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Transcript
Comanche Marketing
Matt Michel
Service Roundtable
817.329.8844
[email protected]
Comanche Prologue
They arose from the northern plains and migrated south. They were masters of the horse, the
finest horsemen that ever existed, before or since. And they were masters of war.
As they swept from the north, none could stand before them. They drove the Apache out of
Texas. They beat back the Spanish. The carved a territory across the Great Plains down into
Northern Mexico, where they established themselves as undisputed rulers. The Utes called them
the “ones who fights me all the time.” The Utes called them, Comanches.
Feared and respected, the fierce Comanche warriors were the terror of the American settler.
Their light cavalry tactics were used by both sides during the Civil War and are still studied in the
military academies today. They were never captured or defeated in battle. A frustrated American
military was unable to conquer them. The Comanches were the last Indians to come to the
reservation, choosing to come only when disease and the slaughter of the buffalo left them few
options.
History records Comanche brutality more than Comanche brilliance, yet in the Comanches’
tactical brilliance, many lessons can be found for today’s service contractors. The parallels
between the Comanches’ dilemma and the contractors’ dilemma are many. In an age where
huge consolidators, emerging franchisors, exclusive contractor groups, threatening retail giants,
and growing utility competition is sweeping though industry after industry, service contractors can
find much in common with the embattled Comanche warriors.
To survive, contractors must learn how to market in the tradition of the Comanche. They must
learn to aggressively defend and protect their territory. They must learn to use innovative tactics
and techniques that keep them one-step ahead of larger, overpowering competitors. They must
learn to conserve resources, making every marketing dollar count in the face of huge competition
with deeper pockets. They must learn to value speed, mobility, and flexibility in their marketing,
making lightening quick strikes other cannot match. They must learn to study their territory so
they can direct their marketing efforts where the returns are best. They must learn to adapt to
changing circumstances to find business in new and unexpected places. They must learn to
market hard and market consistently.
Comanche Marketing is applying the tactics and techniques needed to market as well as the
Comanche fought. The Comanche Marketer is “one who markets all the time.”
1.
Comanches know how to price for profits.
2.
Comanche offer customers turnkey pricing.
3.
Comanches give customers reference prices.
4.
Comanches use service agreements as a form of
relationship marketing.
5.
Comanches add value to service agreements by
including extras other contractors don’t.
6.
Comanches bundle service agreements into large
sales to encourage more customers to enroll in
their service agreement programs.
7.
Comanches inconvenience themselves to
accommodate customers, rather than the reverse.
8.
Comanches offer choices.
9.
Comanches offer customer options they cannot
get elsewhere.
10.
Comanches do not sell customers, so much as
they educate them.
11.
Comanches use props to help customers visualize what they are talking about.
12.
Comanches offer longer guarantees than the competition.
13.
Comanches offer unconditional, money back guarantees on equipment where possible.
14.
Comanches offer unusual guarantees to reassure customers.
15.
Comanches aren’t afraid to offer response guarantees, such as a free diagnostic or
percent discount if the response is outside of the commitment made by the dispatcher.
16.
Comanches offer guarantees that a lengthy repair won’t unduly inconvenience the
homeowner.
17.
Comanches provide documentation to reassure customers whenever possible.
18.
Comanches know that customers want companies that will be around for years to come so
they show customers how the industry has turned over.
19.
Comanches buy old phone numbers to capture calls from
companies in their trade that went out of business.
20.
Comanches are sure to grab their phone numbers
whenever an area code splits.
21.
Comanches provide technicians with patches to indicate
technical proficiency.
22.
Comanches arm their technicians with the latest technical tools and gadgets.
23.
Comanches know that consumers worry about drugs, and with good reason.
24.
Comanches stand out through the way they dress.
25.
Comanches know that women stand out in the male dominated service trades.
26.
Comanches make small gestures to ensure the customer knows he’s appreciated.
27.
Comanches take extra steps to protect the customer’s home.
28.
Comanches go the extra step to demonstrate how conscientious and thorough they are.
29.
Comanches prepare ownership handbooks for their major equipment.
30.
Comanches reward customers for their loyalty.
31.
Comanches encourage their customers to generate referrals.
32.
Comanches give small gifts to customers who make large purchases from them.
33.
Comanches create dramatic ways to get customers to
remember them and to demonstrate the value of the
services they provide.
34.
Comanches have a “boy scout” policy to create an attitude
of service among their front line personnel.
35.
