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Jon’s Journey Episode 11: How to waste your marketing money


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If you’d rather read the transcript it’s here below.


How to waste your marketing money

It’s Episode 11 of Jon’s Journey. It’s called Air-conditioning.

If you remember, Jon’s Journey is where I talk about my experiences with tradespeople and I use them to give examples of things you can learn to do better in your business.

We bought a house a year ago and we’ve been using trades quite a lot because we need a bit of work. It’s good. It gave me some good opportunities to use real-life examples.

This house has no aircon. It’s in a hot part of the country, in Byron Bay and t’s quite hot and humid. I work from home. I have a room here which is part office / part film studio. And it gets stinking hot in summer. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but sometimes I look distinctly sweaty, pink, and hot. So, Michelle said “Let’s get air-conditioning, I think it’s important”.

She made the first call, a nice guy came over and we poked around the house with him for 20 minutes. He made some suggestions, gave us some advice and the benefit of his experience. And he suggested a unit that would keep this office cool. He gave us some price guidance, and promised to quote and told us he fitted our neighbours unit which gave us some confidence. We said, “Okay”.

All good so far.

And then, we went out for lunch with my friend a few days later who said, “You should call my guy, he’s great. Why don’t you give him a call?”

I haven’t had a quote yet, so I did. (We always like to call our friend’s referrals and 2 quotes is always nice).

I called the guy, and he came around, looked at the other room, gave us similar advice and told me what the other guy had suggested. He agreed with that as an idea.

He made another suggestion – one that would blow air down the rest of the house. It’s a big unit, it’s going to cost more and you can put the outside part away from where the table tennis table is so we can play ping-pong without banging our heads on it which I liked a lot.

And so, off he’s gone. He promised a quote as well and gave us some price guidance. That solution was a similar price to the other one. This was going to be another $1,000.

His quote showed up that evening which is impressive. The other guy’s quote still isn’t here.

We waited a few more days out of respect to the other guy but still, no quote. So, we went to the second guy. We chose the more expensive option as well,  the extra $1,000.

That’s quite interesting, isn’t it?

What is the lesson?

I’m standing here now in air-conditioned comfort, so I’m loving this. 

Lesson 1. It’s easy to waste your marketing money

If you don’t do your quote and send your quote through, how can you win business? 

The guy who got our first enquiry wasted all that money. 

I’ve checked his website and he has an intelligent, nice looking website. He appears in search when you search ‘air-conditioning’ or ‘air-conditioning Brunswick Heads’. And he got the call from Michelle, and he took the trouble to come out here, and give us his advice and he was a nice guy. He was in good shape, he could have won that job. If he got to us before my friend had said, “Try my guy” he would have got the job I think.

But we still haven’t heard from him. Not even a phone call to say, “Are you going with me or not?” Nothing. It’s been almost 3 weeks.

He invested a lot of effort and money into his marketing, into the website, and into SEO, and invested effort and time in coming here to do his sales and then he dropped the ball.

He was a nice guy. He was no idiot, he’s not stupid, but he seems lazy. He didn’t have the systems in place to make sure they remember to send the quote. So, it’s probably sitting somewhere in the to-do pile, or his diary, or somewhere in a paper-based system that clearly has let him down.

That’s lesson 1 – It’s shockingly easy to waste your marketing money.

And the answer, of course, is implement proper systems in your business so you don’t make mistakes like that. He wasted his marketing money.

Recommended Reading: How To Spend Your Marketing Money For Your Trades Business

Lesson 2. It’s not all about the price. 

This the less obvious point. 

We went for the more expensive option because it means we’ll be able to play table tennis in the shade which we like. The prices for a similar unit was about the same. And then this unit was a bit more expensive, another $1,000.

I felt confident that the second guy’s price was fair because it was about the same for that one and we went for the more expensive option. He gave us the right solution, that’s important.

“You’ll be able to play ping pong without banging your head, Jon”.

He kept his word “I’ll get you a quote soon”, it came that day and his price was okay.

I want to make that point. He gave what we wanted, he kept his word and built some trust and his price was all right. 

He didn’t need to be the best to win. Beating the other guy wasn’t a consideration. I didn’t ask him to. He gave us what we needed, took the trouble to figure that out properly, helped us feel secure and safe that he was a good guy and we were in good hands, and his price was okay.

That’s lesson number 2. That’s what you need to be doing in your sales processes.

Lesson 3. The power of the 2 principal way residential tradespeople get leads. 

If you’re not a residential trade, if you sell to builders or to businesses, this is less important for you. 

But if you’re a residential business, there are 2 primary ways you get your enquiries:

  1. Through having search and a website. I am not interested in hi pages or any of those lead generation websites. The primary and best way to get good leads is to be high in search results and have a good website that tells people what they want to know.

    It works. That’s what Michelle did. She jumped on her phone or computer, had a look, picked somebody and called.

  2. Referrals or word-of-mouth. I didn’t even ask my friend. I just mentioned we were getting AC installed because I was quite excited about not having to sweat and he said, “You should call my guy”. You can’t control that. 

Word-of-mouth is a beautiful reward for having good friends or for having a good reputation in the market for doing a  good job. But you can’t control it. You can’t even drive it properly. People either ask for a referral and other people give you a name if they remember.

You can’t control that. 

What you CAN control is ‘Search marketing’. I call it ‘Find Me Marketing’. 

I may have mentioned that before. You need to be found when people go looking for you. We know what tradespeople we want. We’re going to type ‘air conditioning’, ‘plumber’, ‘electrician’, ‘fencer’, ‘builder’ etc. And then we’re going to type a location. So if you’re not doing that I think you’re missing out.

If you want to know how much value there is, try coaching program. You know what to do. 

There are four ways you can engage with me:

  1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me. 

  2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers. 

  3. Attend my next Tools Down workshop

  4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

Choose your button, off you go.

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About the Author

Jon Dale

Jon likes helping business owners and especially owners of trades businesses. Life can be a bit frustrating when you run a business and a trade business can be even more so. Jon reckons this stuff is fixable and that you can fix it by making some fairly simple changes to the way you do things. In fact, he runs a free monthly webinar to help explain the process further of moving your business from manual to scalable.

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