Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Its Not Hard to Be #1

If you own a small service type business, its fairly easy to dominate your competition and be #1 in your area. The type of businesses I'm thinking about are listed:

-heat & air
-tree service
-lawn service

This list is not limited to just these types of businesses though.

Here's how you do it. Make a promise to yourself you will return every phone call that comes to your answering machine or voice mail within 24 hours or sooner if possible. This will make a huge impression on your clients.

I have been told many, many times when I return a call to someone who's inquired about doing business with me how surprised that I return the call so quickly. I've even been told by some that some contractors never return their calls. Amazing!

Another technique to win admiration from clients is to perform what you promise. Like being punctual to appointments. If you're going to be late, give them a quick call and let them know you're going to be a few minutes late. They will appreciate that.

You can even use this technique completely through the life of the project. Keep them informed of the progress, just a simple 1 minute call is all that's necessary to score big points.

Watch your appearance. The other day, I was driving through a neighborhood and a contractor was standing in the front yard talking to a homeowner. His t-shirt had some holes in it and it wasn't quite long enough to cover his beer belly. I wish I could've gotten a photo of it.

You don't have to overdo it, just wear clean clothes, no holes, and look decent.

It takes time, but these few techniques will really pay dividends in the long run. Your customers will be saying a lot of positive things about you to their friends and neighbors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Real Value of Twitter

This morning, I received a message from a follower on Twitter asking me to visit her blog and offer my opinion, Shelley Said. Her blog post is titled, Anti Social Media, with the last statement:

Because it seems like most people that I know who are trying to teach me "how to use twitter effectively" use the phrase "building relationship" as double speak for "developing leads"

Here's my response:

Good post with thought a provoking question. My answer stems from my own Twitter experience.

I’ve been on Twitter for 6 months. The first 4 months, I was probably like the masses, shy and afraid to post a tweet. When I did, it was usually meaningless chit-chat.

One day, something dramatically changed. Someone tweeted a question that I knew the answer to. I tweeted back with that answer and a link supporting it.

I received back a very nice comment, complimenting me for the generosity of my knowledge. (Believe me, it wasn’t that big a thing, imo.)

It was then I ‘got it’. Twitter and other social media venues are about making friends, just like we do in the real world.

You help someone because you want to, not for any other reason. Because it’s the right and friendly thing to do.

I know there are others who are simply using Twitter to build their following so they can market to them. So be it. They’re missing the true value of Twitter.

To date, I’ve met a throng of people on Twitter. Probably a dozen or so I would call new friends. These new friends are scattered all over the world, from SE Asia through North America to Europe.

Without Twitter, I would’ve never met them. My life is being enriched by them and I’m doing the best I can to enrich their lives. Without expecting anything in return, except friendship.

To me, building true relationships rests on the foundation of friendship.

You can use Twitter for whatever reason you like and however you choose. But this is how I view Twitter and why I use it.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Commuter Builds Network One Phone Call At A Time

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with Daniel Johnson as he made his commute home from Dayton. Daniel is a new friend, whom I've never met, but I feel like I've known him for some time.

How is that possible? Never met him but feel like I've known him? I follow Daniel on Twitter. If you're not familiar with Twitter, I'll cover that in a future post. But let me just briefly say here Twitter is a part of the social media new wave, it's like online texting. Don't know what texting is? I don't think I can help you.

How'd I meet Daniel? Like I said, I've been following his tweets, or posts, whatever you want to call them. Every day, he commutes to work from Cincinnati to Dayton. For his drive home, he has started the Call Dan Game. He invites you to call him on his way home from work, just to chat. He's posted his cell phone number on his website.

Now the obvious is it makes Dan's commute home a little less boring. The not-so-obvious is he's building relationships with like minded people, one phone call at a time. And mostly, with people he's "met" through Twitter.

If you visit Daniel's website, you'll see a quote from Keith Ferrazi -
"If 80 percent of success is, as Woody Allen once said, just showing up, then 80 percent of building and maintaining relationships is just staying in touch." — Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, p. 181
Daniel is building and maintaining relationships as he commutes. I think that's pretty ingenious.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

ABC's of Using Twitter More Effectively

Twitter is taking the social media network by storm. Although some are simply using Twitter as another instant message forum, internet marketers are finding that Twitter is a powerful marketing tool.

However, if you're going to use Twitter in your arsenal of marketing tools, you need to be careful how you use it.

From my experience, new internet marketers are in too big of a hurry. I recently made a post exclaiming, "Social media marketing is like dating, guys. Just hold hands on the first date".

Here's what I mean. Twitter is still a social media platform, first and foremost. Even though it can be a powerful marketing tool, you still have to make friends first. Getting in too big of a rush will turn fellow tweeters off. And they have a tendency to turn you off- by removing you from their follow list.

Take your time, use the Twitter platform to build relationships. Go slow, just like you're supposed to when you're dating. Here is a golden tip: If you choose to send a new follower a Direct Message (DM), please don't include a link to an affiliate product! By including affiliate links in your welcome DM, that tells your new follower is "all I wanna do is make a buck off you".

I my opinion, you should use links sparingly and with caution. In my welcome message, I include a link to my website. I don't offer a free gift or anything related to marketing. I just want my new follower to know I appreciate them choosing to follow my tweets. My website link is included if they want to learn more about me. And, according to my weblog, more than 50% do choose to visit and take a look at who I am.

Go slow, build relationships and have fun. That's what social media marketing is all about.

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