        • #64
          Re: Marketing Fundamentals

          Once again, you've told me, the customer, I'm 100% wrong.

          You've just lost a customer. Please don't lie to others and tell them I wasn't a "Quality Customer".

          I will post here no further.

          May your God Bless You.

          J.C.

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          • #65
            Re: Marketing Fundamentals

            Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
            Mike, keep it up. Your ideas are very interesting. Some people just have no patience, ignore them.
            No patience...OR....

            NO NEED

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            • #66
              Re: Marketing Fundamentals

              This is why posting free marketing advice on an open forum is a bad idea. Nobody will appreciate it anyway, especially if its free. Its kind of like DIYer advice...pay a professional if you really want it done right.
              I have an appointment tomorrow with a marketing design professional, even though my phone is ringing off the hook, and I have more business than I can handle. Why? Because, in marketing it always pays to be one step ahead of the game. Its smart to have your marketing all planned out long before you even need it. Most guys wait until they are really slow, then they desperately try to market and drum up business last minute. Its better to plan in advance.

              Mike, remember this quote, whenever you offer free advice to the public:

              “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”
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              • #67
                Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                Service Guy, Check your private messages. Feel free to give me a call anytime. I can mail or fax my marketing system to you if you would like. Mike

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                • #68
                  Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                  Hey Mike!
                  Sorry to hear that some people get a little hyped up at the wrong thing and at the wrong time, but what do I know. I was waiting for some more info. I follow the same way of doing business. I'm not a licensed plumber; I’m only a lowly Irrigation Contractor in the business a little over seven years, also a Certified Backflow Assembly Tester. Yeah, I haven't been slugging it away for 40 years, but I still believe that anyone that does want to make it through to the 'better' times better have a plan in place, or start one real soon. I'll probably get flamed for this post, but so be it. Some people would love to hear what you have to share. If someone doesn't think that they need or want a marketing strategy, then why are they continuing to read this thread and post whining remarks? Save your time and energy for your way of doing things. Mike, I would love to hear what your way of doing things is. Sorry to hear that others might whine loud enough and long enough to stop the information from getting through.

                  Never stop learning! BTW I'm new and I've been lurking for the past couple of weeks. I've learnt a lot just from reading what you guys are talking about. So far I’ve only been able to get through the first eighteen pages of posts and threads

                  Irrigation Contractor - 7+ years, Left a sales career after working my butt off for 30+ years for other people. Newspapers don't work - proven, YP helps in my market, Word of mouth is great, and hangers work wonders.

                  Marketing is EVERYTHING. Marketing is the way you dress for a job, the way you greet you customer, the way that you treat your customer, and they way that you perform your job and follow up. I do agree that your two principals are the very top and all points go back to those two basics.

                  Keep up the good work Mike!

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                  • #69
                    Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                    Fireguy, check your private messages, Mike

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                    • #70
                      Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                      Just when I thought we were gonna get down to the nitty gritty, a few impatient folk queer the deal for the rest of us....
                      West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                      Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                      www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                      • #71
                        Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                        I have a real problem. People who enjoy this thread are sending private messages to me asking for help. I realize there are those who's egos can't seem to get past any advice, I wish you the best of luck!. It's very hard to send tons of private messages and takes way to much time. So lets keep the thread going. I will keep sending post in versions ( part 1 ) ( part 2 ) etc.

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                        • #72
                          Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                          PART 1

                          Here is what the big corporations do. Follow this and you will be blown away by the results.

                          All people are divided up in three groups.
                          • Strangers
                          • Prospects
                          • Customers
                          Quick definition of the three

                          STRANGERS: This is everyone. It is as big as your market.
                          PROSPECTS: First time customers come from the pool of prospects
                          CUSTOMERS: Unlimited repeat sales

                          The three groups help in determining all marketing efforts.

                          Lets say you put up a bill board and ten thousand STRANGERS drive by. Now lets say it costs $800 a month. In the first month 5 people call, the five people are PROSPECTS. Of the five people, you give bids out to all of them. When all five bids are sent out one of them accepts and you do the work. It now cost you $800 for this CUSTOMER.

