The MAGICAL Email, another great article from the NCCA…

The NCCA’s marketing blog seems to be on fire right now with tips and techniques, here’s another one I’m not going to repeat verbatim here, but feel it’s well worth popping over and taking a look…

The Magical Email

Read more at…  NCCA Marketing Blog: The MAGICAL Email

Of course there are tools in GetBookedUp that will make this process simple and systemised.

In the Professional+ Edition you could have this set up as an email template to send directly from the client record.

In addition, in the Business Builder and Turbo Charged Editions you can use the Target Marketing filter tools to automatically find “The MAGICAL emails” that are due for the chosen time period, and use that to send a bulk target marketing campaign.

If you need ANY help setting up any of these options in GetBookedUp please just call us on 01405 813665.

If you’ve skipped reading the article on the NCCA blog to get this far then you need to go and read that article to get the most from this suggestion, and discover The MAGICAL email ‘phrase’

Until next time,

Allan.

Just 127 Letters and a Response Rate of 7.09% a return of 35:1…

How would you like response rates of 7.09%, a return of 35:1 and know your results with this accuracy?

Did you read my last blog post about an article the NCCA had posted?  In it the NCCA talked about the power of Reminder Letters, and gave a couple of examples, this is one such example from a GetBookedUp user.

Of course you don’t need software to do a Job Reminder Letter, but software should make it so much easier for you, and should be able to give you analysis and reporting to check what is working.

The picture below is one I’ve snagged, with their permission of course, from a users system I was working on earlier today.  I was helping them prepare the second follow up mailing to their Job Reminder Letter using the Target Marketing facility in GetBookedUp.  Now you don’t need to use the Target Marketing tool to get this type of return, you could just use the Easy Mailing facility which is in the Professional+ Edition.  However, as this user prefers to follow up their reminder letters, as we suggest and do in our own carpet cleaning business, they always use the Target Marketing tool for their mailings.

We’re often asked “What’s different about the £1900 Business Builder Edition compared to the £289 Professional+ Edition?”  Well, there’s lots of extra features, but just one of the extra tools is Target Marketing.  Target Marketing is a tool that allows you to set up multiwave direct mail campaigns for things such as your Job Reminders and “I miss you” letters.  It automatically excludes people who have responded to a mailing from the follow up mailing, and allows you to measure exactly your response and return on the campaign, no guess work!  In our carpet cleaning business we typically find that a followed up mailing will generate almost as much from the second mailing as it does the first, especially if that second mailing is done as a “Just to remind you, the offer ends on…” theme.  We use this two stage approach (sometimes even three stage) in our carpet cleaning business for all our 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 60 month reminders and many of our users have adopted it too.  In our carpet cleaning business we get many calls where people say things like “I was going to call you then put the letter away and forgot, thank you for reminding me again.”  All I can tell you is, IT WORKS!

Anyway, back to the picture below, click it to enlarge it…

You’ll notice that the reminder Wave 1 was sent on the 8th April 2013 with an offer which expires at the end of May.  It was sent to 127 people who’s last job was in May 2012.  The response, automatically tracked by the system, was 9, which then equates to a 7.09% response, WOW!  But lets look even closer – Total sales  £2,133.33.  Cost of mailing 127 x 47p = £59.69   (47p = letter printed & posted @ 39p +vat) SO…   £2,133.33 / £59.69 = 35.74  so gives a 35:1 return!

What we have done today is use the Target Marketing facility to send Wave 2 on the 10th May 2013 to just 116 people, why 116?  Because 9 have responded so we don’t want to mail them, and 2 people have had their record marked as moved on since the first mailing went out.  ALL of that is done automatically in the target marketing tool.  If we receive mail returned as ‘gone away’ we mark that in the client record.  When the next wave of any campaign is sent the system AUTOMATICALLY then excludes not only those that have already responded but also those who have now been marked as ‘moved on’.  Clever eh!?  Just one of the little attention to detail things that make such a difference and our users tell us they love about GetBookedUp.  This user will now be looking to get a 5% ish return on this second mailing.  Put your shotgun away and get your rifle out.  Could you use some Target Marketing?

