I have decided that every company has a personality which impacts on their marketing. This works both ways; good and bad! Ask others how they perceive your business.
- Friendly or Unfriendly
- Helpful or Unhelpful
- Committed or Half hearted
- Responsible or Irresponsible
- Thorough or Cutting Corners
- Fair or Unfair
- Co-operative or adversarial
- Quality Workmanship or Shoddy workmanship
The list goes on but I am sure you understand what I am saying.
I was reminded of a telephone conversation I had some time ago. I called a company and was speaking with one of their directors about my clients services. The conversation went something like this;
“Hello Sean (not his real name), we had noticed that you were one of the tenderers for a project in Bournemouth. He listened intently, nothing being said. We are pricing this particular job for two other contractors. Can we submit a price to you? His response surprised me; ‘Why would I give company X an opportunity to price this job? We have worked with you before, but I hope never again. The guys on site are miserable, unhelpful and adversarial and as a result the job takes longer to complete and holds us up.’ ” We talked a little longer, I apologised, thanked him for his honesty and we said goodbye.
Eek! What do you do with that? Well, I felt this was an opportunity to change the perception people have about company X. I didn’t hold out much hope of changing the mind of the guy I just had on the phone. The question that lingered was, ‘Who else felt that way?’
So, in spite of the fact my client had invested money in to ‘image’ marketing it had not yet permeated the workforce.
Negative marketing spreads as quickly as positive marketing and maybe even faster!
“Turn strangers into friends. Turn friends into customers. And then…… do the most important job: Turn your customers into salespeople.” – Seth Godin
Another example of marketing your personality which by the way is ‘people marketing’ or ‘relational marketing’ happened when I called a developer in Southampton. He told me the call was timely and wanted to meet with one of my directors. The meeting took place and the Construction director asked my client if he would help him out. A fair question. A project had run in to some real difficulties and they needed specialist input to sort this out with a very short turn around time. Positive personality came in to play and they agreed to sort out the problem, which they did. Result; a larger scheme was sent to us and we negotiated the price rather than go through the tender process. Good result!
Make a call to one of your clients and ask them for some honest feedback on the work you have just completed. This will satisfy you that your performance is kept to a high standard. Some clients may not come back to you but they will certainly tell others about your poor performance.
Shape your companies personality
- 1. Be friendly and helpful where possible. Most people respond well to this attitude.
- 2. Check out your sub contractors carefully. Remember, the client remembers your name above all. Be proud of it.
- 3. Try, where possible to resolve issues even if you have to arrange a meeting to do so.
- 4. Acknowledge where you are wrong and commit to resolve any problems.
- 5. The buck stops here.
I have heard directors complain about the performance of their employees due to negative feed back. However, I believe we need to be proactive in proper training and encouragement in order to get the best out of the team. What kind of personality does your firm have in the marketplace? And, more importantly, who markets your business? Everyone within your firm markets your company. And, as the saying goes,
“You are only as good as your last job!”