Friday, March 29, 2013

Soliciting business from friends

Social networking is the rage right now. Be careful not to get caught up in the idea that it can replace your advertising program. No matter how large your circle of friends, go against the trend and don't openly try to interest them in doing business with you. If they do it on their own that's wonderful, but otherwise you'll only give them a reason to avoid you.

Establish a regular mailing program. Don't include extra zip codes when sending out brochures to increase the radius of a campaign. For example, it's better to target the same 5,000 households in select zip codes on a regular monthly schedule than to blow an entire budget on a one-time mailing to 60,000 households in a much larger area.

Assume no more than a 1/2 % response on a mailing. It will probably be less than that the first time. After you're profitable in your primary target area, expansion is fine. Sadly, you can spend 100% of your ad budget and have no idea how effective it is. It's important that advertising efforts be measured. Always have an expiration date on special offers and coupons.

Be sure to ask when a prospect calls for a quote, "How did you choose to call us for service?" Most important, keep a record of their response.

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