One of the best methods is to personally “press the flesh” by contacting companies that can use your services. For example, if you do automotive work, contact body shops, car dealerships and rental car companies. Offer them a commercial price and consider offering services such as parts delivery, technical support and key and remote programming.
Another way to provide the personal touch is by being a guest speaker at organizations’ meetings. These can include houses of worship, business networking organizations, volunteering organizations, Chamber of Commerce, etc. To find organizations that have guest speakers, try using a search engine to find organizations and who to contact to become a speaker. Many organizations have regular meetings (usually about once a month). Many organizations have a very difficult time arranging for a speaker. Some of the organizations offer a free meal for the speaker. If you are not comfortable with public speaking, you can join Toastmasters International to become proficient. Their web site: www.toastmasters.org
As locksmiths, we have the expertise in the area of security and protecting a person’s possessions. Some topics to consider include: Securing Your Home/Business, Which Safe Meets My Needs?, What is a Security Survey?, Electronic Keys and What Exactly is a High Security Lock? Bring mounted samples of locks, maybe a cutaway lock cylinder, brochures and business cards.
One more way to get your company’s name out into your community is to sponsor a child’s sport team. For not a great deal of money, your company can sponsor a baseball, soccer, football or other youth sports team. Depending upon the organization, by supplying the uniforms and sundries, you get advertising as well as the opportunity to personally interact with customers and potential customers.
Another way to increase your business is to set up a referral network with other service companies who sell to the same target market. These can include carpenters, welders, painters and other companies. For example, if there is a home or commercial property that has been burglarized and there was damage to the entry, a carpenter can make the necessary repairs and a painter can complete the job after you install the replacement higher security door hardware. If your customer needs iron window bars, having a referral network with a welder can give both of you an opportunity to make additional money.
A referral network is simple, all of the companies agree not to steal the customers and they agree to send business to each other. It is beneficial to send a customer to someone you know and trust, rather than have them find someone who may be capable of providing your services and you end up losing a good customer.
We live in a fast-paced, rapidly changing world. Rather than talking on the telephone, many people prefer to either text or e-mail in order to communicate. A way to attract their attention is to publicize your email address or that your company’s cell phone number accepts texts. If someone sends you a text message, you have his or her telephone number to reply. To simplify the texting process, many of the new smart phones have the capability to create text messages by speaking the message instead of having to type.
Another form of marketing is to contact customers who had service calls the same day. Ask them if they were happy with the service and the locksmith who provided the service. Create a list of about five questions that can be answered in about one minute. If they are happy, the conversation will be very short. If they are not happy, the conversation can take a while. Your job is to satisfy each and every customer. At the end of every telephone call, ask each customer if he or she was completely satisfied.
Making your customer happy is job number one. Acknowledge any mistakes. People are only human and by acknowledging the mistake, it is possible to resolve the problem. Offering a discount on a future job can go a long way to improving relationships. An unknown problem will usually cost you a customer and they will probably tell about four people or more. The cost to keep a disgruntled or inactive customer is significantly cheaper than to obtain a new customer. If you haven’t heard from a customer recently, send a personalized letter or email. Taking ethical care of your customers is the smartest and most inexpensive marketing a company can do.
When business is quiet, take some time to create a flier, search the Internet for organizations looking for a guest speaker, or visit potential customers and drop off your brochure.
Your vehicle serves as free advertising. Feature your business name in bold print.
Forget the economy when you’re working. Focus instead on the little things that you can do to improve your customer service and lower your costs.