Mar 24, 2009

Selling Word of Mouth

There are many selling strategies; I focus on selling Word of Mouth. Each job you do is the best opportunity to sell ‘Word of Mouth” and any subtle freebie or valued discount you include with your job by going the extra mile for the customer could very well be your best advertising dollars spent.
Pay attention to what customers say and listen for subtle hints they drop.
For example: you may be on the job to paint two bedrooms and a living room and the homeowner drops the comment... “I would like to paint down the hallway leading to the bedrooms at a later date”. Here lies opportunity to sell Word of Mouth. You have two options: 1) acknowledge you would like to come back in the future to do it or 2) offer to do it now at a lower cost. You already figured in your head the hallway will only take a gallon of paint or maybe you already have enough paint and an extra hour of your time to complete along with the rest of the job.
By simply taking the hallway ‘off’ the customers future TO DO List — you just opened opportunity for discussion amongst their friends and neighbors. Generally what happens is friends come over and the new wall colors and decorating scheme is discussed and the homeowner is sure to mention what you did on the hallway for them along with the pleasant painting experience you provided.
Look for additional odd jobs you can do quickly while you are already on the job and offer them to the customer. Pay close attention to people who entertain often, these are the best people for new opportunities. I recall a time when I offered to refinish the wooden bar armrest in their basement and give it a nice high gloss glassy finish. This is something people will talk about for a long time to friends and neighbors.
Two new opportunities arise
Because you cleared the homeowners TO DO List, the next project will typically be another round of painting elsewhere on the home or you may find yourself next door at the neighbors. You may even get calls from their friends where you now have more opportunity to repeat selling Word of Mouth. I’m not saying to give anything away for free but make a small compromise and generally you will be rewarded with new opportunity in the near future.
I am always amazed at how fast and how much new opportunity that can come from a single source. As long as you leave a lasting impression with the customer and did more than they asked for, repeat business should come your way and soon after your customers are selling YOU! This is how I do it with great success not only for repeat business but new business too.
If you take care of them they will typically take care of you.

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