I am writing this article from my home office today. As I sat down to write this blogg entry, I received a call from someone wanting me to place an advertisement with them. I am always interested in what advertising reps have to say because often enough I can find something interesting enough to write an article about to offer my clients. However today has been a little different.
After fielding the first call and spending almost 20 minutes speaking with the first ad rep, I was called again, and then again and again. A total of four advertising reps called this morning in about a 3 hour time frame. I became so frustrated with the interruptions that I actually turned the phone off. (If you're a client who called, I apologize - I'll turn it on as soon as this addition to my blog is completed.)
Well that brings me to a whole new topic today - dealing with the numerous amounts of advertising opportunities. This is a good case in point for why you need a written marketing plan. There are literally hundreds of advertising vehicles out there that if you start taking an ad out here and an ad out there, you can quickly spend yourself into the poor house. And on top of that, you stand a good chance of not getting the return on your investment that you should.
I am not saying that you should ignore these folks, by all means, get their information and keep a file on each advertising vehicle and the information the rep gives you. Then when you sit down to review your marketing and advertising plan, you'll have the information you need. But by all means, make sure you don't fall into the trap that I did when I first started my lawn care business over 20 years ago, don't sign anything or make any decisions until at least 48 hours after speaking to the advertising rep. This will allow you plenty of time to digest the information without the - "This is the best advertising money can buy" - sales pitch.
Oh and I almost forgot, when you've had your fill of advertising reps calling on your offer them one of these opportunities yourself:
- Ask them this: "Your service sounds fantastic, however the way our accountant has set our advertising budget is that we can only spend 10% of our revenues. So if you would be satisfied with receiving a payment of 10% of our total sales generated off this advertisement, then I think we would be happy to sign on." - I love this one because it tells you whether or not they actually 'believe' in their advertising services. If they don't have confidence in it, why should you?
- Here's another of my favorites: "I will be happy to buy your service, if you will buy mine as well."
I think you get the idea. The important thing to remember is set your marketing and advertising plan in motion and don't stray too far from it. It could be as dangerous as going to the grocery store hungry and without a list of items you actually need.
Until next time, may you, your family and your business reach its maximum potential,
Lawn Care Business Guru