A Knock on the Door

A man who operates a carpet cleaning business is canvassing the homes in my neighbourhood and interrupted a conference call I was attending this afternoon. I work from home and I was displeased that the knock on my door was from a solicitor and not come from UPS with a report from IT that I was expecting. He quickly got past niceties and launched into a pitch for a three-room special. It wasn’t until I pushed his quarter-page flyer back into his hand that I had the opportunity to tell him I have tile and hardwood throughout my home. It was time for me to get back to my call before anyone would know I had stepped away. As I began to swing the door back into place, against his frantic pivot to steam my floors, I saw how defeated he looked. I told him I would ‘Google’ cleaning services if I wanted to hire him.

Marketing Is the Other Way Around Today

What this man and many other small business owners fail to understand is that the business-client initiation process has flipped 180 degrees. It is not businesses that are effectively knocking on doors to capture the business today, but customers who are reaching out to businesses when they are ready to buy. Old ‘push’ methods of promotion, such as advertising, are not appreciated by consumers as they were ten years ago. In fact, many studies show how few consumers pay attention to ads, and very few even see the ads that bombard them. As far as I am concerned, it’s “Don’t call me, I’ll call you!” And I know my feelings are pretty typical when you come to my home to push your service.

How Am I Going to Find Your Business?

Even though I work from home, I never have enough time to do all the things I want to get done each day. When I need something, I will search for it on my PC when I have a quick break between meetings or projects. Or I will do a search on my tablet while I watch TV after work. With a quick search I will hit a couple of sites on page one of the results page, or check for interesting blogs and articles on Twitter and Facebook. If I see something that is interesting then I’ll read that, but if it brings me to a dull site, I bounce right back out. I, like most consumers today, am not asking for a lot: inform and entertain me, and help me get to a solution for what I need quickly. Be active and interesting on digital media, or I am never going to call your business.