Comanches show customers the problems they uncover during their diagnostic and
troubleshooting procedures.
36.
Comanches make sure their customers can easily find their phone number by leaving
stickers everywhere following a service call.
37.
Comanches incorporate offers into their stickers.
38.
Comanches use stickers to private label.
39.
Comanches make stickers more valuable by turning them into ready references.
40.
Comanches use magnets in a similar manner to stickers.
41.
Comanches know that parents’ actions are influenced by their kids.
42.
Comanches help the schools and their businesses by giving them company tee-shirts,
which can be offered to students who spill something on their clothes.
43.
Comanches also produce their own coloring books, featuring line drawings of their
technicians in action, their trucks, and so on.
44.
Comanches know that kids’ art attracts people.
45.
Comanches make sure their phones are answered by human beings and not machines.
46.
Comanches give customers something to listen to when they must be placed on hold.
47.
Comanches further stand out by using classical music for customers on hold.
48.
Comanches turn their business cards into marketing tools.
49.
Comanches make their business cards distinctive by die stamping them.
50.
Comanches make the back of their business cards promotional tools.
51.
Comanches make sure that everyone in their company has business cards to pass out.
52.
Comanches hand out their business cards with
a special note when they receive outstanding
service.
53.
Comanches enclose business cards with every
bill they pay.
54.
Comanches are ruthless in asking for the
business of the companies they patronize.
55.
Comanches make coupons out of everything.
56.
Comanches send out greeting cards to their
customers several times during the year.
57.
Comanches send birthday cards to the major
equipment they sold.
58.
Comanches are also devout believers in
newsletters.
59.
Comanches keep up to date databases on their
customers to use in relationship marketing.
60.
Comanches leverage their customer list by
seeking to cross market with other businesses.
61.
Comanches look for places to provide coupons
and special offers for little or no cost.
62.
Comanches find every public bulletin board
where they can provide a discount coupon.
63.
Comanches turn fax cover pages and every other piece of correspondence into minimarketing brochures.
64.
Comanches find community organizations to patronize that are overlooked by other
contractors.
65.
Comanches give gift certificates to people they know, rather than coupons.
66.
Comanches give realtors gift certificates that they can offer to new homeowners.
67.
Comanches spiff realtors for the referral business they provide.
68.
Comanches offer their customers a complete and formal service history report when they
are selling their homes.
69.
Comanches give U.S. Savings Bonds rather than cash discounts or rebates.
70.
Comanches form trade guilds with the best area contractors in non-competitive trades.
71.
Comanches work their suppliers for co-op funds.
72.
Comanches are innovative in the way they solicit co-op money.
73.
Comanches are joiners.
74.
Comanches practice affinity marketing with charitable organizations.
75.
Comanches understand that by helping others they help their business.
76.
Comanches find ways to make charitable donations that allow them the ability to
demonstrate the value of their products.
77.
Comanches become the focus of charitable activity at local events by offering their trucks
to serve as a collection point for fund raising activities.
78.
Comanches support the scouts, sports teams, and church groups by creating fund raisers
for them.
79.
Comanches seek to offer employee benefits to the largest area employers.
80.
Comanches know that people like to feel special and offer special discounts targeted to
just about any group they can identify, just like hotels.
81.
Comanches know that customers judge what kind of service they will receive based on the
tangible clues that the Comanches reveal, so they carefully design collateral material.
82.
Comanches are careful in how they apply their logo to their trucks. Comanches recognize
the trucks are mobile billboards.
83.
Comanches know that more people are driving with mobile phones and market to them
through the back of their trucks.
84.
Comanches also know that people in two story houses and buildings look out windows
and view the top of trucks, a perfect advertising opportunity.
85.
Comanches make their trucks stand out by wiring the headlights to come on whenever the
ignition is running.
86.
Comanches use fully reflective decals on their
trucks to draw attention at night.
87.
Comanches make it easy for customers to
remember their phone number.
88.
Comanches make it fun for customers with unusual
contests, related to their business.
89.
Comanches run contests to identify the oldest equipment in their area to generate leads.
90.
Comanches make everyone a winner in their promotional contests.
91.
Comanches create drama about their calls.
92.
Comanches give customers ways to save money by adjusting their schedules.
93.
Comanches generate work during the down times by noting future repair needs during
busy times.
94.
Comanches know what customers value, because they ask.
95.
Comanches do not take customer satisfaction to chance.
96.
Comanches find out why sales are lost.
