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Why you need to fire some of your clients…

Well, that’s certainly an alarming thing to say. However, anyone who has been in business a long time already knows what this means.

Some clients you just don’t want. They’re not good for you and your business, you and your employees. And you have to let them go.

We all want to grow our businesses, we all want more success, but there are certain clients that hinder your success. And you have to become expert at isolating who those guys are and firing them as clients.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, there are just people that are wrong for you as a company. They might be right for someone else’s company, but they are wrong for you and you know it.

Think about this: 80% of all of your complaints come from less than 20% of your clients. And the majority of the worst complaints you’ll usually find come from less than 5% of your entire client base. And what does “this less than 5%” do? They make your staff hate their jobs, make everyone think your service is faulty where it actually isn’t, they eat up your precious time, they threaten lawsuits, they go on Google, Yelp, BBB and Angie’s List and write bad reviews, you know who they are. It’s that client you wish you would have never taken on. We’ve all had them.

But now here is the REAL kicker: You saw the red flags very early on with this person.

It’s sort of like dating. You might meet a guy or a girl and you want to see all of the good things and ignore the bad things, but in the end when things go south it was the bad things that you saw early on, and ignored, that really did you in. It’s no different with customers. You saw the red flags in the sales cycle, when you were in their home, talking to the customer on the phone, etc. But, you wanted to choose to see the good, or maybe you just had dollar signs in your eyes, either way you ignored the red flags.

In any well-run business, you need to spend 80% of your time on the 80% of your clients that actually deserve your work. These guys pay you on time, they’re good customers, you want to help them and they need your help. We won’t get into why this very small percentage of people seem to not want your help or make things worse for the both of you when you’re simply trying to help them, as that’s probably a subject for someone else to take up. As business owners the only thing we need to take up is getting rid of them.

I know it sounds harsh, but it’s just a fact of being in business. You owe good service to your good clients, those 80% of people to pay their bills on time. And if you and your staff are spending all of your time on that very small percentage of people who are “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”, you were actually doing a disservice to the majority of your clientele. That’s the real issue you have to face in choosing to fire a client. It takes guts to fire a clients, but to the degree that you do that, your business will be smoother and faster it will grow faster, it will be quieter on customer service lines and you’ll just be plain happier.

You can also include in this those customers that do not pay their bills on time, that never make their appointments and anything else that stops you from running a  smooth business. You don’t need the money that badly. And if you do need the money that badly and you take on a client like this, I promise you you will stop other money that should be coming in from arriving.

I just talked to one of my clients about this about two weeks ago and he was talking about how much time he was spending on this one client, in her house dealing and with all of her customer service problems and the whole time he was there just dealing with headaches, he wasn’t paying attention to his other clients and no sales were coming in either he wasn’t getting any new business. And as soon as he said, “This is just not right for me”, he fired the client. Over the next three days he pulled in six more jobs, all of which were good paying, well mannered clients.

I hate to tell people how long it takes to learn this lesson, but usually for people that didn’t learn business from their father or anything like that, we learned this after years and years of working on these types of people and finally discovering that the best thing you can do for your company, your finances, your growth, your employees and clients is  to fire that very small percentage of clients. Get rid of the squeaky wheel’s that get the grease. Grease the four wheels that are actually rolling and keeping the car on the road.

Sincerely,

Dan York

Founder and CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

How do I get more of the online business for my Mold Remediation Company?

How do I get more of the online business for my Mold Remediation Company?

This question is fairly simple in theory, but can become very complex when you get into the nitty-gritty of it. There are a lot of areas to move into, and each these areas have become a specialty in their own right. And they got that way for a reason. And to further complicate this, each person, in each area, may or may not be a specialist in the technology they are using and they may or may not be a specialist in the Mold Remediation business itself. BUT…everyone will have an opinion, whether it’s a good one or not will be the biggest barrier you will run into. But let’s just leave that to the side for now, shall we?

First, let’s start by looking at some of top major online technologies and areas you’ll need to work:

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Google results and Google Local results
  2. Google Pay-Per-Click Ads (PPC)
  3. Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.

 

Which one should you use? Ideally? All of them. But we do have to be realistic too. We all have budgets to work with and we want the best ROI for our marketing budgets, obviously.

 

Each one of the above can generate different sorts of prospects for you, of which, we will break down below:

1 SEO

SEO will get you into the natural Google results and Google Local (maps) results. This is imperative for your company. It’s the modern phone book, you just have to be there. But who does it pick up? It picks up those people that are already on the hunt for you. It does not cultivate new interest from a person necessarily. So you see why this is imperative, these are your hottest prospects – they are already looking for you.

 
2. Google PPC

PPC will do the same above with SEO. It will get you in front of the people that are already looking for you, your hottest prospects & leads.  But it differs from SEO in that you are paying for Google Ads. Your hot prospect will click on the ad and you pay for each click of that ad. In exchange for you paying for that click, you get your ad placed at the top of the screen. But you see, it is essentially the same market as SEO, people already looking for you.

