Editorial: It's A New Era

Feb. 1, 2010

Any successful locksmith business has to advertise. How much you advertise and what method you use to convey your message is an individual consideration. Some companies use a printed form such as the yellow pages or develop brochure for mailing to potential customers. Some locksmiths may make personal calls to commercial establishments or depend on ‘word of mouth’ from previous customers to spread the word about their services.

With few exceptions, a majority of locksmith calls can be considered as emergency work. Whether some security item is malfunctioning or someone is locked out, they need your service right now. Important advertising decisions must be made so your business name is easily accessible when a customer needs immediate help.

As a member of the ‘old school’, I have always been a strong advocate of the phone book as the number one answer for obtaining new customers. If a customer knows your business name, the listing can be easily and quickly found in the white pages. A customer can also search the locksmith section of the yellow pages. That is where your advertisement must stand out from the crowd.

Phone books are hard to find in public places these days. Pay phones have been supplanted by cell phones. ‘411’ information services obtain their listings directly from existing white pages, so a phone book listing still has some importance.

All this may be dwarfed by an emerging technology. At two recent meetings I asked people if they would use the phone book or the internet when sourcing a business phone number. Out of 27 people, over 70% said they would use the internet. A few people stated that they have even discarded their phone books. All of the people who said they would use the phone book were from older generations. Younger people in my survey tended to completely depend on their cell phone or the internet.

Twenty-seven people hardly makes a definitive survey, but it does merit attention. It costs nothing to ask customers how they found your phone number. If you get the same results I did, then it is time to build a better website to get even more business. Refer to a Locksmith Ledger article on page 34 in our September, 2009 issue for helpful details.