Automated Phone Answering – Horrible For Customers

They very last thing you need in business is a frustrated, disgusted, or angry customer or potential customer!  Yet, the “automated phone answering equipment”  you are thinking about getting installed will be the very first aggravation your clients will deal with.

Some slick salesman has convinced you that automated equipment with make you more efficient, save you time, money, and make you look more professional.  In reality, it makes you look like that big cable TV company or satellite TV service that simply sucks.

Today, it is often challenging to make your customers happy. Sadly, too many customers feel “entitled” and to try to take advantage. We’ve all been there and experienced that frustration.

Listed here are a few potential failures with automated phone systems:

  • Public perception of these systems is negative.
  • Often the “terminology” is confusing. (press 1 for collaboration tech support) or (press 2 for non-warranty technical help) or (press 7 if you would like to hear the menu again) “in case you weren’t paying attention the first three times, or you aren’t smart enough to know exactly which option you need.”
  • There are often too many unclear choices.
  • Even worse is when “your choice” isn’t listed
  • It’s even worse when they don’t work perfectly.
  • You are entrusting your “best first impression” to an oft problematic machine
  • When things go wrong on the initial answer, (machine pick-up) there is rarely an opportunity to repair the damage.
  • People repeatedly say they want a live person.
  • The opportunity to quickly solve customer service issues in needlessly delayed, or even worse, it never gets resolved!
  • Many times sales are lost as a result of caller frustration at not being able to get to the right person.
  • The automated system enables employees to “distance” themselves from any urgency or immediacy.
  • It creates a company environment where the caller is not most important.
  • Bottom Line: It helps people hang up!

Today, the only real differentiation you have is your CUSTOMER SERVICE.  Without the most awesome, incredible, problem solving customer service, you really aren’t much different from all your competitors.

As your author this isn’t some personal vendetta against technology!  I have, however, experienced many negative calls into a company where the automated system was lousy or in many cases, so bad that I simply hung up and called someone else.  Writing this article was prompted by several recent major frustrations – trying to do business with companies that used an automated (and terrible) system.

It should be quite obvious, that an automated phone answering system for your business can eliminate the cost of a receptionist to answer all calls personally.  You might conclude that it’s an inexpensive way to expedite incoming phone calls, but you really need to re-consider. It’s kind of like stepping over a dollar to pick up a nickel!

 

By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of AskDickWagner.com BLOG

 

 

Copyright© 2021     The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

Cleaners and Restorers – Post Pandemic

The world has changed. The pandemic of 2020 has and will continue to require new and different attitudes and business processes for the near future.  Whether we like it or not, it has changed our daily life; at home, in public, at work, everywhere we go and everything we do.

CHANGED

Business today, and moving forward for the foreseeable future, has significantly changed – forcing us (some of us kicking and screaming) to be more cautious, accepting, and aware of others around us.  Clients, customers, our employees, and the public at large are all fearful of the virus, and many are so fearful they don’t want to work in the office anymore with co-workers. This thought process is at work with many of your customers also. It is no longer “business as usual!” The world has changed, and your customers now expect you to operate at a high level of safety and cleanliness.

OPINIONS

We all have opinions – and for some of us – our opinion is the only correct one! There, I said it… you all wanted to, but were nervous. By viewing, reading, (and sometimes commenting), on the enormous stream of posts regarding anything pandemic related, it’s difficult to fully embrace all angles. In fact, there are many opposing comments, all of which have some logic and make good sense. However, emotion is the number one trigger moving people and with emotion – it rarely is based on fact or logic. It’s my estimate that in the US, 50% of the public will not get vaccinated because they know it takes 10 years to perfect and make safe the vaccine. It’s not very reassuring when they claim to have achieved that same level of safety in 9 months!

NEW EXPECTATIONS

Your customers, clients, prospects, and the general public will expect you to treat their home and their business very differently than you have in the past. Sure, previously, many of us used booties, walk-off mats, and protective runners (drop cloths), corner buddies, and other things to provide our client with the assurance that we were being careful with their home.

Today, and moving into the near future, you can expect customers to:

  • limit access to their home or business
  • use internet technology for monitoring
  • wearing PPE, gloves, goggles, masks, etc.
  • clean and disinfect all surfaces that you touched
  • use tablets and phones for signatures
  • use email instead of paper documents
  • touchless payments and online appointments
  • touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and hand drying equipment
  • texting appointment info when technicians are on the way
  • QR codes for access to websites, review sites, menus
  • Zoom or video calls to view damage or conditions
  • Zoom & videos calls for marketing and client interaction
  • Re-engaging the telephone to connect with clients
  • embrace local small businesses more than the national chains

HIGH DEMAND

We all know by now that “what the customer wants – the customer gets.” This is obviously extended to every aspect of the public. Like it or not, Media and the government have successfully put fear in many people about the dangers of Covid-19.

