Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch is one of the most useful books I have ever read for small business owners. Though the name would make some in the HVAC industry believe that the topics covered in this book are about duct work, let me assure you that it is not. It is a step-by-step outline for a small business owner to build their company.
John Jantsch has 3 additional books that follow up this one. These books are The Referral Engine, The Commitment Engine, and the newly released Duct Tape Selling. I will review these books in the future.
Know, Like, Trust
Anyone who reads this book, will come out the other end knowing that identifying the people that already know, like and trust you, are the key to growing a profitable business. For the HVAC contractor, look no further than your existing customer base. The majority of these customers already know, like and trust you. You already know who they are. As is discussed in the book, figure out which of your customers keeps sending you referrals. Hopefully you have more than one. Once you have a list of customers that refer you, schedule an interview with them. Find out what it is about your company that they like so much, that they are willing to send you referrals.
What do they have in common?
With the list in hand of your best customers, try and figure out what they all have in common. Is there a common thread, or a few different common threads, that connects this group? This becomes your new target market. Focus your marketing efforts to attract more people like these people. Most HVAC contractors know that referrals are good, but they don’t understand why they are so great. The standard answer is that they are cheaper than advertising. I’ll argue this point later, but that isn’t the reason that I like referrals. The key to referrals, is that you are getting them from your best customers. In a general sense, your best customers like you, and you like your best customers. When someone sends you a referral, usually they are going to send you someone that is similar to them. Now, you have a prospective new customer that is like someone that you already know is one of your best customers.
Make yourself referable
Back to the claim that referrals are cheaper than advertising. The only way you get a referral, is if you do such a great job, that the customer wants to refer you. You have to earn referrals, and that isn’t cheap. You don’t earn referrals by doing the least amount of work. You earn referrals by doing such a great job that you create what author Ken Blanchard calls Raving Fans. Raving fans should be the goal of every sale. If you were to earn 2-3 referrals from every sale, you would be unstoppable in your area. You would be the dominant contractor in entire neighborhoods or even towns.
Build your reputation
Your website, advertising, blogs, public appearances, and community service should all be used to help show your customers that not only do you do a great job, but you are the expert in your area. How powerful would it be, if every time a news outlet wanted to cover a heating or air conditioning story, they called you for the interview. This happens every year during the first heat wave in the summer or cold snap in the winter. They will interview contractors on how to prepare for the summer air conditioning season, or how to save money on their heating bills. This is free advertising for your company.
The next step is to build your Referral Engine. I will cover that in the next book review. If you want to buy Duct Tape Marketing, just click on the picture of the book above.
What does this mean for ductless?
As you follow along with each of my posts, you will detect that there is a story to tell for high performance ductless companies. The common theme between companies is mindset and focus. Both are discussed in the book review of Weldon Long’s Power of Consistency. Duct Tape Marketing is the action plan for getting the word out to start marketing and selling ductless heat pumps. Read this book with a note book next to you. Every time there is a good idea write it down. After you are done, develop your process for generating referrals. Make it an action plan that you use every day. This is the only way to make it a habit. Habits are not work, they are automatic and as natural as breathing.
WHAT BUSINESS BOOK TO YOU APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF EVERY DAY? Please let us know in the comments section.