Target Marketing Example

The mailing was sent out by another of the NCCA Corporate Members, a very helpful guy called Neil Jenkins, with Mail Boxes etc… Maidenhead www.mbe.co.uk/maidenhead.  They are a print fullfillment service where you can get your letters printed, folded, stuffed and posted for LESS than the cost of a second class stamp!  Neil’s service is AMAZING, they allow you to have teaser copy on the outside of the envelope, there is no extra charge for a return address to clean up your database as you go.  Also, because they don’t use window envelopes you have more space for your letter as there is no address block in the letter.  And for me the best bit is, unlike Docmail and many others, they don’t need to put a barcode and other ‘stuff’ on the side of the letter, so it still looks like a personal letter from their friendly carpet cleaner, rather than a barcoded mass mailing.  We’ve recommended many users give Neil a go, and those that have have not been disappointed.

So, that was a long post, I hope you got through it okay.  I always remember Howard Partridge saying “It’s FTI that kills most carpet cleaning businesses”, FTI is Failure To Implement!  Are you going to FTI this reminder letter?  Or are you now resolved to start planning your June 2013 reminder campaigns now?  GetBookedUp users please just call if you need any help doing these, none GetBookedUp users, please just call if you want to chat about how we organise these.

Happy Reminding everyone 🙂

Allan.

This 10 Word Sentence That Will Close More Clients For You

I don’t usually do this and ‘steal’ blog content, but this email I received struck a cord with me about some of our recent dealings in our carpet cleaning business.  Particularly relevant to commercial cleaning at the moment this was an email from a marketing forum I subscribe to Timothy Castleman

Here’s Tim’s email.  If you get anything from it why not visit his site and subscribe too, it’s free advice.

Tim says…

I hate buying a new house.

It’s not the new house that’s so bad – it’s all the new stuff that we have to buy for the new house.

I’m still new to all of this, but from what I been told (by my wife) nothing in the old house is going to work in the new one.

That means some new furniture, new appliances, and much much more.

So that means that yesterday, while it was 82 degrees outside, I got to go store to store looking at furniture.

Yay me.

Here’s what stunned me.

The lack of hustle in salespeople.

The first place we went was actually a return visit to bedroom furniture store we had bought from previously.

We had been there a few weeks ago and met a salesman named Eric.

He quickly gave me his business card along with his cell phone number to get a hold of him if he wasn’t at the store.

He also pointed out that he worked on commission so if we needed anything, please buy it from him so he could get paid.

Guess what he did next …

Disappeared.

We’re talking David Copperfield vanishing act.

Next thing I know we’re settled on a bedroom set and new dinning room table.

We have to hunt this guy down to tell him and get pricing, delivery dates, etc.

He acts if he could care less.

When he tells us the total I start asking buying questions:

– Is there a lower price if I pay cash?

– How much of a discount can I get if I buy today?

– Will he throw in free delivery if we buy it all at once?

No, No, and No.

Here we are, recovering from one of the greatest rescission of all time and I am a customer who wants to spend money with them.

A repeat customer no less.

With cash in hand.

Ready to buy.

And this guy won’t budge an inch to get my business.

He won’t hustle to make a deal and earn a commission.

And before you think “he can’t”, he can.

Furniture has a HUGE markup and there is plenty of room for both profit and commission.

I’ve never once met a manager who couldn’t adjust the numbers a little for a customer or at least attempt to help.

The last time I bought from this same store they reduced the price and threw in free delivery for me.

This guy wanted none of it.

So guess how much money he got from me?

None.

In fact we went over to another store a bought a bedroom set from them instead – because of the sales person.

The only thing we have to get from the original store is a dinning room table and chairs.

And when I do buy it I’ll be sure to use another salesperson so this guy doesn’t get a dime from me.

So what does this have to do with you?

Well ask yourself this – are you willing to hustle to make a sale?

Are you willing to help out a customer and turn that prospect into a client?

No, I am not talking about selling your soul and dropping your price to rock bottom.

But could you add an additional service, maybe throw in something else, or give a slight reduction in price in exchange for X?

Of course you could.

The next time you’re having trouble closing a client ask them this simple question:

“What do I have to do to earn your business?”

Trust me, they’ll tell you exactly what they want/need in order to buy from you.

If it’s within reason and you’re ok with the terms why not adjust a little bit to accommodate them and get a sale in the process?

What happens if their demands are to great or totally out of line?

Tell them. I can’t do that but here’s what I can do and lay out what you’re willing to do.

If they say no thanks at least you know you did everything in your power to try and close them.

It’s like buying a car.

You want it to pay $1,000, they want $60,000 for it.

Chances are you’ll meet somewhere in the middle at a price or situation you both can be satisfied with.

You can do the same.

Remember, all you have to do is hustle.