                          The above is what 99% of the businesses do. It’s no wonder they fail.

                          Here is what I do

                          Most businesses don’t sit down and classify there customers into the three groups. The three groups still exist but there invisible to them, I call it ignorance.

                          I use different marketing vehicles like the following
                          • Business cards
                          • Gift certificates
                          • Word of mouth
                          • Meet and greet
                          • Etc, Etc.
                          OK, now what I do is build a simple spread sheet. The spread sheet has EACH marketing vehicle in its own row. What’s next is real important. I track everything on the spreadsheet. When someone calls I find out how they heard of me. When they tell me I fill in the blank and at the end of the month I tally up all the transaction at make a new marketing plan for the next month.

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                          • #73
                            Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                            PART 2

                            Remember the following: If any of the steps are left out the system fails

                            So far I have two things working for me
                            • All people fall into groups ( no ifs ands or buts )
                            • I have a handful of marketing tricks or vehicles. This is the same as tools in a tool box.
                            • I have a spreadsheet or notebook to track EVERYTHING.

                            All around town my marketing vehicles/tools/tricks are floating around in the general public. The real question is how do I know what works and at what price? So now it comes down to business philosophy. Here is what I believe in.
                              • Choose the work that I enjoy the most
                              • Choose the work that yields the highest profit margins
                              • Only have quality customers with good morals/values
                              • Only have customers that pay right away/or quickly
                            This philosophy is the cornerstone of my business. I never change this. Remember, when you change things around in you business you create chaos, and chaos is hard to track.

                            Marketing has to have direction. We already know that we only have to market to only three groups. STRANGERS, PROSPECTS, CUSTOMERS.

                            SIMPLIFIED STRATEGY

                            When you advertise in the newspaper you are almost always marketing to strangers, right. Ok, what I do is put a code in the advertisement. When people call I ask how they heard of me and I ask them the code. The code of course is in the spreadsheet/notebook.
                            The code is at the heart of the strategy. I use it for continueous improvement. In the course of a month say I have 50 people calling all with a code. I mark it in the spreadsheet. Now next month rolls around and I change the advertisement around, like maybe the headline. When next month rolls around I go back and look at the data again.

                            Over time, I just keep tweeking the advertisement until I get the most calls for the money spent.

                            OK, this is just one tool in the tool kit. Remember my business philosophy list. Now I have to determine If I am working towords that goal. Nowdays my spreadsheet has taught me that the best quality customers come from certain marketing vehicles, and low quality customers come from certain types of vehicles.

                            So far it may seem complicated but once you have it figured out it requires very little thought. The next step is to concentrate on the quality customers.

                            TO BE CONTINUED

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                            • #74
                              Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                              8 pages and 20 minutes later, nothing

                              joey thinks it's leonard from the first post. but now she knows it's not.

                              truthfully i don't market myself. my customers market me.

                              the phone rings every day.

                              here's what i see.

                              be the best you can, do the best job for the best price you can afford to work for and the rest is history.

                              hate to say it, but waking up 1 day and saying you want to be a plumber and be rich requires real good marketing.

                              making a career in the trades will sell itself.

                              sure if i move to a totally new location, i would have to market myself. but i don't plan on making a huge move without getting in with the locals first.

                              maybe i take things for granted? maybe i too have worked my butt off for over 30 years and paid my dues in the trades.

                              i'm with you big jim rome was not built in a day.

                              spending $0.00 in marketing and advertising over the years has saved me a lot of money. plus i weed out anything more than 5 miles from the house.

                              work hard, honest, and good. the phones will ring.

                              rick.
                              phoebe it is

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                              • #75
                                Re: Marketing Fundamentals

                                Originally posted by Mikes Plumbing View Post
                                .

                                Lets say you put up a bill board and ten thousand STRANGERS drive by. Now lets say it costs $800 a month. In the first month 5 people call, the five people are PROSPECTS. Of the five people, you give bids out to all of them. When all five bids are sent out one of them accepts and you do the work. It now cost you $800 for this CUSTOMER.