Because of that, these new attitudes, combined with what people are demanding openly to businesses, has ushered in a “new normal” business climate. With our varied opinions regarding the legitimacy of the pandemic (which may be overstated), or seen as political, the fact remains that business has radically changed in 2020 and moving into 2021 and beyond, consumers are expecting a totally new and different interaction and engagement.

Organizations, both governmental and private sector industry will have to conduct business in a new and careful way, demonstrating they are serious about the public safety and health, just to reassure customers they will be safe working for you or hiring you!

 

By Dick Wagner, Co-Founder The CREST Network, LLC                         

 Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

 Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Owner of AskDickWagner.com BLOG

 

 

 

Copyright© 2021 ©    The CREST Network, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Marketing To 3 Kinds Of Plumbers

3 minute read

Many restoration marketers call on and solicit plumbing companies and plumbers. The hope is to be able to convince them to send your company leads and jobs when they arrive at a plumbing job and see a flooded home or a mold contaminated property.

 

NOT THAT SIMPLE

However, it’s not a simple as just telling the plumber you’ll give him a couple hundred bucks for his referrals. A marketing approach to this kind of prospect requires more than a one-size-fits-all program.

As a marketing rep calling on this vertical (plumbers), it’s important that you recognize the different “types” of plumbers so you can increase your successes. Not all plumbers are the same. Some only do repair work, some only do sewer and drain clean-outs, some do only “new construction” work.

THERE IS MORE

In addition to the basic differences listed above, there are three additional factors you must consider. Identifying what their corporate (or business) structure is. Here is a simplified list of the 3 most common plumber types:

  1. The one-man-band. (Chuck in a truck) or a man with a van. They may sometimes have a helper, but usually work out of the home or garage. Rarely do they have a warehouse of any office space (other than their kitchen table). Their “business phone” is their personal cell phone – so they will almost always answer it.
  2. The small shop. Often 3-10 people on payroll. They have several trucks and crews and are much more visible in the community. They often try, with limited success, to emulate the “big boys” so they may have lettered, and wrapped vans and their crews may wear a uniform or company shirt. Almost always, they will have a small shop or warehouse, and possibly even a small office with an office support person. They will have a designated company business phone.
  3. The Big Boys. These are plumbing companies with significant brick and mortar shops, warehouses, offices, and probably several business phones lines. You might see their billboards around town. They tend to operate much more like a corporation with multiple office staff, back-office help, and many crews. Their wrapped vans dominate the community.

CHALLENGE FOR #1

As a marketer, getting in front of the Chuck-in-a-truck plumber is a major challenge because you cannot (SHOULD NOT) go to their home! Also, you can’t wait down the block and then follow them around town until they stop for gas or coffee. Approaching them at a plumbing supply house, or at the big-box stores (Lowes or Home Depot) is doable, but you can’t sit in those parking lots all day.

CHALLENGE FOR #2

The small shop with a handful of employees usually has a small building or shop location. Your challenge here is that they may not staff it during the day, so it’s really luck to find someone there to talk with. Once you are able to talk to the owner/manager or an office person, you should be trying to get the contact info for all their techs and also try to schedule an early morning breakfast for the group. This is your perfect opportunity to talk with all of them and promote your company and referral program. You will also see some of them at the big box stores and the plumbing supply houses often, so once you know them, stay in touch!

CHALLENGE #3

The big plumbing companies that operate more like a small corporation may be a little more challenging to convert. They will usually be very protective of their “big” name and more hesitant to give out tech contact info. They also may NOT like a referral program because they can feel that associating with your restoration company could potentially hurt their reputation. (A plumber tech referral a customer to your company and the job goes south!) Ideally, you want to get them to allow you to bring in breakfast for their team. This is the best way to present you referral program and touch a lot of techs at the same time.  The big boy companies will be very receptive to your Summary Move (elevator pitch) about making the plumbing company the hero.

IT’S A WHOLE COURSE

It would be great to expand more on the many nuances and strategies you should employ to develop great relationships with plumbers. Since most people won’t read more than a few minutes, we developed a certification course Restoration Marketing Specialist® (RMS™) 3-day course to teach you all the many ways to solidify your plumber opportunities. (It also includes Insurance Agent strategies as well).

