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Friday, September 19, 2008

Sharing power

You need to throw some of the conventional concepts about selling in the trash can when you want to be truly effective at construction industry marketing. Eighties-style 'closing techniques' still taught by some marketing gurus can work in some situations, and hard-rock personal soliciting and marketing techniques may bring in clients, but at what cost?

Last night, at 8:30 p.m. two events occurred showing the truly different ways of doing things.

Someone called on my cellular phone to offer service with a competing cellular service provider. Rarely, do I blow my stack -- but this call is way out of hours (unless there is a dire emergency, employees and others will never receive a phone call from me after hours), but worse, the telemarketer expected me to pay toll charges for her soliciting call.

Then, a few minutes later, someone else from the same organization called. "We're not selling anything," he said. "We're offering you a free cellular phone."

Sure, and elephants live in Antarctica, and you can meet SpongeBob on the moon. At 9 p.m.
Contrast this note from Chase, attending an evening Barrie Construction Association meeting. (Sure, the meeting is in the evening but everyone attending is there voluntarily!) After the meeting, he emailed our editor:

Not sure if you have started working on the Gilda’s Club news story for October, but the timing could not be better to do it. This evening at the Greater Barrie Home Builders Meeting the GBHBA and BCA presented Gilda’s with a cheque for $300,000. The two associations got together and built a home in 55 hours and just sold it this week with the proceeds going to Gilda’s House which will provide a place for cancer patients and families.

This company's employees are empowered to give publicity and advertising to relevant associations and non-profit initiatives. There's no catch, nothing expected in return, no "free phone" in exchange for thousands of dollars in lock-in service fees. The only, but important, guideline, is this generosity should be visible within the community of potential advertisers.

You'll see this blog takes things to a higher level. Originally intended (and still part of) the Thank You package for existing clients, its reach extends far beyond the this business's current service areas in eastern Canada and North Carolina. Readers who ask questions or seek guidance, no matter where they are, will receive respect and recognition and our support of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) transcends any chapter or geographical boundaries.

Why? Because real generosity and community service really works; not plastic stuff, not disrespectful intrusions with irritating free offers, intended to win business sales. Your brand shifts, your reputation evolves, people feel comfortable doing business with you, and when the time is right, you find amazing business results.

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