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The Most Ignored Guerrilla Marketing Tool for Contractors

October 10, 2012

What is THE Most Ignored Guerrilla Marketing Tool for Contractors?

Are you losing Big Money by not using this common, but very cost effective marketing tool?

This may be the most ubiquitous and yet the most unused marketing tool there is.

Nearly every business has it, but rarely is it used effectively.

It is one of the most inexpensive marketing tools in your arsenal.

When it is used, it is usually not thought of as advertising.

Do you know what it is?

The Business Card!

Painters Business Card - The Most Ignored Guerrilla Marketing Tool

Photo Courtesy of via Creative Commons Licensing

I want you to remember something important!

The goal of marketing is to get as many different people in your target market to see your name and your marketing message as many times as possible in the most cost effective manner possible in terms of cost per impression, lead and sale.

  • Business cards are very inexpensive. So why are more people not effectively using them?
  • Business cards have two sides, but rarely do you see anything on the back side. When there is something printed on both sides, it is rarely a headline type statement that will cause people to call you.
  • Businesses will spend hundreds or even thousands to develop a print advertising piece or a logo, but how much time is spent on developing a good business card?
  • Have you determined your USP? If you have done that, there is a headline that you could place on the back of your card. A well crafted USP is an engaging and memorable marketing message that will cause people to keep and possibly even pass on your business card.

Now how do you get your business card in the hands of potential clients?

1st give all your clients enough to give to their friends and acquaintances. Most of us give our clients one of our cards when we first meet them. What a huge mistake. Every time you hand out a card, hand out several. When you first meet the client give them 4-5 cards. When you complete the job give them 4-5 more in the thank you package you send them.

And then keep sending them cards every few months.

Do you pay bills to local companies by check? Are you sending a business card or two back to them on their postage? Why not? If they are on top of things they are sending you advertising pieces in all your bills. Have you opened a major bill recently and NOT seen an advertising piece in there? So send them an ad with your payment.

When you go to the places your clients might shop do you leave a card? Take a loaf of bread, leave a card. Take a 6 pack of beer, leave a card. Now that does not mean litter the grocery store or local convenience store with your business cards everytime you visit.

What I am talking about is leaving a single card next to an item nearly every person in that store will buy from time to time. Bread, Milk, Soda, Beer, staples.

If one in a hundred or even a thousand gets picked up by a person who is interested or knows someone who is interested, you win! I make it a point to never shop in the same grocery store two times in a row. I make a circuit of the 4 in my area and leave one or two business cards each time. It would amaze you how many times I get a call from those cards.

Lets take this a little further

  • When you get gas, leave a card on the counter.
  • When you go to Home Depot or the Paint Store for supplies, leave a card on a shelf.
  • When you get your hair cut, leave a few cards with your barber.
  • When you go to the dentist, leave a few cards with the dentist AND with the hygienist. (The hygienist probably sees more people)
  • When you get your vehicle serviced leave a card.
  • When you (or your employees) go to the office supply store, leave a card.
  • Every restaurant that has a bowl, put your card in it.
  • When you go to a sporting event, take a few minutes and walk around and leave 5-6 cards on the condiment stands.
  • Where do your clients shop and visit. Make sure your card is there.

Everywhere you go, leave a trail of your business cards & more importantly your marketing message.

The Cost & the #1 Excuse

Yes, a lot of those cards will end up in the trash. So will much of the other advertising you do. How many of those door hangers you just passed out do you think are filed away safely for future use or on the refrigerator? Not many.

Business Cards cost 3-5 cents each. I pay 39.35 including shipping and tax for 1000 double sided full color business cards. How much does one job earn you in profit?

Make sure ALL of your employees, especially the ones that DON’T get cards in other companies, get their own business cards.

You can certainly wait until they have been there a few months, but you will be amazed at how much cards mean to people that have never seen their own name on one and how many people they will pass them out to.

Teach them the same guerrilla marketing techniques you learned here.  Just make sure you are not shopping in the same stores every day.

Give people an incentive to pass your card on.

Recently I was talking to the girl that works at my local gas station. She has been there several years and knows most of her regular customers by name. She also knows I am in the painting business. I asked her if she knew anyone that was looking for a paint job. She said yes kind of tentatively. Then I told here that if she referred my company I would give the people she referred a twenty percent discount (which is part of what is printed on the back of my card) and I would also give her $20 for every person that owned their home and allowed me to come out and give them an estimate and $100 dollars more if they buy from me.

I handed her 5 cards, told her to write her name on the back when she gave them to people and thought nothing of it. The following day I got a call from a person that said she got my card from the girl at the gas station. When I went back in to get gas the following day I handed the girl a twenty dollar bill and about 10 more cards.

To date, I have received 3 calls generated by this one girl in just 3 weeks. Was it worth it? Heck yeah!  So give people an incentive to pass out your card and then cultivate that relationship.

What would three hot leads by worth to your business? 

Do you think that those three leads are worth more than the cost of an entire BOX of business cards? How many people do you know at your local gas station or convenience store that could become the lead generating machine that this girl has been for me?

Have a great business card designed for your business! And then:

Start to take full advantage of one of the most inexpensive and THE most ignored guerrilla marketing tool for contractors!

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 10, 2012 6:38 pm

    Very good advice! I’m definitely guilty of not passing out enough cards.
    Just put a handful in my pocket after reading this.

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