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Are you like your customer?

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Are you like your customer?

Post by milspec6 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:23 am

Just like we discovered that we often clean our own carpets as sporadically as our customers, I was wondering if you hire contractors in the same fashion as them....and are we marketing to match?

I tend to believe that we all like to work for people that we identify with and share similar values, views, and attitudes. Just as a blues player may not look for work in bars that play metal, I think we try to keep to our own groups.

The question I ask is "How do I hire contractors?" When I need a service (roofer, plumber, etc.) I don't Google search, look for websites, use yellow pages, nor do I check Angie's List. I always ask my friends and neighbors if they know a guy they would recommend.

Since we tend to work for like-minded people, it makes no sense to advertise in ways that will never be used by our target customer base. Instead, I will end up getting calls from people that maybe aren't as compatible to the way I choose to do things or value my methods.

My current customer base are middle-aged, like to chat it up, and tend to trust me to be fair with my pricing. Another customer base might be annoyed by my style and prefer that I give an itemized up-front pricing, clean and get out.

Targeting the wrong customer base isn't going to get a cleaner very far. Not only is he not going to enjoy his/her work, but they will be competing with cleaners that do match that customer base.....not a winning situation.

Sorry for the length of this post, but it comes down to posing a question to you all.....are you really choosing the right advertising vehicle for your desired customer base?
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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by Freemind1 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:44 am

My customer base are not like me, in the income respect. Nor are they like me in the value of the home I live in. Most are down to earth folks, but some are snobs. I pander to the very wealthy. The people I work for, are executives, business owners, and people from old money. The "elite" if you will.

When I hire someone, it's usually someone I KNOW. If not, it comes from a referral from a friend.

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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by Devon07 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:09 pm

I use from my customers base when I can....I just had a plumber out....he uses me frequently as he has rentals too. Small town advantage has the group you use and the one you dont! if some business people understood this here it would be a tougher market.

Im having a roofer out at my MOL and im having her use a good name ....price is good too but it wasnt about price as much as it was quality.

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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by milspec6 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:08 pm

@Freemind1 wrote:My customer base are not like me, in the income respect. Nor are they like me in the value of the home I live in. Most are down to earth folks, but some are snobs. I pander to the very wealthy. The people I work for, are executives, business owners, and people from old money. The "elite" if you will.

When I hire someone, it's usually someone I KNOW. If not, it comes from a referral from a friend.  

This is very interesting to me. You hire according to referral from a friend, yet your target market operates in a different fashion. Ever wonder why? Why does the "elite" shop differently than by referrals.....what are the basis for their selections?

Or do they come by you mainly via referrals? If this is the case, why advertise in the open market at all?
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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by milspec6 on Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:09 pm

@Devon07 wrote:I use from my customers base when I can....I just had a plumber out....he uses me frequently as he has rentals too. Small town advantage has the group you use and the one you dont! if some business people understood this here it would be a tougher market.

Im having a roofer out at my MOL and im having her use a good name ....price is good too but it wasnt about price as much as it was quality.  

Same way in my small market.
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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:05 pm

Ineresting?
Alot of them are.
easy going, like to chit chat, flexible, good looking, likes a good joke. and cant spell.

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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:17 am

@milspec6 wrote:
@Freemind1 wrote:My customer base are not like me, in the income respect. Nor are they like me in the value of the home I live in. Most are down to earth folks, but some are snobs. I pander to the very wealthy. The people I work for, are executives, business owners, and people from old money. The "elite" if you will.

When I hire someone, it's usually someone I KNOW. If not, it comes from a referral from a friend.  

This is very interesting to me.  You hire according to referral from a friend, yet your target market operates in a different fashion.  Ever wonder why?  Why does the "elite" shop differently than by referrals.....what are the basis for their selections?  

Or do they come by you mainly via referrals?  If this is the case, why advertise in the open market at all?

In my market, I am the ONLY local window guy. People here prefer local.

The wealthy DO use a lot of referral here. It takes quite a while to get your name around though. You will find lake associations and such that have news letters and boards. Especially on boards, they openly refer service providers. They will also openly skewer bad ones.

Wealthy clients are a TIGHT knit group. But they also enjoy having something their neighbors don't.

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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by milspec6 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:30 am

I guess that is the point I was trying to make Freemind, we spend a lot of time talking about how to market our business, yet tend to forget that those same methods don't influence us to hire xyz company....so are we focusing on the wrong thing?

We may tell the customer about how important protector can be, yet we don't use it in our homes. Or we tell them that they should clean their upholstery every 6 months yet never clean out own for years.

Shouldn't we be trying to sell the customer in the same fashion as you would sell it to yourself? This, of course, is based upon the theory that we end up with like-minded customers which was why I asked.

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Re: Are you like your customer?

Post by Freemind1 on Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:44 pm

@milspec6 wrote:I guess that is the point I was trying to make Freemind, we spend a lot of time talking about how to market our business, yet tend to forget that those same methods don't influence us to hire xyz company....so are we focusing on the wrong thing?

We may tell the customer about how important protector can be, yet we don't use it in our homes.  Or we tell them that they should clean their upholstery every 6 months yet never clean out own for years.

Shouldn't we be trying to sell the customer in the same fashion as you would sell it to yourself?  This, of course, is based upon the theory that we end up with like-minded customers which was why I asked.


Show me a mechanic that keeps their vehicles in the shape they want their customers to. Wink

That doesn't make them a bad mechanic or make them some kind of joke.

Just because we offer to do something for a customer that we believe will benefit them or that they ask for, that doesn't mean we are pulling something over on them.

A target audience is nothing more than the people you enjoy working for, offering them a service (or product) which makes their lives better. They offer you pay for your services, you offer a service they want.

Because of my price point, I won't be working for the average Joe.

I am easy to find (for my target audience) via Google. I am also listed on several of the sites that list contractors.

I always ask for referrals, but in my type of service, my clients enjoy having something others don't. If all their neighbors were using me too, they wouldn't be getting an "exotic" service, now would they?

Here, were I to push for a market share in carpets, I'd HAVE to do it at the low price point. Here, in my market, you can't charge large enough to make a business, without being the longest running company. I'd have to be 20-25 a room here, to get enough business.

I could clean TONS of glass here, if I wanted to. But I'd have to be the "cheap" guy, cleaning a whole house in and out, for $100.

If you know who your market share is, then you have already overcome 75% of the battle. The other 25% is getting your advertising/brand in front of them.

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