Make It Easy for People to Hire You
Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Pattie Baker
I have three days to get my car cleaned because my husband will be using it and he’s from the always-spotless school of car cleanliness. I’m from the community-gardener-fish-fertilizer-and-compost-everywhere school of cleanliness. There was even a short time period when I had crimson clover seeds sprouting in my carpeting.
So, imagine my joy when I pulled into my driveway today and saw a guy who was not my neighbor washing my neighbor’s car. I dropped the basket of tomatoes right there by the door and ran across the lawn, glancing at the truck by the curb on the way, seeing that it said something about mobile detailing but not seeing any clear mention of a company name.
“Hi,” I said, feeling like I was within striking distance of a clean car. “I have a very dirty car that could use someone to clean it. Are you available soon?”
The guy smiled nicely and said, “I’m going to be working on this one for another three or four hours. This family just got back from Florida.”
I could imagine how much sand was in that car but knew that I could probably top that. Have I mentioned the kale seed pods or the wheat straw or the muddy work gloves? But three to four hours! I had some other things to do later and couldn’t make this work today.
“Well, I may not be here then but I’m interested in your services,” I said. “Do you have a card?”
And here are the facts as to what happened next.
“I just gave my last one out,” he said, shaking his head no.
“Okay, how about a website? Do you have a website?”
Another head shake no.
“But, um, if you search mobile detailing on Google and then you put in these numbers, I come up third,” he offered, expecting me somehow to memorize a string of numbers right then and there.
Oh, dear. I was losing confidence, and fast.
“How about Kudzu? Are you on Kudzu?” I asked, feeling hopeful, and actually now wanting to check reviews before hiring him.
You guessed it. Head shake number 3.
“Oh, okay, thanks,” I said, sort of slinking away back to my dirty car.
Well, I know it’s pretty darn obvious what the marketing lessons here are:
- Make it easy for prospects to reach you
- Invest in a professional website
- Carry enough business cards on you at all times
- Think fast on your feet—this man could have taken down my number and blown my socks off with excellent follow-up on my query. He could have left a note in my mailbox with a special offer. He could have suggested he’d come back at 8 AM tomorrow or made a firm appointment with me for later in the afternoon. Instead he let me walk away, and I was an interested prospect who was geographically desirable (I was right there in front of him—no travel required) and who needed his services.
- Don’t ever, ever, ever let a hot prospect walk away.
Maybe he didn’t need my business. Maybe he’s not really a pro. Maybe his service wouldn’t have been good anyway. Hmmm—are these the kinds of questions you want people asking about your business? How easy do you make it for prospects to schedule time for your services or find out more about your business?
I kind of feel like a company with a website like this would have figured out a way to help me out.