Well, what do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments – just hit reply and let me know if I’m off my rocker or not.

Talk soon.

Tim

PS: By the way, I love sharing a providing content with you – what I hate is when I hear crickets in return. Let me know if you get anything from this so I know to keep sending stuff like this.

Allan here again.  So what did you think?  It made me realise I used to use a similar phrase a lot, but over time have stopped for some reason.  Did it make you think about any tenders you’ve submitted recently? It did for me.  So much so that I made a phone call to a recent potential client and asked “I know we’re in the mix with others, but What do I need to do to earn your business?”, the answer was “Can you include the few chairs in the Staff Room?”,  HA HA! My calm reply was “Er, yes, if you make sure all the chairs are together before we arrive.”  their reply “Oh of course, we’ll bring them all into the main hall and then return them when they’re dry.”  The lesson here for me was that we had priced these to clean the chairs in each individual room, moving the kit from one to the next, now by asking “What do I need to do to earn your business?” we were going to clean a few extra chairs, but they would now all be in thmain hall and we’d be quicker over all now.  RESULT!.

So, if you want to subscribe to the emails from Tim you can here Timothy Castleman

Tried Doughnut Friday? Try this one too…

Hi, you all know I rave about Doughnut Friday, well here’s something else to try in a similar theme.

I call it Hairdresser Day.  Here’s how it works…

We all know Carpet Cleaning and Oven Cleaning is very much a people business.  People buy people and if they like you and the service you provide they will recommend you.  So how do we encourage those people, and those who Seth Godin would call “Sneezers” talking about us?  A “Sneezer” is someone who will rave about anything they come across, be that good or bad, and Hairdressers are massive Sneezers.

We all know that ladies don’t use “Flair for Hair” for their hair styling, they use “Paul at Flair for Hair”, why is that?  Paul listens to their stories while they’re ‘in the chair’.  He hears their highs and lows and has an emotional bond with his clients.  It’s because they have built such a trust in Paul he would have to do something seriously wrong for them to change allegiance and go elsewhere.  So how do we tap into this?  Well, it’s very much like Doughnut Friday.  You take some quality doughnuts this time, one’s that Paul would be happy to share with his clients, ones like Krispy Kreme dozen box, and put a nice  thank you note just saying “Thanks for recommending us, it’s appreciated, all at Doncaster Chem-Dry.”  DO NOT put any contact telephone number or website on the tag, it’s a thank you not an advert.  You then use EXACTLY the same approach as Doughnut Friday, that is…

Pick some of the more exclusive Hairdressing salons in your area.  Go in on a Saturday morning, when it’s BUZZING!

Stroll in confidently with your box of Doughnuts in hand.  Say to the Receptionist “Hi, I’m Allan, the owner at Doncaster Chem-Dry and I just wanted to drop these in to say thank you.  Someone here recommended us recently and we just wanted to say a little thank you, it’s very much appreciated.”

Pause.  There will be an initial look of WTF!?!?  then what usually happens is someone says “Who are you?” or “Where are you from?” or some other question which gives you the opportunity to explain a little further.  The ideal is someone in the salon says “Oh Yes, I use you guys and you’re brilliant!”  in which case, job done, the conversation is started and the ‘Sneezing’ begins.  If they just ask you a question just answer with…

“Yeah, we’re carpet and upholstery cleaners and we ask everyone how they know about us and a lady recently said someone at her hairdressers had recommended us.  I don’t know who it was, it may even have been another client she was chatting to whilst here, but she said this is where she has her hair done.  We just like to say a little thank you so wanted to drop these off.”

Food is a massive motivator.  There is always interest in the Doughnuts.  By this time the owner of the salon has usually noticed you’re there and come over, and that is perfect.  Just say you hope they enjoy the doughnuts and ask them to thank whoever it was that recommended you.  HA HA!  the thing is this starts the EVERYONE talking about who it might have been, and talking about you and your company.  The stylists will ask their clients if they recommended us, again starting a conversation about your company.  MASSIVE amounts of PR for a £10 box of doughnuts.

You will always be asked if you have cards you can leave, and of course you can find some after a slight struggle in a pocket somewhere.  Leave the cards and leave the salon, happy that the whole salon will now be Sneezing about you.

Here’s the next killer step…

A few weeks later revisit the salon on a quiet day during the week and ask to speak to the owner.  Ask them if you could place a small leaflet or business cards on their counter in return for some free carpet cleaning, even if it’s free cleaning at their home.  The sneezing begins again, Ta Da!