 

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

 

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Co-creator of the Restoration Marketing Specialist™  (RMS®) certification course

 

Copyright© 2021     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

Plumbers Are Terrible Lead Sources

3 minute read

 

A couple times a month I get a call from a fairly new contractor wanting to generate more leads and job opportunities. Usually, the questions include the topic of Plumbers and if they are a good lead source.

ETHICS

I’m all in favor of a contractor developing great lead sources. Even more so, I want contractors to build a steady stream of job opportunities. My frustration has always been with the issue of paying a referral fee. And, more specifically, exorbitant fees.

Most businesspeople have to ask themselves at some point; “how much of a referral fee should I pay to plumbers?” In many of the major cities (think Miami, LA, NY) some plumbers are demanding – and many contractors are paying one thousand dollars per lead!

WHERE DOES IT STOP

Because the dollar amount is so high, you can’t help but wonder if this is right, ethical, fair, even legit! With the average water-damage mitigation project averaging around $3,900 nationally, a $1,000 “finders fee” does one of two things – neither are good. First, it potentially increases the invoice on the project by $1,000, or about 25%. Second, if you truly do not raise your price, you really end up with little or no profit when the job is done. The amount paid has to be reasonable, fair, and appropriate.

You can’t have it both ways. Either you raise your prices, or you make no money on your work. (Or do other things for the plumber that are big for them, and less for you).

WHAT IS FAIR

Since I am not a fan of “finders fees” or referral fees, or bird-dog fees, or “spiffs” being paid out, I won’t tell you how much is “fair.” I am willing to recognize that for a long time, referral or finders fees have been, and are currently being paid in many industries.

If we really analyze the concept from a different angle, we could justify that we are paying a “commission” to an independent plumber. Just remember, you wouldn’t pay a commission to an employee where the commission represented 20 – 30% of the actual job! Furthermore, they would at the minimum receive a 1099 tax statement from you at the end of the year.

DESPERATE

Too often, business owners are so desperate for a job that they willingly concede their integrity and find unique ways to justify these payments. It’s called “situational ethics.” When you engage in situational ethics – you will always be compromised!

I urge you to talk the entire referral fee – commission payment idea with a trusted financial consultant. When you do this, you at least understand the true position and what the potential ramifications are.

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

 

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Co-creator of the Restoration Marketing Specialist™  (RMS®) certification course

 

 

 

Copyright© 2021     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

Marketing Success Using Blog Articles

The explosion of online social media has revolutionized the way people interact in the world, and even more significantly, it is reinventing the way businesses reach their customers. The frequency, tone, style, and engagement of business marketing is so dramatically changed that it has required a completely new mindset.

During my years of coaching sales and marketing people, I am often told by a salesperson that they are “old school” and prefer to stay that way because that has always worked for them.  They don’t want to hear the world has changed. They don’t want to be told the way they used to sell won’t work very well today. They’ve spent 20 – 30  years selling a certain way, and quite likely during that time in the 70’s through the 90’s, they did OK or even very well. “Old school” is all they know, and they aren’t motivated to change. Little do they know that isn’t going to fly today.

Doesn’t Work Today

I’ve gone on sales visits with many of these old-timers in the past few years and was appalled at their approach and their interaction with prospects. One of them told a dirty joke (of sexual nature) to a group of ladies in an insurance office. Another tried the “Carnegie” approach of forcing his high-pressure style on several 20 and 30 something men. You could tell by the looks on their faces they were disgusted by the brazen, in your face, pushy style.

Salespeople looking to enter the marketplace today need to understand that much of what they do will utilize online platforms. It is critical for them to understand how to effectively exploit numerous social media platforms, because these platforms are what the world prefers and is using to engage. Developing prospects, finding good leads, creating credibility, and building your personal brand have now become a major part of the sales and marketing activity using social media. The simple social media tips below will help you better identify and connect with customers, build your personal brand, enhance your credibility, and generate interest in your products and services.

Build Personal Brand Identity in Blogs: Personal brand awareness is essential for every high-performing salesperson, regardless of the type of sales. You want your customers to know who you are and associate you and your business with the solutions they seek. Blogs are fantastic at creating that image for your customers. It’s been said many times, “people buy from people they like and people they trust.” Writing blog articles provides readers not only with great info about your products and services, but about a range of topics and activities related to your business. With the billions of different searches that happen every day, it means that your well-written blog article will likely be found and read. Blogs are the perfect way to showcase your expertise and trustworthiness; and offer content that your prospects will seek out. Most importantly, this must be an ongoing process, requiring you to update your blog posts often and keep content fresh.

