A growing chorus of business owners across the nation tell us that customers’ dialing fingers are frozen, and their phones are quiet . . . too quiet. Is your telephone as lonesome as a cowboy in Kansas? It’s time to turn up the heat!
If your leads are as strong as they were last year, congratulations,
your marketing is working. But, if you’re like many window
coverings professionals, your leads are off from 10 to 30 percent
for the first quarter of 2006. Is it slackening home sales or higher
gas prices? We don’t know, but it is a fact of life in many
FIVE BELL-RINGING IDEAS
If you want your phone to scream like an insane sister at a wedding
party, here’s what to do. These tips are proven, going back
many years to hard time cycles of the past.
• Bell-Ringer #1: Call your favorite customers: Triage
your customer list for the last two years: Good, Better, Best. Call
the Best ones until you run out of names.
Just tell them you’re thinking of them and want to be sure
the product you sold them is working as it should. They will be
surprised and will welcome you. You will feel better, and things
will start to happen.
• Bell-Ringer #2: Yard signs: Print 50 yard
signs. They’re cheap, about $3 to $5 each. Staple them to
phone poles on busy street corners. Get the wire things to plant
them in the grass (about a $1 each). Plant them in your lawn, friends’
lawns and customer’s lawns of course. Get your 50 yard signs
out working for you, and listen for the calls to come in.
• Bell-Ringer #3: Realtor ‘For Sale’ signs:
Make a simple promotional handout for people trying to sell their
homes. Homes are not selling as fast as before and homeowners will
welcome your help to speed things up. Offer to give them ideas how
to “stage” their homes for buyer appeal. Just check
“home staging” on Google for ideas what to do.
• Bell-Ringer #4: Flyers: Go to your local
copy shop. Print 2,000 flyers; print your business and personal
name at the top along with your phone number. Include a timely tip
about new products, energy savings, or any other good idea about
improving homes with window coverings. Offer a $50 Gift Certificate
(not a discount) for new customers to introduce your services.
Get all 2,000 out within two weekends. Be sure you go to neighborhoods
where you already have customers and you know homeowners need your
• Bell-Ringer #5: Meet people: On Saturday
mornings visit subdivisions where you already have customers. Knock
on doors and hand out brochures. Let people know you are in the
neighborhood all the time and to call you for a no-cost appointment
if you ever can be of service.
Do not attempt to set an immediate appointment, and do not enter
their home to give advice. Tell the homeowner you are on the way
to another appointment, and you will be glad to call her to set
a time next week.
If you put these five bell-ringers to work, your phone won’t
feel like a wallflower any longer; it will have the loving attention
it deserves. Then, your business will be on the way to setting a
leadership example in your area.
Remember, you get out of it what you put into it. The advertised
cost of a lead today is about $175. If you invest three hours of
time promoting your business, you likely will have at least one
appointment call you within 30 days. That means the time spent on
personal promotion is worth about $60 an hour. If you are too busy
to do it yourself, then hire someone with a winning smile to do
it for you.
Today, personal promotion works and media don’t. It is that
simple. If you would like more ideas, please request my bulletin
on “Marketing Without Money.”
You can make your phone ring. Try it today!
This article is based on Steven C. Bursten’s actual experience
with sales and financial information working with hundreds of window
coverings businesses. Whether you are a sole manager who aspires to
higher sales, or you manage 50 window fashion decorators in a multi-million
dollar business, this series will help you manage sales better and
increase your profitability. Bursten is co-founder of Window Coverings
University and Exciting Windows! service. He also is the founder of
Decorating Den Interiors and author of a how-to book on new business
start up, “Bootstrap Entrepreneur.” Questions and comments
are welcome: email@example.com
or call (888) 333-8981.