Cheap, easy to do PR, GO DO!

 

It’s Monday 4th March, One Email sent to 347 people and you’ve booked an extra £371 + VAT for Wednesday 6th March, here’s how…

Here’s what happened on Monday the 4th of March in our own carpet cleaning business, and what we did to ‘fix it’…

Early Monday morning the phone rings, Mary answers and it’s the Contract Manager of a Shopfitting company we clean carpets for after they have done a refit.  He says they won’t be ready for us to clean the carpets on Wednesday (just two days away) so they need to cancel Wednesday and rebook.  Now, these are a good customer so we don’t charge them a penalty for cancelling (perhaps we should and that’s for another article?) but that now leaves us with a full day free for one guy on Wednesday.  But DON’T PANIC!  Here’s how you fill that gap, and you don’t need our software to use this idea, but it does help to make it EASY :-).  It takes just a few minutes, and it’s  free.  We use this idea regularly in this situation, and I’ve posted about this before, so this is a real world example of what’s possible and how you can increase your sales with very little effort, because once Wednesday’s gone, it’s gone, so you might as well try to fill it now rather than let it slip by as an unproductive day.

Here’s what we did, and you can do too…

  1. Using the Easy Emailing facility in GetBookedUp I created a simple filter of all clients in the local DN postcode areas who are on our Short Notice Offer list, there were 347 in total.
  2. Chose the template email from the built in Email Editor.
  3. Edited the content to suit the offer for Wednesday 6th March only (20% off EVERYTHING, including Retail Products), explaining we’d had a cancellation and this was first come first served for Wednesday the 6th only.
  4. Hit “Send and record in the clients Contact Log”
  5. Started working on something else.
  6. Phone rings (within 45 MINUTES! of email going out), “Hello, I’ve just got your email about the offer for Wednesday, can you come and do my Suite again please, and this time I’ll have the protection treatment too if the offer is on that aswell.”
  7. Celebrate with a little dance around the office (not pretty!) that we’ve just started filling Wednesday for about 5 minutes work, RESULT!
  8. Phone rings later that Monday afternoon, “Hi, I’ve had you email, do you still have any availability on Wednesday please?”
  9. Celebrate with another little dance as Wednesday is now FULL, and it took only took 10 minutes maximum to achieve.

Okay, you don’t need our software to do this, you can filter whatever database you have and send it by whatever means you have.  BUT what’s different about GetBookedUp is that we have an Easy Email system which allows you to filter clients based on various criteria.  The built in email editor allows you to compose your own emails and customise them.  This email is also recorded in the clients contact log so it’s traceable and you can mark that the client has responded to the email for your analysis.  PLUS, because there is no merging or exporting data to an external mailmerged system it’s a breeze!

This is what the Easy Email tool looks like…

So, what are you waiting for?  Do you have a quiet day on Monday that you want to fill now?  Get this ready to go out now and fill the day.

Regards

Allan.

PS.  I know some of you will say “but I don’t have many email addresses.”  If I can be frank, just start collecting them NOW and you’ll be able to use this idea in future.  Here’s how you can get the email address and it’s so easy ANYONE can do it.  When you’ve booked the quotatetion visit or booked a job, when the date has been set just say “Oooh, can I just take an email address to send a quick confirmation out to you?”  then shut up, really, shut up and WAIT for a response.  in 90%+ of cases they will immediately just give you their email address without pausing, in the other cases they will usually say they don’t have one or they’d rather not.  TA DA! you’re instantly collecting email addresses in a none threatening way.  Obviously it would be nice if then you can automatically send the confirmation email from the client record (gratuitous plug for GetBookedUp inserted here 🙂 ) and then in that email also include a link back to your website and with details about the benefits of protection treatments, anti allergen treatments etc.  Then you’re also now pre selling those additional services before you go to the property, and the client will start to ask you about these, or already be aware of them when you talk about them, so they are presold on the idea of them.  You’ll start to book bigger jobs and make more money with these extra services for very little extra effort or cost while you are already there.

PPS.  If you managed to get this far well done, the PS tip above will on it’s own earn you more money and perhaps should be a post article on it’s own.

I’m a big fan of things like this…

I’m just preparing to send our mailings out for the Spring/ Easter push we have in our carpet cleaning businesses.  We always have a big push in March with a Spring’s here, Easter is coming offer.  I talk about all sorts of things in the letter in a very conversational manner, and often refer to doing jobs around the home over the Easter break while the kids are off school as an example.