97.
Comanches are demanding of their salespeople and also of the salespeople who call on
them.
98.
Comanches seek partnerships with their vendors.
99.
Comanches are masters at generating free publicity.
100.
Comanches establish themselves as experts by writing articles.
101.
Comanches create opportunities to enhance their positions as knowledgeable experts by
teaching community seminars through the local parks and recreation depart on subjects
related to their business.
In Praise Of Comanche Marketing…
The Comanche marketing tactics program has been an integral part of our HVAC Comfortech
program for three years. All the speakers receive rankings from the seminar attendees.
Comanche marketing always ranks number one or number two in the standings. It's a superb
combination of practical, hard-hitting advice that business owners can implement today.
Mike Murphy
Editor-In-Chief
Contracting Business Magazine
____________________
A welcome tool for me.
Kathy Love
PDL Listowner
Presdient, Gene Love Plumbing Service, Inc.
West Columbia, SC
____________________
Rich in value and application… insight into often overlooked aspects of marketing via,
among other elements, enhanced customer service.
Reuben Gordon
Manager, Marketing and Public Relations
Molly Maid, Inc.
____________________
Some of the most thought-provoking, intelligent and helpful pieces that I've ever come
across in running our family's business. They are insightful and often deal with topics or
issues that we're facing at that time in our business.
Michael A. Bohinc
Chief Financial Officer
Norhio Plumbing, Inc.
Aurora, OH
____________________
As a marketing consultant and a college professor in marketing management, I can
safely say that Matt Michel's advice is priceless, practical and proven -- no rehashed,
recycled stuff that only 'looks' good (like most of the stuff we get these days)…
[Comanche Marketing is] a 'must-read' to my own clients and students.
Michel Fortin, Ph.D.
Success Doctor
Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)
____________________
I can't believe how many brilliant, but practical ideas come out of Comanche
Marketing. I subscribe to about a dozen newsletters and online e-zines devoted to
marketing tips and ideas, but this is the best."
Jim Olsztynski
Editor-Publisher
PHC Profit Report
____________________
The ideas, tactics and concept of "marketing all the time" presented by Matt Michel of
Comanche Marketing fame provoke the thought process you need to stay ahead of the
pack.
Frank Campisi
Bruni and Campisi Plumbing & Heating Inc.
White Plains, New York
____________________
Great source of ideas, information, and motivation.
Steve Nadler
Consumer Service Manager
Price Pfister, Inc.
____________________
A powerful tool to reinforce my expectations of our employees… During a staff meeting I
can speak until I'm blue in the face regarding the customer service skills I expect from our
employees, but now I can show them in writing how to handle complaints, service
commitments, personalization of service, answering the phones, and problem solving.
Dale T. Brose
Building Department
City of Moreno Valley, CA
____________________
Matt Michel's Comanche Marketing tips are some of the best, and are most
understandable. The language is plain. No statistical nor demographic "jargon" is used. It
is hard to believe in reading that people do not know these facts and techniques. But in
everyday practice successful marketing techniques are not put to use in our industry. I
have recommended Matt's tips to many people and would not hesitate to recommend
them to anybody in business.
Rod Stine
Heatorac
Silver Spring, MD
____________________
Wonderful. Full of fresh ideas.
Mark Eatherton
Advanced Hydronics
Denver, Colorado
____________________
The ideas generated, either direct or indirect, better serve our industry... It amazes me
some of the things that you present. They vary in content and direction. That is an
excellent tool.
Tom Steiger
area51hvac.com, Inc.
____________________
A wonderful way to supplement your business marketing ideas. We are very fortunate to
have Matt and his expertise as a resource.
Gene Burch
Gene Burch Plumbing & Heating
Novato, CA
____________________
Content [that is] so appropriate for a particular approach I am looking for.
Mary Crane
Crane & Son Plumbing & Heating
Santa Rosa California
____________________
Information and advice I can use; practical and to the point.
Hamilton Wallace
Wallace Resources
Scottsdale, AZ
____________________
Coming from a high-energy person, anxious to share knowledge and experience with
others, toward the improved skills of all.
Alan Jones
Triatek, Inc.
Norcross, GA
Would You Like To Know More About Comanche
Marketing?
Free Subscriptions To Comanche Marketing
Subscribe to the Comanche Marketing. This is a free e-mailed marketing tip two to three times
per week. You can subscribe by signing up on-line at http://www.serviceroundtable.com/cm.