I”ve learned some painful and powerful lessons in more than 20 years in business. One: It is really hard to change. Two: If we can revise our perspectives, we discover new opportunities.
Certainly, after we changed our business approach in 2006 from “What do we need to sell our services?” to “How do we ensure that every client receives absolute value from our services?” we’ve been far more profitable and been able to survive some rather challenging economic and technological changes.
Yet our product is essentially the same as it has been in 2006 (adapted somewhat for new technologies) and our revenue sources are rather consistent. In other words, the service and business haven’t changed much.
As well, and this is somewhat ironic, most clients simply do not take advantage of the supplementary services we offer to ensure value for money.
Example: I wrote Construction Marketing Ideas: Practical strategies and resources to attract and retain clients for your architectural, engineering or construction business initially to offer as a thank-you gift to our advertisers. All advertisers need to do to receive a free copy is to request it (and we remind them about the offer a few times a year.) We send out maybe five or six copies a year — among hundreds of advertisers. (I’ll repeat the offer today to close to 100 advertisers in our current issues, also offering the new Social media and marketing for architectural, engineering and construction companies: What you really need to know to achieve profitable results.
Second example: Recently I offered some free marketing consultation and support to advertisers, making it clear that this would absolutely NOT involve any efforts or suggestions to purchase additional advertising. Two out of 100 clients responded. Both are successful marketers in their own right and are among the examples I provide of successful and effective marketing practices.
In fact, when I give presentations and meet with contractors, I discover that only 10 to 20 per cent have cohesive sales and marketing systems; most simply “rely” on word-of-mouth or public bidding opportunities, and (worse) most waste whatever marketing money they have on junk.
I won’t be able to change these business owners’ perspectives, so won’t force the issue. However, what if they could capture the essence of successful marketing? That they don’t need to spend a lot of money (in fact, they may be able to reduce their costs) while they can achieve much better results with a new attitude.
The fact is it is hard for anyone to change, and it is virtually impossible for anyone to change someone else. We can do better, if we choose to do so.