 

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Co-creator of the Restoration Marketing Specialist™  (RMS®) certification course

Copyright© 2021     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

Marketing With Social Media

3 minute read

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Consumers give more attention to images  than words. It’s been shown over and over that including a good picture or two with your blog post (or even Facebook post) increases the viewership and response by more than ten times! Pinterest is an excellent platform where you can capture your customers’ interest with quality pictures. Post pins (on Pinterest) with clear titles and unique, interesting, and entertaining images to stand out. This may require brushing up on your photography and web design skills, but the visibility is worth the effort, as Pinterest is one of the most visited websites each day. Buying pictures from online sources is a great way to get good quality, intense pictures. I have a Pinterest account and consistently post good pictures (with a weblink) about a variety of topics.  One of the most popular boards on my Pinterest account is my board about Sales and Marketing!

Tweet with a Purpose: Twitter is a great resource for businesses because brief updates and links are sent to hundreds of followers’ phones with a click. Twitter is like a simple do it yourself “news release” and affords you the fast and easy way to enhance your credibility and expertise. Make sure your Twitter biography is current, and share links of interest to your followers, including posts from other relevant blogs. Your followers will appreciate this and think of you as a source of great info. Also try to keep up with hashtag trending in your industry. Using these tags increases your credibility. Lastly, interact with followers by replying, re-tweeting, and favoriting tweets. Although it takes time to get people to follow you, there are great tools within Twitter to follow others, and many of them will follow you back!

Your Personal Online Resume’: If you are not already using LinkedIn to strengthen your personal visibility and credibility, you must begin this immediately! LinkedIn is an underutilized networking site, perfectly designed for keeping track of business contacts, finding new prospect opportunities, and managing your business client portfolio.  Also, you should be asking your LinkedIn connections for written recommendations, (those that know you well), since their comments improve your reputation and profile immensely.

LinkedIn also has superb search capabilities, and more than 80% of major decisionmakers are on this platform! For networking, advice, and searching out future customers, LinkedIn has a ‘groups’ feature which is a valuable resource for business owners. Join groups that are of interest to your customers to learn from them. Posting great articles on LinkedIn can significantly enhances your credibility and creates a positive image of your expertise. (And don’t forget to THANK everyone that does connect with you).

Become a Big Fish in the Big Pond: Facebook is the world’s largest and busiest social media platform. As of late, it has created a lot of controversy with how they are deciding what posts are OK and which ones don’t meet “their criteria.”

Be prepared to either accept this kind of censorship or use MeWe instead. With its growth, Facebook has added many features that businesspeople can use to network, interact, and advertise. With this growth, businesses must now compete to be in followers’ newsfeeds. To stand out and increase visibility, complete every section of your business profile or page, respond to customers as quickly as possible (ideally within an hour), and post about more than just your business or blog.

Almost every post you make on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Parler, or MeWe must be accompanied by a picture.  Those pictures should be funny, though-provoking, inspiring and eye-catching. Educational and entertaining also plays well. This will create an environment that feels useful and personable, and will draw more followers to your FB page, thereby adding to your credibility and exposure.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses and salespeople. These strategies can help you make the most of your social media campaigns.

 

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

 

Copyright© 2021     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

If My Competition Can Do It, So Can I

4 min read

Everyone of us at one time or other has thought that “if my competition can do it, so can I.” And yet the truth is that’s rarely the case.

BE MORE ORIGINAL

If you really think about it, everyone has a different situation:

 

  • Resources
  • Money
  • People
  • Location
  • Skills
  • Strengths
  • Creativity
  • Discipline
  • Patience

 

Since we are all different in the above (partial) list, it’s usually unreasonable to think we can copy the same features, options, and traits of whatever your competitor is doing. It’s typical of most of us that see something that looks successful from the competition, to want to duplicate it.

What we don’t know is:

  • how much money is invested?
  • what resources did they have to use?
  • does it even fit “your” business style?
  • how effective is it (ROI)?
  • should your company associate itself with that idea or concept?
SIMILAR – BUT NOT

We all can think of products or services that are almost identical in general concept. Think cell phones, computers, ridesharing, food delivery services, and many more. Sometimes the basics are similar, but when you look closely, it’s apparent the products or services are totally different.

