Connecting With Customers Every Chance You Get
Originally published: 06.01.10 by Terry Tanker
Owners of service companies often wonder, "Am I getting a return on the money I invest in marketing?"
Some kinds of marketing have built-in metrics, such as mailed coupons or Web banner ads. One type of marketing/advertising doesn’t need a metric to prove its merit: it’s your fleet.
You have to have vehicles on the road; there’s no “good” reason to ignore their value as important pieces of your marketing strategy. The sheer exposure they receive is extraordinary. Consider how many hours your fleet vehicles spend in your market traveling on roads and highways, parked in driveways, busy downtown streets, and crowded parking lots. The ability to connect with customers with a customized message makes using fleet design as a marketing tool a must-do activity within your organization. When customers see one of your fleet vehicles, it is as if they are looking into the heart of your business. This is no exaggeration.
Think about this: A beat up, dirty truck with most of the lettering gone pulls into the driveway of your neighbor, who has already told you his AC unit is broken. Is this a business you are going to invite into your home the next time you need the same service?
We work in an extremely competitive business environment, and anything that can give your firm an advantage and help boost visibility, image, and brand will ultimately grow your business.
The winners of this year’s Tops in Trucks contest are examples of HVACR contractors who are excelling at marketing via their vehicles. But they aren’t the only ones. We had more entries this year than any other for our annual contest, and this year’s entrants were of top quality. This is one of the reasons we’ve expanded our coverage on Tops in Trucks in the magazine and have posted exclusive online photos and articles at www.hvacrbusiness.com/topsintrucks.
Once you make that connection with knockout fleet designs, the next challenge is either to convert a prospect into a customer or provide additional products and services to existing customers. Yes, we’re talking about sales, and we plan to talk about sales a lot more in coming months.
In our August issue we will introduce Geoffrey James, a sales coach and prolific writer. James has drawn on his prior experience selling multi-milliondollar computer systems to produce numerous books and articles on sales. He will contribute a column to HVACR Business each quarter that will challenge you to improve your sales team’s performance. Using James’ advice, and the tricks and tips you’ll learn from this year’s Tops in Trucks report, your business will be well on its way to selling more to the customers you have and welcoming new customers on a regular basis.
Articles by Terry Tanker
20 Questions In Memory of Jack Hutchinson
It is with heavy hearts that HVACR Business announces the sudden passing of Jack Hutchinson, Vice President of Sales, on March 13, 2014.
HVACR Business Publisher Terry Tanker collected memories from those who knew him well to create this month’s 20 Questions column.
Winners and Losers
20 Questions with Tony Petrolle
HVACR Business Publisher Terry Tanker sat down with Tony Petrolle President of Gaithersburg Cooling & Heating (GAC), Bryant’s 2013 Dealer of the Year award winner. The two discussed acquiring a company, assembling the right team, and the development of a quality assurance team to provide employees with the best work environment and customers with the best products, service and support.
20 Questions with Mike Reilly, President and Owner, EWC Controls
HVACR Business Publisher Terry Tanker met with Mike Reilly, president and Owner of EWC Controls, to discuss manufacturing, family businesses, and how his company can help provide contractors solutions to customer problems.
Common sense – it’s simply knowing the difference between right and wrong. It entails a personal and subjective process of analyzing a situation and finding a solution that works. For most people I think it’s their first instinct, the rational thing they would do without giving the situation a thought. Again, I said for most people.