To The Owner I Can’t Help…
While out on a walk to clear my mind and enjoy the sun that’s been hiding from us for the past few weeks I witnessed an event that was both mundane and significant at the same time.
What caught my eye was the brand new 2016 Ford Transit, professionally wrapped with eye-catching graphics and the company name emblazoned across the sides.
There wasn’t just marketing money in that truck – I could see as clear as the phone number that there was pride.
Two employees stood in the center of the manicured lawn.
One, wearing jeans and a t-shirt paced back and forth, repeatedly trying to hoist himself over the back gate to reach the latch.
The second, in jeans and flannel jacket, flicked the ashes of his cigarette into the flower bed, and, still clutching his smoke, walked up and banged loudly on the front door.
Knowing the homeowners, I stood down the block watching. Despite the company vehicle I genuinely was not convinced that they weren’t casing the house for a robbery.
Thankfully (or not)…they were there to fix the pool heater.
I walked on home, feeling deflated for the owner of that company.
That owner that clearly put so much pride into the branding and marketing of their company.
That owner who tied their future to the success of their business.
That owner I can’t help.
No one can.
The most astute market intelligence, sophisticated automation and strategic marketing systems won’t compensate for employees that don’t care.
For every time the phone rings with new business there are two employees making sure it won’t ring from the same homeowner again.
The company is being sabotaged from within, and it’s unlikely the owner even realizes it.
Business owners tend to focus inwards. On products, on services, on attracting more customers. The challenge is to focus outward, on consumer/client interests, thoughts and experiences.
If I could sit down with him, I would give him this advice:
“Before you spend another dime on SEO, PPC, or hire a new social media company because you need more leads – look within. Invest in the appearance of your people. Invest in having the RIGHT people on your team – and keep monitoring in the field to make sure that you’ve still got the right people.
The people who answer the phones, respond to e-mails and deal with customers face-to-face control the company’s destiny. No matter what you’re willing to spend on marketing your company, no one can help you until you’ve got control over your customer experience.”