Here’s an example of similar – but different:

Roofing:

Asphalt shingles, metal roof, slate, rubber roof, solar tiles, clay tiles, and others

These are all roofing materials, but some roofing companies only offer one specific   type because that’s their skill or comfort level. And, YES, it’s still roofing, but NO, it’s not similar. OK, I’ll grant you that the materials are still called roofing, but there’s a huge difference in quality, style, looks, warranty, and installation process.

The strategy that each company uses to market, sell, deliver, and install these different roofing materials is almost always unique to the individual company.

NOT ALL THE SAME

Since we are talking about roofing, I recently (after Hurricane Irma) had to have a new roof installed. We interviewed a couple roofing companies and found a dramatic difference. They were all offering 35-year asphalt shingles, and one offered a synthetic underlayment, promoting the much better qualities and longevity.

We opted for the better shingles and the synthetic underlayment but were greatly disappointed for another reason. The installers were sloppy, crude, careless, and in such a hurry that they had to be called back three times by the building inspector. Even worse was their customer service!

Just one example of their poor service – the installers got “tar” all over our beautifully finished custom driveway. And when I pointed that out to the manager, he said “well, that happens, it is a construction site after all.” He refused to clean it up or attempt to make it right.

DO YOUR OWN THING

Stop worrying about copying your competitors. Sometimes (usually all the time), the quality of customer service is far more important than what products or services you provide. In the case of water damage services, water extraction can be done many different ways. Setting the right expectations and providing the best customer service possible will ultimately be the most important part of what you do.

Don’t get caught up in the whirlpool of “if my competition can do it, so can I.”  It rarely works out the way you had hoped it would.

 

Dick Wagner   419-202-6745         Dick@AskDickWagner.com

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Co-Founder of the CREST Network, LLC

Copyright© 2021     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

No Part Of This Document May Be Reproduced In Any Form

Written Permission required to share this article.

How To Get Kicked Off The Job

3 minute read

I’ve talked with hundreds (really several thousand) contractors over 20 plus years, and as I recall, at one time or another every contractor has had the miserable, ego-crushing experience of being told to pack their tools and leave the job.

Customers can be brutal. Communication can fail, and misunderstandings can easily happen. We live in a very fickle and demanding society today. Some clients are self-serving, looking for ways to profit at the contractors’ expense. But often, contractors are their own worst enemy. Picture this:

  • Your employee is smoking on the client property
  • The technician parked on the customer’s grass
  • Worker comments are totally inappropriate or worse
  • A tech clearly damaged a clients home (and hid it)
  • Their project is dragging because you are short-handed
  • The customer caught your guys drinking their beer from the fridge!
  • Employees horse-playing or disparaging the property or client
  • Yes, everyone of these has happened – many times
YOUR EGO

When the customer has little integrity and wants to profit at your expense, there’s very little you can do about that. OK you could choose to walk away on your own. Advise them it’s not going to be a good fit and leave before you’ve invested too much time and effort. Sadly, most ego-driven business owners just can’t bring themselves to “walking away!”   They have too big of an ego. They hate to lose, so they stay and try to “fix the client.”

BAD NEWS

Trying to “fix it”  with your customer who is determined to put the screws to you, is like a woman thinking they can actually change their man! We all know how that’s going to go.  You can’t create integrity in your client if they don’t have it, so your challenge is to watch for the warning signs and make the rational decision to walk away from a project before it bites you.

GOOD NEWS                                                                          

The eight bullet points above are examples of things you CAN change. These are internal to your company. Sure, it may require intensive training, even firing an employee or two, but all those items above can be corrected or prevented with the right coaching and guidance.  Often, it’s simply a case of having a good worker who just hasn’t been properly trained on customer etiquette.

 

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

 

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright © 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

Using Whiteboards In Your Office Is Huge

3 minute read

Written and posted (visual) goals on an office whiteboard help make the whole company aware of where you are headed and what you want to achieve.

It’s been my experience, having been in hundreds of “back offices,” that companies posting their daily, weekly, and monthly goals on a bulletin board (or large calendar) dramatically improves the likelihood those goals or targets will be achieved. It’s like the old saying… “if it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist.”  When goals, targets, plans are made “public” within an office, everyone becomes aware of the key focus, and when the office is aware, it’s much more difficult to ignore the target – and even worse when you fail!

