Speaker Gives Advice for Using Marketing to Achieve Financial Goals
Chicago While all kitchen and bath dealers are special and different, it is up to them to realize and market what it is that sets them apart from the competition. So says Fred Berns, who spoke about "Million Dollar Marketing on a Shoestring Budget," at last month's K/BIS here.
Capitalizing on free publicity and getting "the most bang for your marketing buck" are key components to Berns' marketing philosophy. He notes that the most effective way for dealers to publicize themselves is to use their photograph on everything that is sent out by the company especially business cards. That's because visibility leads to credibility, Berns believes.
Kitchen and bath firms can also increase visibility by writing news releases or articles in local publications announcing such milestones as business anniversaries, signed contracts or conventions attended.
Berns adds that it's important to highlight specific achievements or accomplishments. These might include areas of personal specialty, awards won and the staff's educational background and/or professional certifications.
While some dealers may not be comfortable as writers, Berns acknowledges, dealers need to realize that they are experts in their field, and they can use this expertise to create articles about such relevant topics as preparing a home, making the most of unlimited space or ventilation options. Published articles enhance a business' credibility and reputation.
Berns recommends using not only personal marketing techniques but also good business techniques, such as always "underpromising and overdelivering."
He suggests sending "thank you" notes to clients, and using postcards or handwritten memos to personalize contact with clients.
There are also numerous options to maximize small amounts of time, Berns notes. Some potential free publicity moves which can be done in five minutes or less include:
- Jotting down and reviewing key achievements.
- Creating a five-question survey.
- Changing outgoing voice mail messages periodically.
- Contacting a former client.
- Meeting people at a convention or home show.
- Handing out business cards.
- Pitching a story idea to a reporter.
- Adding a postscript to personalize a direct mail piece.
Berns also notes that to market themselves successfully, dealers need to be different. It is this difference that separates the winners, (those who reach their financial goals) from the losers (those who fail to reach their goals).
Winners are generally more focused and know their market niche, according to Berns. They also understand that customers are not looking for the lowest price but rather are seeking the best solution for their kitchen and bath problems.
Berns also believes that in order to best meet client's needs, winners need to know and use four magical words: "I need your help." These words can make the difference between whether or not a dealer reaches his or her financial goals, Berns believes.
In addition, Berns suggests other simple ways to be successful at marketing, which range from calling early and being persistent to setting one's alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to get a jump on the day.
These elements can make dealers stand out from the crowd and help them to meet and exceed their goals, Berns concludes.