Myths & Misconceptions

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by Tom Watson on April 27, 2011

Today I’m going to talk about marketing, as this is such an important topic, one that is key to your success.

In particular I’ll speak to the myths & misconceptions people have about marketing.

This means I’ll cover four myths you constantly hear in the marketing world, and I’ll apply them to the cleaning industry in general.

These topics I’ll speak about are repeated as if they are true by so many people. This is quite sad, as this advice only leads people down a road to poor results and inevitable failure.

So without further ado, lets shine some light on these shadowy figments of peoples imagination.

Myth # 1 – Cheapest price always wins.

I call this one the grand-daddy of all myths, as I hear it virtually everyday. Some people live and die by this saying, which is sad, because it’s completely and utterly incorrect.

While lowest price does sway a certain percentage of the population, it doesn’t sway them all, not by a long shot. Now why is that? The reason is threefold.

First off is perception. This means what sounds like a deal to one person will seem incredibly expensive to another. I mean that just makes sense doesn’t it? I think so.

Next up is the fact that every company has a different amount of income to spend each month on their cleaning service. This means there is no “one size fits all” approach to this issue.

Thirdly “value” comes into play in purchasing decisions. Basically it boils down to how much people “value” a certain commodity.

For instance, some people place a high value on the clothes they wear. This means one person will buy a $20.00 pair of jeans while someone else may think nothing of spending $150.00 for those same jeans.

At the end of the day both people are buying “denim”. What is different, is the value they place on that denim. Each and every person walking this planet today has a different idea of what “things are worth”, so the myth of cheapest price simply doesn’t hold any water.

What does this mean for you? Stop worrying about what you “think” is expensive. Let the customer decide for themselves. In my business I constantly get hired despite the fact that I cost more than the next guy in many cases. You can too.

Myth # 2 – You need to offer a bunch of choices.

This myth boils down to the belief that the more choices you give the potential customer the more sales you will create for your company. This is not true despite the fact that many people follow this course.

What you may be surprised to learn is that when faced with more than just a few simple choices, consumers have difficulty making any decision at all. This in turn makes people procrastinate, which stops the sales process dead in it’s tracks. When this happens you go home empty handed.

Do you see how backwards this myth is? You would think that having more choices is better, but it’s actually worse. This is how these myths continue to stick around. They take information that makes sense on the surface and build a story around it. The only problem is they have no factual basis to support the information.

What does this mean for you? When trying to get a new customer to sign on the dotted line, offer no more than three choices. Perhaps you could offer your service options just like the gas stations sell gasoline, Regular, Plus and Premium.

Myth # 3 – Market a little and stand by the phone.

This myth is based on the belief that all you need to do to get rich in the cleaning business is to hand out a few business cards, mail out a few sales letters then wait for the phone to start ringing.

It doesn’t work that way, it never worked that way in the past, and never will work that way in the future. You need a “constant effort”. You can never stop spreading the word you own a cleaning business and are actively looking for customers.

What does this mean for you? Keep spreading the word in every way possible. In other words, keep your foot on the gas! This means keeping your business card handy and giving it out whenever possible. Go to as many networking events as possible and meet everyone you can.

You also need to advertise on craigslist, go to real estate offices, stop by construction sites and do whatever you can to get the word out you own a cleaning business. This is not hard work, just “consistent” work.

Myth # 4 – Change for the sake of change.

This myth means you should change your advertising copy regularly just “because that’s how it’s done”. After all, people will get tired of the “same advertising message” the thinking goes. Again this sounds logical, but it’s simply a bad idea.

To put this line of thinking in context, consider this: If something is working, why in the world would you change it? Like I said, this doesn’t make any sense.

What does this mean for you? Don’t worry about changing what you know works. Sticking with a message that resonates with your audience is a solid plan that doesn’t go out of style.

Besides, once someone becomes a customer they will not see the message that got them hooked on you in the first place ever again as you will be advertising something else to them.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tweak your advertising message to see if a slighter different version could do better. Testing one headline against another is always a good practice to follow and it will yield the best results over time.

Additionally you don’t want to just have “one message” for all. You should have a collection of headlines and ad copy that appeals to different sub-sets of your market.

For instance you would market differently to a hair salon than you would a trucking company. The salon’s motivation for hiring a cleaning company would be much different than a trucking companies concerns and vice-versa.

Well that wraps up today’s post about some of the myths of the marketing world. As you can see, you can’t believe everything that you hear or read. This means you always need to proceed with caution when applying “conventional wisdom” to your cleaning business.

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