In the back offices of many of my clients, they use a large whiteboard calendar so they can write in the dates and the dollar targets for the week or month. Using a large enough whiteboard can allow for more than one salesman to write their sales for the day and week. This makes it public within the office and keeps everyone aware that sales numbers are critical.

I especially like a separate calendar showing 90 days (or more), where planned events are posted for top of mind awareness. Here are some important reasons to take advantage of an office whiteboard:

  • Public written goals create clarity
  • Public written goals hold people accountable
  • Visual goals continually remind you
  • There is less resistance from all involved
  • See and celebrate the successes
  • See monthly progress – by the day or week

If your sales and marketing department has a target goal of $100,000 for the month and on day 15, you are only 25% of the way, it tells everyone that extra work effort may be required. It simply shines the light on the fact that the goal is in jeopardy of being missed!

In addition to the advantages of whiteboards and wall calendars for sales goals and upcoming events, there are several other great benefits to using whiteboards (dry erase boards) around the office and even the shop. Here are several more:

  • Visible to the whole company
  • Great for quick brainstorming
  • Much-Improved staff communications
  • More efficient meetings
  • Visual tasks are easy to see

Because we are all busy, and most don’t take detailed motes of meeting and conversations, the whiteboard serves as an excellent visual for highlighting important info. And, when the info isn’t needed anymore, simply wipe it clean.

I am willing to bet big dollars, that if you start using bulletin boards, whiteboards, dry erase boards, or large pre-made calendars in your office and shop, you’ll find a significant improvement is staff communication, as well as a higher success rate achieving sales numbers!

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

Copyright © 2020     AskDickWagner, LLC   All Rights Reserved

 

Social Media Sucks

4 minute read

Only twenty years ago we used to say that about the Yellow Pages! In our case, the business was in a small (20,000 pop) mid-western community with the bigger cities 45 minutes east and west of us. We had to buy YP ads in 7 different phone books to get the exposure to all the markets we wanted. That YP invoice was  a lot of dollars – it sucked.

Even more aggravating… when we asked the callers how they heard about us, they would say “the radio,” or sometimes “the TV.” They also would claim they learned about us from the newspaper or Penny Saver booklet.  Very annoying, and wrong. We only put ads in the yellow pages!

THE INTERNET

We certainly don’t have phone books (or yellow pages) anymore, but we do have to be savvy and thoughtful about how we promote our services on Social Media. It continues to change almost daily, but right now we are expected to be present and active on:

 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp
  • You Tube
  • Vimeo
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Google My Business
  • Yellow Pages – internet based
  • Manta
  • Medium
  • Trip Advisor (food & travel)

 

New in 2020:

 

NIGHTMARE

Today there are dozens of Social Media “platforms” that we need to seriously consider. If you are in the disaster restoration or roofing business (or other home services industry), it’s almost imperative that you consider actively participating on several of the above listed platforms. According to Pew Research, 69% of American adults use Facebook.  On Twitter, there are 36 million daily U.S. users that are monetized!

So, when I say, “social media sucks,” it’s purely from a cost and time perspective. To adequately have the visibility, exposure, and engagement you need for your business, it takes hundreds (thousands) of dollars and for larger restoration companies, it almost requires a fulltime dedicated social media expert on staff. (Yes, you can contract with a so-called “guru” company – but rarely do those people have a clue about your business or your industry!)

IT GETS WORSE (SORT OF)

Since Google, and other search platforms have refined their search engines, being on the first page (or even the second or third page) takes a LOT of SEO skill. I’m certainly not suggesting you spend a lot of money hiring an SEO company because most of them charge hundreds (and most of them thousands) monthly to get you on the top of the first search page.

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get good organic exposure (free) for your website is to publish a Blog article (in a blog section of your website) about relevant topics that your customers and prospects are interested in.

BLOGS ARE VITAL

Blog articles drive traffic to your website. More than any other thing you can do for your website, blogging will dramatically improve your SEO and SERP. Further, it also goes the extra step of positioning your brand – and you – as an expert and thought leader. Even better, it can significantly improve customer relationships.

A quality blog post can attract new clients and create a feeling of trust amongst your prospects. Using the right format, with the right blog title, blog articles (even those of only 400 -500 words) enables Google, Bing, Edge, Yahoo, AOL, Ask.com, Excite, DuckDuckGo, and Lycos to find and offer your website to the public.

So, we all agree, Social Media Sucks, but has become a necessary evil for our business, just like the Yellow Pages did 20 years ago!

Want to talk about it?    Call me now:   Dick Wagner   419-202-6745

Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker

Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program

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