 

3. Social Media

This is different. Whether we’re  talking about Facebook or Instagram or any other Social Media site, the market of people here is very different. They aren’t looking for you here. When people are looking for you they use Google and go find you. So why use Social Media? 2 reasons: 1. Branding and 2. market cultivation. For 1., you can keep showing up in their Social Media feeds, they see you over and over and you become recognizable. You can become a brand with them. So when they do need you, they will potentially recognize you and that may channel them into calling you. And the 2.? You can cultivate a prospect and turn them hot. If you’re doing the right things on Facebook and Instagram, you can potentially interest someone into contacting you. So you’ve turned someone into a prospect instead of waiting for them to just BE one. See that?

 

Now, this may be overly simplified here, but that is the point. None of this is actually is complicated. If it is complicated, it is the person you are working with that is making it complicated. And my advice is that if they are, find someone else to work with. The best and the brightest all have a knack for making the complicated seem…less so.

Sincerely,

 

Dan York, Founder

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

How To Market My New Mold Remediation Company

How To Market My New Mold Remediation Company

Ok, so you’ve got it all- you’ve bought your gear, you’ve got your truck, you may have even bought into a nice franchise and have a lot of of support. And now you just need….clients.

 

So what do you do? Well, let’s not get anxious. First of all, I tell people to start getting very logical instead of anxious. Anxiety makes you spend  your money in stupid ways and kind of do everything while achieving nothing.  We want to hit the target with every shot we take, not put holes in the wall around the dart board right?

 

Ok, so, someone has a mold problem? Where do they go to find you? Who found out about the mold problem? Who is the most likely person to call you about the mold problem? Why would they pick you, once they find you, over your competitors?  These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.

Don’t think too much about it, a lot of good ideas by bright people actually don’t work because they didn’t just simply look at what works.  You have to look.

 

We don’t know everything that works, but we know enough having specialized in Mold Marketing for the last 5+ years.  One things that should absolutely be in your arsenal is our mold remediation marketing program.  Why?  Because it works.

We once had a client of ours who did water damage and mold remediation call us to turn off our mold program because he “really didn’t want that many calls for mold” in the 1st place. It works.

 

Will you get bad calls? Sure, but who cares, you’ll get good calls too and they don’t cost you per call.

 

Phone books, eh. Put yourself in there and kind of forget about it. Lead Generation companies, they work. Angie’s List, that works, Yelp, eh., BBB is good for credibility, not leads really. Networking with Water Damage Restoration companies for the Mold Leads they don’t do as good, but certainly worth your time. Those should get you started and you’ll learn more regionally along the way.

 

Here’s to your success!

 

Dan York

Founder of Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

 

 

How “Company Hopping” Ruins your ROI

What is “Company Hopping?”

It is jumping from one service company to the next, every few months, for whatever “good reason.”

There are a lot of people who have this operating basis on various services. Call me old school, but I like a relationship with a proven-out service provider and once I find that relationship, I hold onto it for as long as I can. I’ve had the same cell phone provider for 11 years. I know people who change their phone numbers and service providers every year.  What’s the result? Everyone I’ve ever known has my phone number and always knows how to get a hold of me. This other person? I never know their number. I always ask who it is texting me and then find out it is them with a new number and new phone provider. The result? I’m creating stability, they are creating erratic and unpredictable communication.

How does this relate to your marketing?

Well, let’s first acknowledge that in the internet space, there are a lot of let’s just say “non-ideal” people providing service that just plain shouldn’t be. But that happens in every business too so, that’s that.

In our space, internet marketing, there are business owners that hop from one company to the next, every 3-6 months, sometimes only after a few weeks. And every time they go from one company to the next, they say the same thing, “Those guys sucked! Hopefully you guys are good!” I actually have my sales dept. trained to filter out and not sell to guys that have gone through 4-5 companies in the last 2 years or so. At some point, you have to ask yourself the question, “Did all 4-5 of those companies suck? Or did the client not persist with any given one of them so none of them could be successful?” Why would I want my industry-leading staff to work with someone like that?

When you’re hiring a new person for your company, it takes 2-3 months for the person to get genned in and learn everything, and that’s not even them hitting their stride! Imagine firing and hiring everyone who took longer than three months to learn their job in full. You’d have no staff! You’d blame a bad HR dept. for this problem, not all of the employees who “didn’t make it.”

And so it goes with your marketing. In our business, there is a runway for take-off, including all of the planning, strategy and execution that goes into a program, the establishment, and not to mention any damage control that must be done from earlier, bad work, which is super-frequent these days. What I just wrote in that sentence above can sometimes take 3-6 months.