                                The above is what 99% of the businesses do. It’s no wonder they fail.




                                Okay, since you have all the answers, and I'm a business that has done billboard advertising, along with TV, Radio, Newspaper, and many other ways,


                                I ran 2 billboards in my home town. $1400/month for each time. Once I did it in january, got smart because of the lack of daylight hours that time of year and made damn sure I put my next one up in June, two years later.


                                Proud as I was to be able to afford that type of advertising, I counted one sunday 54 cars went past that billboard in 3 minutes @ 1:00pm.

                                Did I get numerous calls that month? No

                                Did I get numerous calls in that year? Less than 10

                                The money made just from people calling for the noticing the billboard paid for the advertising. People still reference that billboard from years ago. << PRICELESS

                                Here's a different school of thinking for you:

                                When I get calls from new customers in my area, I have people reference that billboard as well as where they found me to call me, whether it was in the local church bulletin, the local newspaper, local advertising I do in storefronts or off the internet.

                                My goals are to succeed at putting the name in people's faces, 3 to 5 times at any given time, making name branding my numero uno source of making my company name recognizable when someone does need a plumber, and the name stands off the page for no apparent reason, but of a subconscious one.

                                Having that billboard anchored me as a plumbing company that's more than a one man band, along with the fact that customers ask me all the time, "how many trucks do you have?" which is terrific, given the fact that I'm well noticed by the vehicle I drive and the continuing effort to make sure I'm visible.

                                Those 2 billboards? I made sure I put pictures of those on my website so I can continue to earn an income off of the $3000.00 I spent years ago, and when a company spends that kind of money in big world thinking, that company wants to be noticed, bottom line.


                                What's awesome, contrary to your "belief" that companies who do billboard advertising "fail"...


                                I've graduated to the idea that I don't need to do billboard advertising anymore. <<< That's a mistake on my end because that's simply not true. That particular location of that billboard has lost significant traffic numbers, which will have me thinking of another location to target a customer base.

                                People can subconciously see something numerous times and not pay attention to it, but it's when your searching for something online or in the newspaper, in the phone book where you see something that looks oh so familiar, don't know why, but the local association of that business being seen purges the caller/customer to contact.

                                Slogans are good, crazy cartoons are good, anything else you can put to a billboard is good. Elevating your position and wanting to be found can be accomplished by working the advertising machine to be found.

                                I have numerous portals of advertising, some of which hasn't made me one red cent...that doesn't mean it isn't working. Anytime I can put my name in front of thousands of people, I'm making people aware that I exist. The longer that sticks around, the more established I have become.

                                Perfect example: I have 2 banners up at a indoor sports complex, I've only received two brow-beaters and I told them both no. What's awesome is people have tried to figure out where they've seen my name countless times, and then through figuring out "where", a certain trigger reveals where it was.

                                The reach I'm getting in that one location, gauged off of people realizing who I am by company name proves I'm marketing my company name and getting known. Marketing is not always based on sales alone, not in the big picture. Structure is 100%, and when you start from being invisible, you have to make it happen.

                                Everything is a group process to make the phone ring.


                                So tell me where I'm going wrong Mike. Tell me why people keep telling me "Man I see your name everywhere."



                                I love the game of marketing, mainly because it's a cat and mouse game. I feel I'm very good at it, and you're good at creating threads and bringing focus to your agenda on a public forum. You have the attention of many, and I flipped the coin to join your game.

                                You're rehashing something I've been doing for years, and I'm self-taught in many ways. I always position myself in a 3rd party point of view to figure out how I can reach myself, then place my advertising/marketing dollars where I feel that best suits my agenda.


                                Have you figured out, other than good will why you joined a forum out of the blue sky to share this wealth? We get about 3-4 people like yourself every year, every forum.


                                Oh, and don't blame anyone with an ego; I offered something back in your thread...tell me where I'm a failed business in your emboldened print.
                                Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 02-18-2009, 12:20 AM.
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