4 minute read
I’ve met with, interviewed, and coached literally hundreds of restoration contractors over the past 15 years I’ve been a coach and consultant. It doesn’t take long after meeting them and that includes marketers as well before I instinctively know they are arrogant, cocky, self-righteous, and often have these absurd fantasies of greatness. I just met with one of them last week!
There’s just one problem (actually many) but the one big one is they are destructive to themselves and their business. This ridiculous illusion that they are “someone special” is self-defeating and truly destructive to their life and usually obvious in their business.
I can often see it by looking at their company literature. So many times, it’s a gorgeous glossy four-color brochure proclaiming all the wonderful features of the company, the staff, and even their equipment. Sadly, for them, the client or prospect DOES NOT CARE! This is all about “Fantasies of Greatness” on the part of the owner. A pure ego trip.
When I ask one of my trademark questions… “what makes you and your company Different?” I often get answers like “we have the latest and greatest Whatchamacallit machine” or “we care more about our customers” or “we have the most employees.”
It’s just astonishing to me how so many contractors fail to realize that it’s not about them! The insurance agent doesn’t care that you have the biggest, fastest, hottest, super-sucker machine. Nor do they care that your staff is IICRC certified, and they definitely don’t care about your fancy four-color glossy brochures. Reality check: nobody cares – except maybe you and possibly your ego. Yes, sometimes you need great brochures for end-user consumers, but for the right reason.
THEM – NOT YOU
Since I’ve spent a fair amount of the page reminding you that it’s not about you, then what should you do? First and foremost, you must learn and understand your prospects’ industry and business. If you are trying to engage an insurance agent, then you need to know their business challenges. You also need to know how the insurance world operates. What are the issues, struggles, and pains they deal with every day?
Part of this research and intel is to help you as a marketer bring true DIFFERENTIATION to your client. Another critical part of your marketing strategy is to create and build an incredible personal brand. In addition, your personal brand starts with developing a thought-leader approach by becoming a trusted expert in your field. (I don’t mean you know about grains of depression, or thermal hygrometers). I am talking about being an expert in your client’s industry!
RESEARCH AND INTEL
If your client is a plumber, they have unique pains in their business. If you are calling on property managers of hotels, then you should know as much as you can about the hospitality industry and especially the challenges that that manager faces every day.
Wondering where to start? The fact is the internet has millions of pieces of useful information about almost everything. Including things, you don’t want to know about! If you Google “hospitality industry” you will get over 11 million hits (in less than one second) – from White Papers to Blogs, to photos, to videos, History, Statistics, and more. These clients deserve to do business with a company and salesperson who knows and understands their client’s business issues. Beware: failure to do this almost guarantees another company IS going to take the time to become familiar with their prospect’s business and steal the prospect or client away from you.
Some companies like to “fly under the radar” as they are growing, and others like to make a huge splash and shout their services from the rooftops. Either way is quite acceptable, depending on your business strategy and plan. Most important though, is to make sure you don’t get “Fantasies of Greatness” and be lulled into a false sense of security (or arrogance) thinking your company is miles ahead of the competition.
I simply hate it when I see an otherwise viable company crash and burn simply because they had absurd and false fantasies of greatness. It’s truly heartbreaking!
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
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