I am often asked by potential clients, “How can we be more successful at what we are doing online?” The answer is too simple: Find a company you trust and like to work with, get to know them, create a long term relationship with them and persist through all of the inevitable bumps in the road you two will encounter together. The most successful clients I have are of course, the ones that have been with us the longest.

Any marketing program is like a relay-race. There are multiple legs to the race that must be completed to get the next leg of the race. If a company-hopper only completes the first leg of any race with any one given company, you never win the race and end up with the opinion that “internet marketing doesn’t work.” Tell that one to the business owners that I know that make millions with their online marketing.

Ultimately, company hopping wastes your time, their time, and everyone’s efforts and money.  You want a  return on your investment right? Company hopping almost never returns your investment. So if you’re sick of spending your marketing budget with no ROI, consider what I am saying. Find a company who you like, one that is competent in what they do, work with them, stick it out. Go through ALL of the legs of the relay race with them.  If you do this, you’ll find out what I know, “Hey, these guys don’t actually suck.”

Sincerely,

Dan York

How Do I Get More Google Reviews For My Mold Damage Business?

Anyone who has been in business for a long time knows this fact: Your satisfied clients rarely (without prompting) write positive reviews about your business, but that one nasty client who you probably shouldn’t have sold in the first place, he’ll slam you all over every review site he can, starting with leaving a good ole’ Google Review about you, which is one of the most viewed on the internet for local businesses.

We’re not really talking about the subject of Marketing when we talk about Google Reviews, we’re talking more about the subject of Public Relations – How people perceive your company,  your public image.

Let’s also confront the fact that we all use these reviews personally, even though we all sort of know that out of all of the reviewers, that one scathing review was probably one of those guys who is never happy with anything. We all view them and “average out” the number of stars or reviews on Google, Yelp, Merchant Circle, etc. So this is a subject that needs to be understood and controlled by us. If you leave this one to chance, you’ll look bad.

I  was working with a Cosmetics Dentist once, a good one at that, who never spent any time on his internet marketing or presence at all. He had 1 positive Google review and then one psychotic client of his just lambasted him on Google Reviews. So he looked 50/50, one good, one bad. Now, in that there is only 2 reviews, this will give people pause when future potential clients are checking him out (97% of all people will check out the reputation of a service they are going to use online PRIOR to even calling or using them).  This would not have occurred if he had 38 4-5 star reviews and one 1 star review.

So, we have to put this under our control. Luckily this is simple.

There are several ways we can do this:

First, let’s email them. If you’re not collecting your clients email addresses, you should be, so this assumes that you are.

1. Go onto your company’s Google Map listing/Google Plus page.

2. Go to the About Tab, you’ll see your reviews to the right.

3.  Copy the full Address in the address bar of your browser into an email.

4. Send this link, with very, very short and clear directions on selecting “write a review”, asking them politely to do so.

So easy. Do not make it complicated, it must be able to be done by your clients in 5 minutes or less, otherwise they will not do it, and not because they do not like you, but because they are busy people. Do not underestimate the shortness of people’s attention span these days. Always politely appeal to their satisfaction with your company in asking them to take 5 minutes to write a positive review.

 

Now, if you have an office, such  as a Dentist or Chiropractor you would:

1. At reception, set up a computer.

2. When a client is finished with their service, after they have paid and set their next appt. with reception, reception will ask them, at this computer, to please log into their Google account and leave a positive review.

3. Once again, it has to be fast or else it will not get done. So, make sure there is a browser already open, a fast one like Chrome. Then make sure that Google is open so they can quickly log into their account.

 

You can come up with many ideas on how to get this done, it is not complicated, it is more that people just don’t do it. You could also do this for Yelp, Merchant Circle or any other major Reviews Site.

 

It may seem like a simple, maybe unnecessary thing to do for your “PR”, but ask your clients how often they read these reviews on Amazon before buying, ask your husband or wife how often they read these kinds of reviews before going to a restaurant.  The answers to those questions should re-adjust your view on the importance of spending some time getting some good reviews.

 

Sincerely,

Dan York

 

How to Recover from Bad Google Reviews

If you’ve been in business long enough, you’ll know this fact:

You could have 100 happy clients and 1 bad one, but that bad one is the one who will go and spread bad reviews all over the internet about you while the good ones don’t do anything.

It is what it is. We can either complain about how it is or accept it, be responsible about it and handle it. I choose to be responsible about it and handle it. If you do too, read on.

Handling your reviews on the internet is actually the subject of Public Relations – which is how you are viewed, how others think of you. The internet has changed the ease at which this can happen. Companies & websites like the BBB, Yelp and Google Reviews have really led this. Unfortunately, and probably non-intentionally, these sites have been heavily used to spread around bad reviews. This is now turning into lawsuit material where certain companies are suing people for writing bad reviews. This is probably justifiable for some businesses as one bad review can hurt a good businesses who is actually working hard to grow and survive. And as the most experienced of us know – some people just can’t be made to be happy. But frankly, some businesses who do not take care of their clients as they should get the bad reviews thy probably should. This article is for those of you who do care about your client but still get that “one guy”.

ok, so how do we handle it?

