Okay, I admit it; I enjoy a round of golf. I find golf has lessons that apply in business and real life, case in point, the clubs themselves. I like to play with a full bag of clubs, from driver through to pitching wedge, woods, AND irons. Why? Because I think I play better when I have the right club for the right shot.
The same applies to business……..you should have a full bag of clubs so when you hit the rough you have choices available to you to get back out on the fairway, you need multiple choices when you come up short, hit a sand trap, or are playing your long game. Having the right club to make the shot really counts when driving to the pin, and it all comes together when you add up your strokes and turn in your score card.
All too often these days I receive phone calls, email and Facebook messages from cleaners who don’t even have a club in their bag when it comes to promoting their business; not even a simple business card. Really! How can you NOT have a business card? So it starts right there, one of the very first clubs you want in your marketing bag is a business card, complete with your logo, name, address, phone number, email address and your web site URL.
You need a logo, and you need to use it everywhere, on everything. My golf balls are branded, my towels, my bag, my clubs, even my golf shirt and golf hat has a brand and logo on it, and you need to do the same. Your invoices need to have your logo (in addition to your store address and phone number), your plastic bags, your paper covered hangers, your sign over your door, your sign on the side of the road, the dust control mats at your front door, on your van(s), and heck if you can get your logo carved into the tiles on your lobby floor, I’d do that too! Here is a handy tip: Be sure that you have your logo digitized in a 300 DPI or higher resolution scalable vector format, preferably on a transparent background so it can be used on both light and dark backgrounds, this makes it so much easier when creating marketing pieces for you or your marketing service providers.
The next club you need in your bag is a web site. You MUST be online these days, or you simply don’t exist. A simple one page web site will do, but I heartily recommend that your web site be built with a content management system such as WordPress or Joomla so it can be expanded with modules, components and plug ins that can extend the functionality of your web site. Your web site must also be mobile friendly because over 80 percent of web site visitors are using tablets or mobile phones to view your pages. If your web site is NOT mobile friendly, get it rebuilt to be RESPONSIVE!
Social media is another club you really need. Our industry is all about image and appearance, and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great places to post visual content that demonstrates we are aware of how important image is to our customers. Social Media is a fabulous low cost way to build a huge library of content that demonstrates your company’s commitment and skill to helping your customers keep and present a neat, tidy, pleasing professional image.
If you are offering route services doing pick-up and delivery, you really need to be providing your drivers with marketing support. Pick-up and delivery does require a different set of clubs because the course your drivers play daily is completely different. I recommend some brochures featuring the lifestyle and convenience pick-up and delivery offers prospective customers. I also recommend (where civic bylaws allow) door knockers or door hangers. This way, as your drivers are working their routes, they can drop off a brochure or door knocker to the house on the left, the house on the right, and the three houses across the street, making each stop along your route at least five prospecting calls. Of course, your brochures and door knockers should be predicated upon your sales pitches.
You DO have sales pitches, don’t you? You aren’t making cold calls on prospective customers and simply making it up on the spot? One of the best route sales people I had ever met had binders of sales pitches he had created and refined over decades and from knocking on thousands and thousands of doors and he could tell me the success/failure rate of each. Knowing what to say during a sales presentation is critical to selling route services. Plus, having a proven library of sales pitches you can hand to a new driver is invaluable as they can hit the ground running and start doing a little prospecting every day as they work their way through the route.
I know many route drivers think they are hired to be clothing chauffeurs simply taking clothes from point A to point B and back again, and that’s it. But, I do think drivers should also be working their route. You would expect that when a driver is approached on the street by a prospective customer they would take an order or handle questions and close a sale, wouldn’t you? So why not supply your drivers a few brochures and door knockers for the occasional sales blitz day to try to fill in those gaps between stops with more customers. It’s not unrealistic to expect a driver to do a little prospecting every day, and a brochure or door knocker can be an effective sales tool, if not the actual sales person. The brochure or door knocker (if well written) can be the sales person, and the sales piece will do the selling for you without your driver even having to face the prospective customer.
Ah yes, there lies the real meat of the matter, being creative and writing a good marketing piece, or writing a good sales pitch, not just everybody has the time or talent to create such. Just like when you want to be the best gold player you can be, you may need to take lessons from a Golf pro, or hire a caddie to escort you out on the course to show you where the hazards are and what is the best club to play on each particular shot. That’s where folks like myself are available offering a ‘Pro Shop’ filled with materials such as post cards, posters, door knockers, sales presentations, social media content, web site content, products and services that can be adapted for use in your market. Pick out what you like, and we’ll head out to the driving range and hit a couple buckets of balls testing the tools to see how they perform in your hands. We’ll work with you to teach you how to use the tools so you and your staff can turn in the best possible score. Heck, in some instances we can even go out and play the entre course for you leaving you free to run your business or hang out in the club house, whatever you wish.
The whole idea is, you DO NOT have to figure out how to promote your business and its services on your own. There are people out there with decades of experience using lots and lots of tools to get your business (game) performing the best it can be. And do keep in mind, even the best golf pros like Tiger Woods seek the council of others to keep them at peak performance.