Well, as some of you know, I’m a huge fan of Copy Doodles, i think I’ve mentioned them before.  I’ve used them for years and measuring the results in side by side trials, same letter, half with and half without, the response is higher from those WITH Copy Doodles.  Something else I use is  “Post It Notes” graphic images  ‘attached’ to letters, I make my own using Photoshop.  Last year while chatting with someone on the phone for software support and we got chatting about marketing and I mentioned this.  They asked if i wouldn’t mind sharing it with them and I shared it last year, so thought I ought to offer it again this year too.  So here it is for anyone else who thinks it might be of use.  It’s a png file, so it is very flexible in how and where you can use it.  I just add it to the top RHS of the letter, just under the Offer Headline alongside the address.  If anyone uses it your feedback would be appreciated, share your experience please.  If anyone wants the .psd file so you can edit the text yourself just drop me an email, allanjnr@getbookedup.com .  Thanks,  Allan Jnr.

Right Click here and choose “Save file As”

 

 

Here’s the Back to School themed one’s we did later in the year…

Want one for your business?  No problem, just post below or email your required name or changes and I’ll get it done ASAP.
P.S. You don’t have to be a user of our software either 🙂 

Just a couple of examples of those who asked last year…

And Billy Russell’s which has a longer name…

 

UPDATE:

Several people have asked me where I got these ideas from.  Well it’s a guy called Mike Capuzzi and his site can be found here…

Spend A Whole Day With Paul Pearce Teaching You The Right Way To Clean Upholstery!

Training Schools

If you are just starting out in the cleaning industry or want to pick-up a few pointers from the master, then this is a great opportunity to do so.

This intensive one-day school has been designed to teach all levels of technicians the best way to clean and protect upholstery correctly.

Ideal for anyone that is directly involved in cleaning. From business start-ups, company employees to the owner operator professional cleaners.

All operators will be shown step-by-step the correct procedures from setting up the equipment to the most effective cleaning techniques and how to finish the job.

Each delegate will be invited to use the equipment to help build their confidence.

The last part of the school is all about protectors. It will explain what they are and how they work. A demonstration will be given.

We are limited to 10 people per school and places fill up fast! Book on-line here to guarantee your place!

Paul Pearce

Paul is the NCCA Technical director and the Chairman of the only certification body for the cleaning and restoration industry the IICRC.As you can imagine Paul didn’t become the Chairman without knowing what he was talking about. Paul has taught for ALLTEC since 1994, mainly IICRC approved schools, and time and time again we hear people saying they wish Paul would share the methods and procedures that he uses to clean in his own business day in day out… Well now he is!

PLUS if you book both the Hands on Upholstery School on the 6th February and the Hands on Carpet School on the 5th February we will give you 10% discount off the total cost! Call 01763 208222 to Book NOW!

Sorry it’s been quiet!

I can only apologise for the lack of posts on the website over the last three months or so.  We’ve been head down working with all the new users and also working on a major update to all Editions of the software.  We’ve spent a lot of time working with existing users, as individuals and as groups of users, listening to the features and tweaks they wanted to see in the software as we continue to update it.  That’s been at every level, including the Forever Free Edition users (thanks to all involved), so there’s more stuff about to be released in all Editions.  We’ve been busy beavering away in the background getting those changes done, and we’re nearly there.  It’s  a little over 12 months ago that the last major release was put out and that went down well with both new and existing users.  Although there have been many smaller updates throughout the year we’re hoping this release gives more users more of the features they wanted.  Early signs from beta testing are encouraging with many positive comments on some of the subtle changes we’ve implemented.

That’s all for now, but if you have any suggestions please just let us know.  We’ll add them to the development list and maybe at the next update they’ll make the cut.

Regards

Allan Jnr.

 

Have you been receiving our emails?

I’ve posted something similar before but wanted to raise it again.  A few people have been in touch saying they’d signed up at the bottom of our webpage for our “Enjoy more ideas to market less, quote faster and book more via…”  but haven’t heard from us.  I’ve checked again and as we operate a double opt in system managed via Mailchimp it may be our initial request for confirmation you want to receive this stuff (and it’s not some little spammer signing you up) has probably gone into your spam filter or been rejected by your server as spam.

If you have signed up and not heard from us please just sign up again and hopefully it will get through this time.  If you don;t receive the email asking you to confirm please check your spam folder.  If it’s not there just call us and let us know, or contact us through the Contact Us form with a little note in there.

Regards

Allan.