1. Most of these website now have recourse to handle bad reviews. That should be the 1st thing you do. Go for the recourse. Get them removed if possible. Red flag them if needed. Or you could actually ask the person to remove it…if they are willing. But let’s assume not.

2.  The most important thing is to build up your positive reviews. You have to take control over your online reviews. This is a part of your company’s public relations job now. Get your clients to go to Yelp, Google Reviews, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List,etc. and write their positive review about you. Ask them for their help. Most people want to help and will do so when asked, but you have to ask. If you do not ask them they will not do it generally. You must take responsibility for your Public Relationship and control this. It will not happen on its own. I’ve sent emails to my clients asking them to do it, I’ve called them, however you do it, you must ask. Spend the time on this, it is worth it in the revenue you won’t lose!

Then, when you have 30 positive reviews from great clients and 1 bad review from that “one guy who was impossible to make happy no matter what you did”, everyone will read your reviews and think, “That’s one of those guys who just isn’t happy about anything.”  People aren’t stupid. They know those people exist too. 

Important: Absolutely DO NOT get into an “internet war” with the person writing bad reviews by writing bad reviews about them. You will lose that game. If you ever do need to sue them you will lose the case due to the fact that you spread around bad things about them too and it will be thrown out. There are already cases in court where this has happened.

Take the high road, the professional road. Your time is better spent on getting positive reviews, getting more good business.

Sincerely,

Dan York

CEO and Founder

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

866-863-8452

How to Get More Mold Remediation Jobs? (or how not to go bankrupt!)

We’re asked this question all the time. Working with Mold Remediation Companies all over the world, we certainly have an opinion about it, and a good one at that.

 

Here’s the Answer:

 

Do every marketing outlet you can find that works, and if it works, persist at it – don’t quit.  

 

Some people don’t believe me when I say this. Maybe it’s too simple to believe or they want to think there is some “secret” that the big companies know. But I’ve worked with Mom and Pop shops doing $250k per year, and the Goliaths of the industry making 10’s of Millions per year. That’s it. There is no big secret.

 

I’ve watched a lot of bankrupted Mold Remediation Companies in the last 5 years. You learn a lot by watching them.

Here is why most Mold Remediation Companies aren’t winning like they should be (or are bankrupt):

 

  • They Rely on one or two forms of marketing only. 
  • They give up too early on any marketing program they try. 
  • When $ gets tough, they stop marketing, which puts the final nail in the coffin of their company. 

 

Let’s look into these a bit more.

 

1. They Rely on one or two forms of marketing. All you have to do is look at the big guys (local or franchises) . They are everywhere – billboards, phone books, tons of internet marketing, lead generation, bright vans, flyers in newspapers, postcards, Plumbers refer them, you name it. Small guys try to find “one good thing”.  Maybe you will for a while, but it never lasts and it certainly doesn’t build a successful company. And when you go into a slump, it usually ends you. Big, successful, lasting companies are doing minimally 6 major forms of marketing or advertising.

2. They give up too early on any marketing program they try. This is so common. I can’t tell you how many Mold Remediation Company owners I’ve talked to that say “I tried that, it didn’t work.” No, what didn’t work was the owner of the company. He didn’t persist. He tries it for a few weeks or months and then quits because he didn’t see results yet. Marketing doesn’t work like that. Any successful business owner knows it takes persistence, long term strategies and is similar to a relay race: You must make each part of the marketing program work.

3. When the going gets tough, they stop marketing, putting the final nail in the coffin of their soon-to-be-broke company.  You know what the big guys do when the going gets tough and business is slow? Market more…WAY more.  You know what the small guys do when the going gets tough? Cut off their marketing programs to “save money” which really costs them more money in lost revenues then they are saving through the stopping of their marketing programs. That usually finished the job on killing their revenues.

 

I know a guy who is wowing people. He’s only 27 and his company is already doing a couple million per year after only 2 years. Everyone thinks he is a magic man, and maybe he is. He’s client of mine. I asked him what he does. He told me that he uses my company (of course), 3 lead generation companies, is in the phone book buying ads, uses the Yellow Pages Online, works Angie’s list, has a city-wide PPC program, sends out postcards, networks plumbers, insurance agents as well as contractors and more. He grew his company faster in 1-1/2 years than another client of mine who took 25 years to get to the same size.

 

So stop wondering why you are not big enough, review these points. They are correct. The big guys know it.

 

Sincerely,

Dan York, Founder and CEO

Stellar-eMarketing, Inc.

www.moldremovalmarketing.com

 

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